Customer personas: you need to get to the details

Customer personasIf you’ve never heard of customer personas before, don’t panic. It’s basically a fancy way of saying ‘who do you want as your customer?’  I’ve talked about the importance of getting to know your customers before, but this time we need to get down to the nitty gritty.  You need to get as much detail as you can into your customer personas or they just won’t get you the results you want.

Let’s get started…

Why do I need customer personas anyway?

Customer personas help you to target the right people with your marketing.  You can sell to anyone, but you shouldn’t market to everyone (forgive me if you’ve heard that one before).  Getting targeted with your customer personas means that your message will connect with the people who are most likely to buy.

Your product or service might be perfect for a certain section of the population.  For example, if you’re a home tutor specialising in getting teenagers through their exams, you’ll need to impress their parents.  If you make beautiful baby clothes you’ll be marketing to new parents (or possibly grandparents.)  You get the idea.  However, if your buyer personas are really going to hit home you need to know a bit more than that.

Going beyond demographics

I’ve changed my customer personas more than once since I started my business.  At a very basic level, I work with business owners to help them create their marketing content.  However, there’s a lot more to it than that.  Businesses (and their owners) come in all shapes and sizes.  I’ve had to focus on who I can help and how.

You might offer a service that’s particularly suitable for retired people, but which ones?  There are different personalities, interests and levels of activity within that group. For every individual who struggles to get out of a chair there’s another who stomps for miles across the countryside.  When you’re creating your customer personas think about who you serve and what their situation is.

Where do they spend time online?

If you’re marketing online, you need to know where your audience spend their time so you can get your message in front of them. This is worth some thought as it may not be as obvious as you think.  There are masses of younger people deserting Facebook. I know 40 year olds who’ve given it up as they feel it’s taken over their life.  By contrast, there are thriving communities of women in their sixties who love Facebook and use it all the time.

Often, a customer’s social media use is guided by their interests.  You might take Facebook’s current, community building message with a pinch of salt. But I’ve met a whole network of other business owners online and I expect you have too.  Other interest groups operate in exactly the same way.

What else do they like?

Sometimes customer personas go beyond simple demographic or interest based groups.  There are always times when you need to look at personality.  The way you talk to someone can be just as important as knowing what they’re interested in.  I’ll write a blog for you to read, hoping you feel as if you’ve had a chat with a knowledgeable friend.  I can be a lot more scandalous in the pub but I save that for the people I know best!

If you follow any of the ‘Mummy bloggers’ you’ve probably got your own preferences.  I like the ones that get slagged off in the Daily Mail for being slummy and talking about drinking gin to get over the stress of parenthood. Other, yummier mummies might prefer something more sedate.  The thing is, you can tailor your customer personas to reflect other things in your customers’ lives, not just the service you offer.

When you’ve dug down into your customer personas, you’ll be ready to start creating a new message and a brilliant business blog.  Click on the image below to find out more about how you can make a start with my free email series.


Buffer’s guide to creating marketing personas

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