Building customer personas and buyer personas are one of the best ways to engage your target audience. Creating persona profiles will help determine your niche to sell your products or services, and who you will be targeting your marketing efforts to.
Bear in mind that substantial studies and a quantity of scholarly literature have been developed on the topic of how to develop and use customer personas, but you don’t need a doctorate in data science to understand what persona profiles are and why we use them.
Developing Persona Profiles and Buyer Personas
A persona profile is a representation of an ideal customer — or in some cases the exact opposite, a classic non-customer — based on factual data. Think of persona profiling as the development of a detailed model of an individual that goes way beyond basic demographic and geographic characteristics.
A buyer persona may contain many characteristics of the ideal customer for a given business, right down to the kind of lifestyle that person pursues, how, when, and where they shop, where they go for information, what’s bothering them, and more.
Let’s try an example. “Weekend Wanda” is a management professional in her early 40’s and works extremely hard all week, as does her husband, and spends most of her weekends entertaining friends and family at home. They invest in the continuing upkeep of their suburban home, both inside and out, as do all the neighbors.
Their property tax burden is unbelievable and spare time doesn’t occur nearly as often as they would like. Both Wanda and her husband enjoy the idea of working outside on their property, but the reality is they don’t have that kind of time. They tend to follow news and current events on their smart phones and haven’t had a landline phone or a conventional television hookup in years.
The above example seems extremely personal, and in one sense it is, but keep in mind that a persona is not a person.
It’s a statistical model based on the actual characteristics of a given customer base. The persona includes some basic demographic data — age, race, location, household income, home value, education, occupation, etc. — but also strives to explore the behavior and mindset of this ideal customer. And here is the key: all of this is based on gathered facts, not casual speculation.
Certainly, small business owners could be creating customer personas by hand, drawing up an armchair version of a persona profile using a basic template and their understanding of what their customer profiles look like. But even if and when it works, that approach is still subjective speculation.
As the late W. Edwards Deming put it, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” Consider also that an accurate buyer persona is likely not a one-size. That is, a business’ target audience is probably composed of multiple persona profiles, each valid in its own right.
How to Develop Customer Personas
In general, we develop personas based on customer profiles in order to better engage our target audience by developing more appealing content that optimizes the customer experience with our brand. We can go where they go to relate to them on a more personal level, appealing to the things that matter most to them.
Consider the difference between a billboard advertisement and a personal conversation. Crafting our messaging strategy based on customer personas moves us away from the billboard ad approach and close to the personal conversation.
Now imagine having developed several relevant persona profiles based on actual customers in a target market or several of them. How could you utilize these to get more bang for your marketing bucks? You wouldn’t just be having one conversation, trying to accommodate all the different — and we mean different — personas.
You would engage each target audience with its own relevant messaging and in the process, you would generate more quality leads which in turn should yield a higher conversion rate (more sales).
Customer Persona Profiling at Spring-Green
At Spring-Green our industry-leading marketing and technology utilizes real-world customer data and decades of proven experience to develop and apply persona profiles on a daily basis as part of our evolving marketing strategy. As part of our marketing programs, list selection determines the best households to target so your marketing funds are invested wisely. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com if you would like to learn more about diversifying your green industry business with Spring-Green.