Marketing Personas: Are You Doing it Right?
Defining who your audience is the basis of a good marketing strategy. How can you send a personalized communication to your target audience, well identify their needs and interests, and figure out the best way to reach them, if you don’t know who they are? Creating personas can help you in this matter.
What is a persona?
Personas are fictional representations of your target segments. You assign to these fictional persons specific attributes that represent them. A company can have as many personas as it has target groups.
How to create a persona?
Research – Persona creation usually starts with a massive research of information about the audience. You must try to collect as much information as possible from all primary and secondary data sources, such as forms, surveys, discussion groups, market analyses, and more.
Analysis – Then, the information is consolidated into groups that have common characteristics. Personas are usually defined using gender, age, income, marital status, scholarship, occupation, place of residence, etc. Depending on your industry sector, you may add many other attributes. Then, try to define the specific problem of each persona, what information they needs, how they seek information, when they want it and their role in the decision making process.
Models – To make your personas more real, you can give them a name, add a picture, and create a complete profile of all their shared characteristics. Making personas known across the company will encourage each department to adapt their actions and speeches to your targets. Priorize your personas; some are more important to your success than others. And, to quickly generate benefits, be sure to focus your marketing efforts on your main personas, those that are most profitable to you.
Optimization – Customers’ interests and habits change quickly. You should therefore review your personas every 3 to 6 months, and validate your criteria regularly to ensure that they still apply. In addition, after a specific campaign, it is interesting to immediately review your personas, to validate if you got the expected reaction.
5 tricks to improve your personas
- Don’t wait to know everything about your audience to define your personas. You need to know just enough to be able to create and send proper content.
- Do not target only the “ideal average” audience; also focus on individual aspects that could be used, for a higher level of personalization and revenue potential.
- Make a list of what you would like to know about your personas and how you could get the information through your marketing actions, rather than stick to what you already have.
- See your marketing as an opportunity to gather information, not just results. Analyze how your audience reacts (or not) to your content to learn more about their needs and preferences.
- Design your editorial line according to your personas and keep it flexible so it can be adapted to a particular context.