In the world of non-stop movement it seems like, with everything you do for your business, it is never enough. With higher possible profits comes higher risk. To eliminate those risks it is important to understand the market. Furthermore, understanding your customer prevails above everything else. Decisions based on assumptions can damage a brand’s stability. Although each and every customer is a living, breathing individual, there is no doubt they have something in common. This is called customer persona.
To state clearer, buyer, marketing or customer persona is a compilation of features, so called ‘archetype’ of your actual customer whom the products are targeted on. Small brands can have only one persona, bigger ones can have up to a few dozen. The goal of creating them is to understand your customer. Seeing one person is better than always seeing the crowd. By establishing the exact example, the marketing team will be able to target their work precisely for your ‘persona’. Although it is only a core of features, it embodies thousands of people willing to buy.
Target of customer personas
The biggest mistake an owner of a business can make is to create a persona alone. It’s always better to create personas with your teammates, even if you have years of experience. It is something that never gets old and constantly needs updates. Marketing department will profit by knowing where to target their content. Customer support will be able to help faster knowing if their main audience are middle-aged men or elderly women. Segmentation of an audience for the sales department will also target future research by setting priorities for where to give some more effort.
How to create a customer persona?
Basic rules are simple. Success in business is all about profit. To create profit, you need to sell products or services. For that, you need to attract customers. Knowledge of understanding whom and how you need to market your brand comes from personas. Following basic steps, you will achieve your goal.
First step depends on whether you already have customers or not. Nonetheless, study your field. Find out who your biggest competitors are, what can be their main persona. Some bigger brands even share their examples of personas. Learn from their experience: how they are marketing towards customers, which language they choose, how they treat customers.
If you do have your own customers, try to reach out to them through your workers, social media, calls, and reviews. It is also important to study not only those who bought something, but those who did not. Knowing the reason can help improve your brand. In addition, disappointed customers are more willing to share their experience, than happy ones.
The common questions include:
- likes, dislikes (What would you like to see in our store? What is something you would change?);
- opinion on certain products;
- hopes and disappointments (What were you hoping to find in our store, but didn`t? Which products do not suit our brand?).
After each questionnaire go on with creating a background of this particular customer. Basic image consists of:
- marital status;
- stage of life;
After thorough research, it is time to combine all the effort your team made. First of all, divide all opinions by gathering methods. Opinions taken by your employees directly in the shop are more valuable than social media ones. Outline all the repetitions, common phrases and likes. State all the problems separately, think about solutions, outline the most common ones. Count all the percentages from every background bullet point.
Creating personas is a team effort. Those who conducted the research can help with compiling it. This will be considered as another tool to strengthen the team. Don’t name your personas in a funny way or unrealistic way, like Soap Sandra or Accounting Angela. Don’t give them an appearance from stock photos before. Instead of these, do your best to create a realistic believable persona. And then use the research data. Give the persona a background from the most common answers from the questionnaire. Think about what they need and why. Every topic is a point for discussion. Consider it as a challenge to understand what this person is going through and where they will go to solve those problems.
It is important for everyone to know at least the basic image of a real customer. It applies to future projects, possible advertisement design, etc. Fields of applying new knowledge are numerous. That’s why after finishing the report on customer personas you have to make sure everyone involved in customer service is educated on who they sell products to.
Customers are not just numbers, they are people who appreciate when brands are willing to listen and react according to their needs. By talking to people, you draw a link between you and your customer. Personification of this link is a customer persona. Address your effort to people, not numbers. As a result, you will be seen as thoughtful and close to your customers which will lead to attracting new ones.