Creating Customer Personas
It’s an old marketing adage that you must know your customers if you are going to succeed. Without this knowledge, you won’t know:
• What products and services to offer
• What prices to charge
• Where to advertise
• How to write persuasive sales copy and
• You’ll be flying blind for a lot more marketing decisions you will have to make.
If you are an offline marketer, finding out who your customers are (or can be) may involve study of the census data, doing surveys and questionnaires, checking out what existing merchants in your niche are doing, etc.
Online, the problem becomes a little harder, but similar techniques are needed. But you also have more flexibility in choosing the customers you want to serve. It’s not just the people in your neighborhood who can become your customer. It’s anyone in the world with an interest in what you are selling.
Online, you want to determine who you want to attract to your website. Who is the ideal customer that you want to satisfy, so that you can make sale after sale. They like you and believe you know what makes them happy.
So, as an online marketer, you need to document for yourself and any people you have working with you a “customer persona”, a description of the typical customer that will find your business irresistible. You can include a lot of descriptive attributes that may have limited value individually, but together they can fuel your imagination so you make better marketing decisions. Some marketers even find and tear out a picture from a magazine that represents their ideal customer.
The heart of your persona should be the problems thy face and the goals they have, problems that you want to address with products and goals you can help them achieve.
You may want to create multiple personas if you have multiple sub-categories of site visitors. mothers-to-be and new mothers of infants, for example. Your audience share similar concerns, so they can be served from a single website, but there are also differences that need to be recognize, so you can address the differing concerns they have.
We found an interesting article on creating personas that goes into the topic in more detail, by Kevan Lee. Early in the article, Lee quotes the Krux website’s evaluation of the importance of marketing personas, “With personas, businesses can be more strategic in catering to each audience, internalize the customer that they are trying to attract, and relate to them as human beings.”
You can read Lee’s whole article here: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Creating Marketing Personas.
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