These days, customers expect brands to deliver continuous personal experiences that connect their mobile web interactions with the brick-and-mortar ones and improve both. This process requires a detailed audit of the channels you’re already using, an assessment of new channels you could be using, and a realistic evaluation of how much effort it will take to create or repurpose content across those channels.
But most importantly, you need to learn to connect touchpoints based on how customers want to interact and to do this, you need to really understand who your customers are and what drives them to you. The ‘Buyer Persona’ methodology is the perfect way to align your marketing and customer communication in a more targeted manner with your ideal customers. It is a generalized representation of your ideal customers that can be used for your communication strategy to help you design the content according to the wishes and needs of your target group.
Less is more
As things change rapidly in the digital marketing industry, you’ll need to constantly re-evaluate your understanding of your customer and constantly immerse yourself in what your customer needs. Only then you’ll always be prepared when new channels or opportunities arise.
Although most companies have already heard about the Buyer Persona method and use it, the representation profiles often just become a list of the existing customer base rather than a concentration of customers that really bring excess value.
Be aware that having too many Buyer Personas can dilute your customer approach and jeopardize talking to the right customers and keep in mind that it is not a question of reducing the Buyer Personas, but merely developing them in such a way that they actually provide marketing with a useful template for customer interaction and content, rather than creating content chaos by their sheer number.
Ideal customers only
In general, consider the definition of Buyer Personas, which states that it is not about representatives of all your customers, but your ideal customers, which means those who make the most revenue, remain loyal, communicate interactively in social networks and elsewhere, etc. So, if you already have a customer value analysis or criteria for ideal customers respectively, then you should consider utilizing them in the development of the buyer personas.
For instance, imagine creating a profile on a dating portal and ask yourself if you really want to appeal to all the available singles or rather prefer only those who really suit you? The same is true with Buyer Personas. They act as a stand-in to develop your content in a way that it corresponds to specific customers (groups) explicitly, which should be at the very best the customers who bring in profits, share your values and/or recommend your products.
Furthermore, don’t be tempted by target group specific superficial characteristics such as age, gender or place of residence, as Buyer Personas are determined primarily by their motivation: Why is the person interested in your product? Why would he/she want to buy it and what information does the potential customer need to become a buyer? Therefore, the motivation and needs of a customer should be fixed at the core of Buyer Personas and be one of the central distinguishing characteristics, while ensuring that the number of your Personas stays limited.
By the way, for B2B customers not only the motivation, but also the department, hierarchy or decision-making level counts, since usually more than one contact person is involved in a B2B purchase cycle (as opposed to most B2C purchase cycles). Here, you should consider what information is really important for the respective contact person, be it the CEO, IT or department manager.
Make your life easier with useful Buyer Persona development tools, such as for instance those from Hubspot or DemandGen, to support your effort.
By Daniela La Marca