Making marketing personas to level up your brand
Creating a brand that stands out from the crowd isn’t easy work — but with the right tools, it’s certainly possible. One asset that can help get you there is creating marketing personas. Having marketing personas is key to effectively targeting your content to your desired audience. This will help you identify their needs, know where to reach them, and how to get your message across effectively.
Plus, if you’re a marketing agency yourself, you’re going to want to have a strong grasp on creating these personas so you can help your clients as efficiently as possible. If you don’t know where to begin — or even what a marketing persona is — let’s get started.
What is a Marketing Persona?
So, what’s a marketing persona in the first place? It is essentially a model or representation of your target customer or customers. It’s a made-up person who shares all the same demographics and other characteristics as an actual patron of your business — your ideal shopper. Since your entire customer base is likely too broad to encompass with one persona, you should aim to represent the majority of one segment of your customer base. If you identify multiple key segments in your audience, you should create at least one persona to represent each segment. This way, you can cover as much ground as possible, and your processes for writing copy and developing new products can have a solid guide for who to target.
You should be able to create a persona that is as detailed as an actual person. What are their demographics, like their age and ethnicity? Where do they usually shop? Where do they live? What do they do for a living? Why do they want or need your product? You should be able to identify all of these answers and more with your fleshed-out marketing persona.
You can even take it a step further and create personas that represent not just your ideal shopper, but other important people who may interact with or affect your business. For example, creating a marketing persona for a social media influencer who might be interested in advertising your product can help you identify even more audiences.
You can also create an anti-persona, a representation of someone who you don’t think would buy your product. For instance, if you’re marketing a high-intensity workout program, you might know that your target audience is within a certain age demographic. You can make anti-personas for those who fall outside of that range, which can help you understand how best to conserve your resources so you’re not advertising in places where your anti-personas are likely to constitute the majority.
But do I need Marketing Personas?
Creating marketing personas might sound like a creative and challenging activity — but how necessary are they for your actual business?
Most marketing experts say vary. These personas are considered to be a crucial element in a product’s success since they offer a strong guide for crafting your design and marketing decisions. Having representative marketing personas can help you anticipate your audience’s needs and desires in the early stages of development and will end up saving you time and money in the long run.
Without having a strong grasp on your ideal customers and their characteristics, you’ll be left guessing and marketing toward a vague group of people that may or may not actually be interested in your product. Though you may have to use some resources to create these personas, the return on investment will be higher since it’s allowing you to take the guesswork out of your marketing.
How do I Get Started?
Now that you understand what the different types of personas are that you can possibly create, it’s time to actually start creating them.
If you have already done research on your audience and know their general attributes, you can begin to segment them based on what you know. For example, if you have 60% of your audience in New York and 30% in Los Angeles, you can create two segments with one persona representing your New York customer and one representing LA.
If you haven’t already done this research, luckily there are plenty of ways you can figure it out. Most website platforms have analytics built into them, which won’t only show you location and age-based demographics but also their activity and behavior on your site. The same is true for social media analytics.
Another step you can take is downloading your sales data and analyzing your audience that way. Since this data comes from people who have already spent money at your business, it’s essential to understand who they are and why they did so. One thing to pay attention to is spending thresholds — what constitutes a high purchase on your website? What’s a low purchase? You can create personas for each of these thresholds, since their needs will likely vary depending on how much they’re willing to spend. Knowing this information may also allow you to properly target different groups with offers or discounts tailored to them. Looking at what days of the week and times people are most active on your site is another important insight into your customer base, as it can clue you into when they have downtime in their day or when they are most in need of your product. You can also see how many products someone buys at one time, or if they’re a repeat shopper or a one-time customer. Segmenting your audience this way is important because each group will have very different reasons for shopping and therefore can’t be lumped together.
Next, you can lead score the main activities users take on your website. This basically means giving different actions a certain amount of points depending on how important you think it is for your business. For example, you may give less points to reading your blog than you would to adding an item to a shopping cart.
Once you decide on the activities and how you want to score them, you can break down members of your audience by how many points they have. This way, you can segment high-scoring and low-scoring customers, which can help you in developing your marketing personas.
While data can be helpful, it doesn’t tell you everything. Don’t be afraid to actually reach out to your customers and ask them yourself! Interviewing your customers doesn’t have to be a one-on-one — you can send a simple digital form through Google Forms or MailChimp to inquire more about them and their reason for shopping with you.
You might want to ask them questions about:
- Where they live. Their country and state matters, but so does knowing if they live in a city, suburb, or rural area.
- Where they work. How big is their company? Is there business related to yours?
- What they do for their job. Are they buying products from you for personal reasons or for their business? What is their income? How much expendable income do they have to shop?
- What they purchased from your website. Was it a repeat purchase? Was it on the low or high spending threshold you identified earlier?
- What made them want to purchase from you. Are there competitors they were considering purchasing from? Knowing what made you stand out to them can give you important insight for reaching future customers.
- How they found out about you. Was it through social media? Word of mouth? You want to see how your marketing efforts are actually working in real time.
- What other places they shop at. This can show if they shop with you and a competitor, but it can also give you insight to their other interests.
- Their pain points. These are their biggest frustrations and problems. You want to make sure your business is addressing these points and offering solutions to their needs.
Though it’s a cheap and easy way to gather some information, be aware that it may not be truly representative of all of your customers, since people are self-selecting whether they want to participate or not. Still, the feedback will give you more insights into your customer base. You can identify similarities between them to create the most representative marketing persona.
Now that you have all of this important information, you need a way to organize it. You can use Excel or Google Sheets to create tables with this data — some website platforms even allow you to export its analytics directly to those programs. Then, you can use a tool like Tableau to convert your Excel data into readable charts and graphs that can help you quickly identify trends.
Once you have a grasp on your different segments, it’s time to draft your personas so you can refer back to them. You can jot this down in a Google Doc or put together a presentation if you’re sharing this with a team.
You can give each persona a fake name and address the following information for each persona:
- Bio. Think about this like their “about me” section. It’s a summary of what you know about them, such as their job title, industry, location, hobbies, etc.
- Use case. This tells how and why they actually use your product.
- Pain points. This should summarize what you learned through your interview about their biggest challenges and how your brand addresses them. It can also be helpful to include how they were solving these pain points before being introduced to your company.
- Benefits. This is what your business is uniquely able to provide to them.
- Buying triggers. These are the factors that make them want to buy your product.
- Buying process. This explains what it looks like for them to buy your product, from the moment they think about doing it to the moment they enter their credit card information on your website.
And voila! Now you have fleshed-out marketing personas to use when creating copy, developing new products, deciding where to advertise, and so much more. If you need some help getting started, reach out to us here at Creative Juice to create your ideal persona and save you time and money in marketing. 🍑