The Real Need for Customer Personas

  • SumoMe
  • Did you know that building personas based on your best customers can help you solve more of their problems?
  • What is a persona?
  • How do you build one or two or three of them?
  • Why do you need these?

I realized the answer to the last question is simple. If you don’t put these together, you won’t be providing your customers what they need and with what helps them the very most. You won’t know who they really are and what they are truly looking for – what drives them.

I’ve been asking myself questions like the ones listed above a lot lately as I have been hearing more and more about personas, even though they have been used for many years. So I did what I generally do when I need more information and searched Google. I ran into the quote below which I thought was well worth repeating.

With personas, businesses can be more strategic in catering to each audience, internalize the customer that they are trying to attract, and relate to them as human beings. ~The Team at Krux

Isn’t that how we all want to be related to?

There are some topics that can be used in a persona listed below.  I discovered in searching that there are many different templates available to help you set one up. Personas can contain as much information that is needed to be helpful to you and your clients.  Hubspot has a template, and they are generally a good place to start.  You can Google persona templates and several images will also appear that can provide you with ideas too. Boomerang Social Buyer Persona

Below are just a few of the statistics from a survey conducted by Tony Zambito in regards to using and building personas. I’m ashamed to say I fit into the last one.

  • 71% said they were either somewhat familiar or familiar with buyer persona development with only 15% saying very familiar
  • 57% did their first-ever buyer persona development initiative within the last two years
  • Nearly 80% of the respondents indicated they were confused about what buyer personas were, what were the differences between profiling and buyer personas, what were the essential elements of buyer persona development, and the role of qualitative research methods
  • Nearly 60% indicated they were frustrated their buyer personas were based on typical product management and sales intelligence and did not result in the expected deeper understanding
  • 60% stated they had no to very little understanding of what the best practices are for buyer persona development

If you are still confused about personas versus profiles think of it in this simplified way. A profile is generally the basic information you maintain and how you categorize customers in your database like name, address, phone, email, location, last touch point, purchase history, age group, area group, etc. A persona has much more in-depth information about your clients like how many children they have, what level of education do they have, what are their goals, what can help them attain their goals, what drives them, etc. Personas go behind the categories and look at the individual.

Customer profiles don’t delve into the real passion and needs of your customers like personas do. They also don’t use analytics to see where your customers are coming from. You can create surveys and ask questions on social media to help you create a persona, but you probably wouldn’t just to fill in a profile.

You need to gather all the detailed information that represents your ideal client or customer; a person with a name and photograph, with real values, goals and motivations. It needs to take you part way inside your customer’s mind so you understand why they do what they do. You generally have to meet with them to obtain some of the information required and help the identify ways in which you can help them meet their goals.

Personas also make it clear to you what type of content you need to be creating, no matter what the platform – written, video, podcasts and webinars, along with where to be sharing that content so it is found by the right customers. It helps you learn how to best find and assist your customers.

Marketing to the masses with a single message no longer works. Consumers expect you to talk directly to them as individuals. Once you have your personas set, you are better able to realize how you can help improve your customer’s lives.

It is time you delve deeper into customer personas to better serve your clients. After all, isn’t that what businesses are meant to do.

(Here is the link to Tony’s survey if you would like to see all the stats)

– Colleen Gray – socialboomerang.com

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