If there is one thing I despise in marketing, it's assumptions.
It's a constant temptation for marketers to rely primarily on their gut or past experiences, and unfortunately many fall prey to this kind of thinking. This often leads to less-than-effective campaigns and a misunderstanding of who your customers are and what needs they have. This is why it is critical to understand your audience as we've been talking about in our recent posts.
Once you've conducted your audience discovery exercises, collected survey results, or completed whatever other discovery method you may have chosen, it is time to compile the insights you found into a buyer persona. A buyer persona is simply a representation and description of a group of your customers for your internal teams to use when marketing to that group. A great persona will answer these 6 questions:
- Who is our customer? (name, gender, job, age, location, etc)
- How do they interact with us? (phone calls, blog, newspapers, search, face-to-face, etc)
- What is their common problem? (website not functioning, conversions are too low, content is sub-par, etc)
- How can our business help them? (SEO, PPC, web design, strategy, content, etc)
- What obstacles exist to them choosing our business? (funds, micro-managing, fear, distrust, etc)
- How can you reach the customer? (blog, local events, conferences, email marketing, etc)
If you can confidently answer these questions then you're on the right track towards better understanding your customers and how to market to them. If you know these answers you can begin to think about what kinds of content will serve them best, what your messaging needs to be and what kinds of offers will best resonate with your potential customers.