Understanding Customer Personas: How to Create Detailed Customer Personas for Targeted Marketing

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Customer personas are an important part of building an effective marketing strategy. They are a detailed description of a specific segment of your target market, summarized into a single person. Essentially, you are creating a fictional character, based on extensive research, who represents who your target customers are, what they need, and how your company can serve them. 

These personas should represent those who can become long-term customers through analysis of your existing or desired audience. This helps everyone within an organization understand who your target audience is, and their desires and behaviours, and prioritizes the needs of customers.

Of course, not all personas will look the same. Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) personas look different, and the types of analysis done to build them is different. This is further expanded upon below.

Benefits 

Customer personas go beyond just marketing. They can help inform product development, sales pitches and customer relationship management. When customers feel like marketing is personalized to them, and products or services fit their unique needs, they are more likely to become long-term customers, who champion your brand to other potential customers. 

This will then help you expand your customer-base, using marketing and contact methods they prefer, improving conversion rates and helping you stand out from competitors.

Building a Persona 

Generally speaking, personas need to be specific and detailed, often down to the personal level. Thorough audience research needs to be done to understand buyer demographic, interests, behavioural traits, goals, buying patterns, and pain-points. Depending on the products or services offered, more than one persona may need to be created to reflect how different consumers may buy products or services for different reasons. But, for all companies, the first step is research.

The focus of research should be to determine what motivates your customers, what problems they’re trying to solve, the barriers they face from reaching success and how your product or service can make a customer’s life easier or better. Then, you’ll gather your research and start looking for common characteristics or overlaps. These overlaps will help inform how you build your customer personas.

For B2B customer analysis, the first step is performing a quantitative analysis to understand which industries are buying from you, the size of the companies, which role or position is usually buying from you, and any relevant revenue information. Next, to understand your current customer-base, conduct surveys with those who already use your products. This can be done over the phone, or in person, but conducting interviews and asking about their experiences with your products is a very good way to build personas. 

Surveying all of your customers is significantly more difficult for those in the B2C space, especially those with a large customer-base. If you can’t conduct focus groups or interviews, analyze things like Google Analytics to understand how traffic is coming to your site, as well as the demographics of those interacting with your brand. Of course, your customers may prefer specific social media services such as Instagram or Tik Tok, so it’s important to be active on those sites by interacting with consumers there. It is also important to track how customers are talking about your brand on social media and identify what they love, and what needs to be improved.

Once you’ve gathered all your data, you can start building your persona.

General Template 

This is information that should be included in your customer persona regardless of whether you are using B2B or B2C marketing.

Demographic DataAge Gender identity Geography Photo (optional)Fictional bio
Psychographic DataGoals Challenges Personality type Motivations
Pain PointsSpecific issues your customers face that your products or services can help them overcome

B2B Specific Data

Professional DetailsJob title and role level Tools/products used and budget Who is buying the product (example: manager)Who is using the product (example: employee)Buying process

B2C Specific Data

Personal Tastes, Interests and Other Personal DetailsInterests Passions Hobbies Content they read and watchTrends or subcultures they may be apart of Family and friendsPreferred social media Job title and industryEstimated income bracket

Lauren Schwartz | Contributing Writer

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