Use Customer Personas to Drive Marketing Efficiency
When customers enquire about working with us on a 90-day campaign, they often present us with an ambitious growth target and an eagerness to reach the widest possible audience. Unfortunately for 99% of the businesses that we encounter, casting a wide net is not a strategy that will work or yield an effective return on investment. How can you utilise customer personas to drive your business’s marketing efficiency?
When we begin to ask the right questions during our qualification phase with businesses, it is often evident that they have an idea of who their customers are. But most don’t understand the importance of documenting, drawing, and bringing that customer to life. And what the positive impact that developing a deep understanding of their customers can have on their top line.
Before we engage with a business on a 90-day sprint, we begin a process called the 30-day warm-up. A key element of this process is our discovery session where we work with all stakeholders to develop and document clear customer personas/avatars. Customer personas are essential to this discussion.
What are Customer Personas?
Customer personas are fictional characters that have all the characteristics of your ideal customer/s. These characteristics will usually include geographic location, age, income, interests, job roles, sex, pain points, needs and wants. The more vibrant a picture you can paint of these fictional characters, the more accurately you can develop your messaging and marketing to connect with the real-life equivalent.
Often our persona workshops will uncover granular details such as how they spend their downtime. What brands they love, what books they read, films they watch, holidays they take, and life goals they have. The more depth we can add to these characters at this stage, the more efficient we can be with time and marketing costs further down the line.
* It’s important to mention that these personas can be a combination of your current customers and future ideal customers, depending on your marketing goals.
To help paint a clearer picture for you, we have detailed below, one of our own customer personas.
A few steps to creating the perfect customer personas.
1.) Look at your current customers
The best place to start is with your customers. Primarily because you know them well. But also because you hold some rich data points on them such as how they like to be contacted. You know their communication style, how many people are in their team, who are the decision-makers and so on.
Surveys of existing and past customers can provide excellent insights. Our pre-campaign questionnaire provides great data on the effectiveness of our marketing and whether or not we are targeting the customers that can benefit from our service the most.
2.) Develop negative personas
Often it can be easier to establish the characteristics of customers that aren’t suited to you. Perhaps these are the customers who would take a while to push through your sales funnel and maybe wouldn’t covert. This could be for reasons such as price sensitivity, affordability, culture mismatch and so on. At this stage, it’s useful to look at the positive attributes such as what prospects will generate the most income for your business. And which ones can you deliver the most value to. A negative persona workshop can help narrow your focus.
3.) Add colour and dimension to your personas
We like to draw our characters, incorporating things like name, title, colours, accessories, and environment. This may seem unnecessary, but for the visual learners in our team, it can really deepen the persona development process and result in very accurate insights.
4.) Build your personas into your marketing
Once you have a strong customer persona, you will be able to tailor your marketing efforts. Able to aim at those customers that are most likely to yield the highest return on your effort and investment. This will filter across all of your marketing including paid media, content creation, and earned media. This will begin to inform your copy, channel selection and the type of content that you create. You will realise the journey that you need to take your ideal customer on from initial awareness right through to a buying decision and the time that it should take to do this.
We hope this insight helps you refine your targeting and ultimately provides an improved return on your marketing investment. It’s important to remember that personas are fluid and over time they will change. We suggest incorporating a quarterly persona review into your business. Make it a fun and interactive process that involves your whole team.
Persona development coincides with expedited growth across nearly every metric, from click-through rate to email open rate. They can turn generic marketing efforts into ultra-specific and highly profitable marketing campaigns that can accelerate your business growth. As previously mentioned, personal development workshops are a key part of our 90-day campaigns. If you are interested to find out more about our campaigns and whether you are a good fit to realise value from one, please get in touch here.