Hints & Tips Blog
Three steps to having a persona-led marketing strategy, and why it matters.
Every business is a business run by humans, selling or interacting with other humans, which is why it’s important to have a person-based approach at the heart of your marketing strategy.
Creating content, knowing what channels to use, and having clearly defined processes are all components of an effective marketing plan, however, if they are not directed at the right people, in a way which they will find engaging then the rest will be wasted effort.
When I’m asked to look at marketing strategies this step is often the one that has been missed or is sadly out of step with where the business is now.
Understanding who your target customer is should be one of your business foundation steps.
How do you define your target customer?
Too often I hear ‘well we appeal to a really wide group of people and we don’t want to narrow down who might buy our product or service’. This is a slippery slope as writing content to appeal to a wide church of people often ends up so bland it doesn’t resonate with anyone in a compelling way and therefore does not convert.
So the simplest way to get started is to set out to define your customer personas.
What is a marketing persona?
Hubspot says that a buyer persona is ‘a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers’. Digitalmarketinginstitute defines it as ‘a personality that embodies a key segment of your audience’.
Once you have created your personas, they will help you to ensure that all your promotional activity is geared to your target audience.
Many businesses I’ve been invited into have been looking inwards – deciding what they want to talk about and leading with a focus on what they do – rather than thinking about their potential customers and tailoring communications around these.
Creating a sense of trust means genuinely caring about your customers’ and clients’ issues – and showing that you understand and can help with them. Listing solutions and products you can provide won’t deliver this.
- How do I define a marketing persona?
Start by analysing your existing customer base. Use your marketing data and CRM systems to collect data on your active customer base. These are a good starting point;
- Job title
- Business Sector
Then start identifying groups within the data, I’d recommend starting with 3-5 minimum. You can also add to the insights by conducting some basic research to find out their current pain points, market opportunities, and mindset around topical business issues.
- To make them valuable, your personas should be detailed and precise.
In many businesses I’ve seen teams give their personas names – this will make them more relatable for your teams when you shape the content and develop products.The more detailed your persona description the more likely that you will attract your ideal audience. Demographics, psychographics, pain points, influences and information points, professional status and purchasing habits are all useful data sets.Yes, to do this well can take time, however, it always pays dividends; According to Semrush, a persona-led marketing strategy will increase your marketing ROI by 171%.
- Track your marketing output by persona
So now you’ve shaped your personas, how do you ensure that your marketing is talking to these new audience groups? Having taken the time to shape your personas you need to ensure that your marketing is providing them with content that is empathetic and genuinely helpful or interesting. I’d recommend that you consider tracking content by persona and the results; open rates, click-throughs and conversions. A regular review will help you optimise the most effective content topics and continuously update your persona profiles.
Enjoy shaping your personas – it will be one of the most valuable activities you undertake.
Our team at BHP Consulting all run successful businesses, we understand that businesses are unique and our approach involves sharing this experience to improve your business. For an initial telephone conversation or face-to-face meeting, click here