Your marketing is essential to your business’ growth, but it needs to be focused. You can cast a wide net to get a few catches of the many fish in the marketing sea. That can be a functional strategy in some circumstances, but it is far more efficient and effective to aim your marketing towards certain target groups interested in your business’ products and services. To determine these targets, marketers create customer personas, which significantly improve the performance of all your ads. Targeted marketing is up to 5.3 times more effective for increasing click-through rates, nearly 40% of people prefer targeted ads, and targeted ads have shown to increase brand searches by 800%! Along with those conversions, these results will only increase your ROI even more, since you will spend less on target ads than on widescale, untargeted marketing. This guide will explain what customer personas are, how to create them, and how to use them in your marketing.
What are Customer Personas?
A customer persona is an imaginary person defined by certain demographics and characteristics of a key member of your current or desired target audience. Qualities that can define a customer persona are their interests, profession, finances, age, gender, language, locality, etc. These qualities need to be specific enough to define a subgroup of an audience, but also broad enough to reflect more than just one individual. Typically, a business will have multiple customer personas within its whole audience.
How to Define Your Customer Personas
To create and define your target personas, you will need to some research about your business’ current and/or desired audience. If you have been running your business for a few years, you should already have some familiarity with your business’ target(s). If you are already using Google and Meta for your advertising, these platforms collect valuable information about their users. They will provide you with a wide set of analytics about your business’ advertising and search to help generate target personas. There are numerous other research methods for determining target personas, including surveys, interviews, observing industry trends, and analyzing your competitors and their target audiences.
Don’t Forget About a Persona’s Role
An important aspect of these personas is their role. Certain individuals are more likely to make purchases based on certain roles in their personal lives. For example, Old Spice’s series of “Hello Ladies” advertisements that began in 2010 were a result of the deodorant company determining a major target audience of women customers who purchased deodorant for their male partners. While Old Spice’s primary audience consisted of men with the role of users, these women had the purchasing role that made them a critical target and essential to the company’s rebranding this past decade.
These roles can be more difficult to determine than the raw demographics provided to you by various marketing platforms and tools. They rely on observing and analyzing your customers’ behaviour. However, they can prove invaluable for understanding and strategizing around the purchasing power and decisions of a target customer.
How to Use Your Customer Personas
Customer personas will allow you to plan and specifically strategize any focused marketing campaign. Specific products or services of your business may not appeal to your entire audience, so knowing your business’ targets will allow you to properly focus on individual marketing campaigns. For example, PPC advertising platforms like Google Ads and Meta will allow you to set targets for each ad campaign. By defining your customer personas, you will be able to appropriately target each one of these ads.
You will similarly use these personas in your social media marketing, to strategize which posts will best attract engagement. An important strategizing factor is customer personas’ preferred platforms. Certain targets may be specific to one platform for your digital marketing such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Any marketing on these platforms should be targeted toward the interests of that specific customer persona.
The Importance of Refining and Redefining Your Customer Personas
Defining and targeting customer personas is not simply a one-and-done deal. You should regularly refine them as you receive more data and complete more research. This refinement will help you determine whom to exclude from your customer personas. For example, women might be a general target audience, but you may find that those under the age of 20 or those over the age of 60 are not typically your customers. This kind of information refines your business’ customer personas to be more accurate targets.
You will also need to redefine your target and customer personas as both your business and audience naturally change over time. To come back to the Old Spice example, the company is currently again retargeting its marketing as they have determined new younger customer personas. This continuous research is also important for developing and strategizing your business’ brand, products, and services. It’s not enough to merely know your audience, you need to keep understanding them.
Keep Your Eye on the Target
Creating and maintaining customer personas is essential to effective marketing and business strategizing. Knowing the subgroups of your audience will allow you to more directly communicate with them and grow your business’ reach among these individuals. It will also ensure your business isn’t pursuing audience dead ends. If you need help creating, finding, or redefining your target audience and customer personas, contact Rosewood’s digital marketing team. They’ll help you get and keep your eyes on the target.