Businesses that excel in meeting their customers’ needs have one thing in common. They know their customers deeply. They understand their core needs, preferences, areas of indifference, buying patterns, hang-ups, and the power that others have over them. Then, they use that information to design for them, market to them, sell to them, and build lasting relationships. It isn’t easy to build this knowledge with large, diverse markets. That’s why many create customer personas to make this enormous task much more manageable.
In this article, we’ll explore customer personas and connect you with tools to start building your own.
What are customer personas?
Customer personas are partially made-up characters. Each one represents a segment of your market and has the core qualities of people who fit within it.
To bring these characters to “life,” you’ll assign real attributes to them. You might give each character a name, age, gender, career, education level, and location, plus some skills and savviness. Just as importantly, you’ll assign preferences, motivators, deterrents, and pain points to each persona.
Many marketers assign persona traits by what they and others in their industry know to be true about subsets of your market. And, usually, these traits are quantified and tested against market research that can confirm or help you scale up or back your hunches.
How does this help my business?
The goal of customer personas is to determine what your audience thinks about their problems, needs, constraints, and goals and whether your solution appeals to them. This is especially important as more buyers work independently to browse your site, social media pages, and other resources to make their decisions.
If you can group similarly minded people through personas and understand patterns in their thinking, you can power up your marketing efforts in three ways:
- You'll find ways to design things that matter to them.
- You’ll reach and speak with them in ways that will resonate.
- You’ll deliver in ways that add value to their lives.
How do I get started with customer personas?
There are two ways to develop your customer personas. You can use pro-designed templates or work one-on-one with a persona expert.
If you choose the first route, start with this free resource from HubSpot. With it, you'll find persona template and a step-by-step guide to seeing the work through.
You can also try HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool to create avatars and complete the entire customer persona-building process.
UXPRESSIA is another great option that takes the process a step further. This service can help you build your customer personas and use that data to create customer journey and impact maps. This is key, and here's why. Applying what you learn is far more important than creating avatars that go unused in your marketing efforts.
Delve.ai is a cool resource that can help you fold market data into your personas. It generates customer personas based on web traffic to your website and your competitors’ to provide you with real, relevant insights.
Marketing is part trial-and-error and part an art form, which can make it a challenge for get-it-done business owners with minimal time to spare. We can help you find and focus on the key tasks. Log into your free owner’s portal for a step-by-step guide curated for your growing business.