Before we dive into any marketing strategy, it’s important to ask two critical questions: What is your S.M.A.R.T. Goals, and who is your audience? We know it’s tempting to say that you serve everyone, or that your ideal customer is simply anyone who pays. However, identifying your ideal customer is essential for successful marketing. It’s important to really know who your customer is and what they’re all about. Once you have a deep understanding of their characteristics, desires, and needs, you can create a marketing strategy that truly resonates with them. So, who is your ideal customer?
This blog post will help you truly understand your ideal customer so you are better able to create a marketing strategy that resonates with them.
In this blog we will discuss the following:
- Who is your audience?
- What is a user persona?
- Why are user personas important?
- How do you develop your own user persona?
- That’s It!
- Get your FREE User Persona Worksheet
Identifying Your Audience
Begin the process by identifying your target audience. A useful way to achieve this is by examining your past and current customers. Look for commonalities such as shared pain points, why they choose your company, etc. If you are unsure how to answer these questions, conducting market research would be a great starting point. You can choose from several research methods to collect insights on your audience. Check out our blog on Market Research to determine what is best suited to your needs and budgetary restrictions.
Creating a quick survey and sending it to current customers can help you gain a better understanding of their perception of your business. However, keep in mind that response rates may be low. Alternatively, you could talk to your sales team to learn about their experiences and observations.
Now that we have a better understanding of our customers, let’s move onto what a user persona is and how to begin developing the user-persona.
What is a User Persona?
A user persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers based on data and research. It is important to note that user personas should never be detailed to one specific person or based on an individual person. It should instead be a reflection of the majority of people that you’re trying to attract. (This is where the research comes in handy.) Therefore, you can have and most likely will have multiple user personas that represent different segments in your market as they have different needs and pain-points.
To create your user persona you need to learn who your audience is, what they are looking for and what their pain-points are. Oftentimes you may see all of these aspects summarized in a graphic that can easily be shared with your team. Having these personas will help you make sure that all of your marketing collateral is consistent and speaks to your audience.
Why are user personas important?
At a very basic level, user personas help you answer the question of “who is this for?” You might be saying, I already have a product so what’s the point? Well… user personas are beneficial and can also provide you with a better understanding of your customers pain points which means you can tailor messaging directly to them and how your company can alleviate these points.
On a big picture level, user personas can create a company wide understanding of who your users are which can help make better informed decisions. User personas make it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to meet the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of the members of your target audience.
User personas help you achieve consistency (and by now if you’ve read any of our other blogs you probably know how important we say consistency is). They bring everyone on the same page as to WHO your ideal client is and who you are trying to reach.
They also can help define workflow, as having this basis of knowledge can allow you to eliminate irrelevant factors and focus on the defined needs these users have. In all, user personas can help make everything more effective and efficient as you know who you are targeting.
User personas also have a way of leading to new ideas and inputs as they provide the basis of knowledge that can enhance decision making.
How do you develop a user persona?
It’s good practice to give a name, face and even a quote that summarizes what matters most to your user persona – however, similar to titles, this is often easier to be completed last after you have all of the pieces of information.
It’s easiest to start with a demographic profile for your user persona. This part of the user persona should be based on facts and research. Look at your audience and see what trends you find and who you would consider your ideal client. Determine the age, gender, ethnicity, education and family status of this user persona.
Then we move to their professional background, this includes asking questions like: what job title does your ideal user hold? How much do they earn? How established are they in their careers? This piece of the persona should also be based on data – look at your clients what trends do you see? Do you communicate with those who are the decision makers or do you reach a researcher who has to pass their information to someone else to make the purchase?
After that we shift into the more psychological aspects, the personal background includes things like their hobbies, likes and dislikes as well as their typical brand choices. What goals does your audience typically have? What pain points or hindrances do they face when attempting to achieve these goals? This is where talking to current clients can really help – what made them pick you? What problems did you or your product solve for them?
Depending on your industry the details you want to go into regarding observed behaviors may change; for example you may want to focus on spending habits or if they focus on online-shopping versus retail shopping if you are a B2C business that sells products.
If you are a B2B company this detail may not be as important and instead you’d rather focus on if they need to run the decision by anyone above their paygrade. It is important to not just make assumptions but to look at actual users to ensure what you describe in your user persona is accurate. You may or may not have seen a graphic like the one below that summarizes a company’s user persona – don’t worry if you haven’t seen this before or if you haven’t created one yet – we are here to help and have provided a worksheet at the end of this blog to guide you.
Utilize past data
Utilizing past data, industry data, and current clients you can create user personas that represent your audience. Remember you can repeat this exercise several times to represent different market segments or user segments you are reaching. We’ve created a worksheet with additional questions to help you create your user persona.
Here’s A Quick Summar:
Your user persona encompasses your ideal customer. It helps you make informed decisions about messaging, imagery, and more as you want to ensure you are helping convert your audience into customers. This user persona helps you identify your ideal customers demographics, goals, pain points and ideals.
So how does this impact your business? You want to ensure that you are attracting the right type of customers to your business, and this can be done largely through messaging. If your messaging speaks to your audience and shows them that they should act and why your product or service is the right fit for them, making them easier to convert into buyers/users. Therefore, knowing your audience inside-out and tailoring your messaging specifically to them can help you optimize your marketing budget and efforts. This means you can focus on the people who are most likely to become your customers, resulting in a better Return-on-Investment (ROI) for your marketing spend. It’s like hitting the bullseye with your marketing efforts, rather than blindly throwing darts at a board.
Download Your FREE User Persona Worksheet!
Simply fill in your information to receive your very own user persona worksheet. This worksheet will guide you with questions that help you develop user personas for your business.