As a business owner or marketing lead, you’ll have to answer the question: who buys your product, and what do you know about them? Personas are the result of gathering data from real customers and creating a fictional, ideal profile. These profiles, in turn, let you and your team understand and relate to the customer and work smarter to attract and retain them. Here are five ways through which you can improve your persona creation.
Interview the right people
When selecting potential interviewees, aim for a balance of profiles. Current customers may offer positive or negative feedback, and having both types will give you more information about your product than if you focus on one or the other.
Aiming for prospects who have little or no previous information about your product or your company will alert you to new profiles that might fit your campaign. Using referrals and networking can land you interviews with people you may not normally be able to access or interact with. And make sure you ask the right questions to flesh out a useful persona.
Collect other sources of data
Much of your useful information will come from the interview responses. However, the internet and various social media channels offer an excellent opportunity to gather a lot of data with minimal effort. A simple survey on your website or sent to existing customers can easily generate a greater volume of responses in a short amount of time.
Bear in mind that the quality of information will be diluted, and you’ll need to take some time to filter the responses collected online. Survey tools that offer integration with your existing Salesforce platform or other cloud software solutions will bring in the data more efficiently for faster analysis.
Bring in some empathy
When you’ve gathered enough information to begin fleshing out the details of a persona, try to implement them in an engaging fashion. Add a photo from a stock photography site, or put the imaginary person into a situation and make a story out of it. By telling a story from the raw data, you can capture the essence of that persona better and convey it to the end-users – your marketing and sales teams, designers, and so on. This generates empathy and helps everyone involved to visualize that persona, which in turn informs their work.
Create negative personas
A negative persona provides your team with a useful perspective. This is representative of the type of person you don’t want as your customer. They may be users who only purchase once, on discount, and move on to another product or competitor. Or they might be only interested in your product to gather information.
Negative personas shed light on customers you don’t want to waste efforts on, due to the cost of acquisition being too high compared to the low consumer lifetime value. This helps you to filter out these profiles, leading to better overall acquisition costs and efficiency.
Keep on evolving
When you’re just starting, it’s fine to keep things small and work with a handful of personas. However, as you go along, remember that things change. People follow different trends, products may become more or less suited to the market, and your company may also begin pushing in a different direction. Continue to gather data and add more personas as needed to adapt your marketing efforts in response.
Personas are just one part of the modern marketing puzzle, but if used properly, they will provide your team with key insights that inform your decisions for ideal targeting.