Content Marketing

Why You Must Have Defined Marketing Personas

In the continuing process of treating Caddis as a client, we recently completed a persona exercise in an effort to better understand exactly who our target customers are. Many times, companies can take this information for granted by simply assuming that everyone is on the same page. Typically, they’re not. That's why I want to show you five very practical reasons why you should be defining and using marketing personas with your in-house marketing team or with your agency’s clients.

Personas Tell You Who Your Customers Are

We typically have a pretty good idea of who our customers are, but if that customer isn't defined, everyone's definition of that customer might be slightly different. When this happens, it can be difficult to agree on what tactics are appropriate, what messaging works and how to even measure success, and, in worst case scenarios, each team member is doing something independent from the rest of group, resulting in less-than-cohesive strategies. Defining audience personas help us know who our audience is, what problems they have, and even what kinds of solutions they need. When a team understands this together, they can begin making progress on creating a marketing campaign.

Personas Give Your Research Direction

Marketing personas can give your research better direction. When you know what problems people have you can begin to better research who those people are, what the source of the problems is, what the possible solutions are, and what channels will best communicate the solution. If we don't have a defined audience, we often run the risk of researching a group of people that is too broad and make too many assumptions in our research.

Personas Tell You What Content to Create

When you don't understand who your audience is or what their behaviors are online, it can be difficult to confidently know what types of content will resonate with them. Many marketers can fall into the trap of thinking every new marketing channel or content medium will be helpful for them. Remember when everyone just needed "more social media?" We're not an industry that's immune from following ###em/em###. Undoubtedly, some of these channels and tactics will work, but they will only work well if we know how and when to use them to reach our specific audiences.

Personas Keep Your Messaging Focused

When we know who we're talking to and what they need we provide them with a very targeted solution, but when we don't think about who they are we often find ourselves blogging about whatever comes to mind, trying out new CTA's that never seem to work and spending money on marketing channels and tools that just aren't providing us with any ROI. Knowing how to speak to our audience and what messaging resonates with them will keep them interested and hopefully move them towards becoming customers.

Tell You How to Measure

Finally, audience personas can tell us how to measure success. When we think about the problem we're trying to solve for our customers and how we'll know we're solving that problem, we are better defining success metrics. For example, if you've released a whitepaper that targets a specific user group, you can tailor your opt-in form so it tells you exactly who is downloading that information. Then, if the data you're collecting is in line with your audience, you know that your messaging is at least making an impact. Looking at success as solving your audience’s problems will essentially dictate the types of reporting that will provide real insights into a campaign.
In short, marketing personas help us define our audiences, understand their problems, learn what topics interest them and find out what solutions they need. Once you know these things about your customer, you can begin to look at your strategies in new ways and hopefully see some of the reasons above come into play with your own campaigns.
If you have questions about how we use marketing personas or how marketing personas can help your brand shoot us a tweet or get ahold of us here in the office.