Whether you are starting a new marketing campaign, improving an existing one or trying to figure out what has gone wrong with an old campaign, one place to start is your target audience. In spite of all that we know about communicating and creating great content, one area that often needs improvement is the fine-tuning of our target audience. And the best way to do that is to create a persona for every important target audience member.
Personas are semi-fictional representations of the goals and behaviors of your target audience. The trick to creating a really great persona, however, is to have a thorough understanding of your target audience.
1. Facts You Have Gathered
Using any information you have gathered during your own marketing and sales process, put together pertinent facts about your target. Keep in mind things like:
2. Names Are Important
It may seem silly, but ensuring your persona has a name that is in alignment with the age and demographic of your target audience is important. The name also ensures that the persona becomes “alive,” making it more tangible and real.
Age, socioeconomic background, where they live, where they work, what kind of car do they drive…all of these questions must be answered and in detail. Don’t just say he drives a sedan or she drives a sports car. Make it real. He drives a Mercedes S-Class or she drives a Lamborghini Diablo. Write down the amount of money they make, disposable income, married, single, kids, no kids and even pets. Make sure to include the number and type (dog, cat, poodle, lab…whatever you think this person would have).
Describe the persona’s lifestyle, again in great detail. Do they have hobbies? What are their interests? Do they work out? Attend church? Religious preference? Political leanings? Psychographics explain why someone behaves a certain way. It’s the reason someone might choose your product over the competition.
5. Purchase Triggers
This information is easily obtained from customer service departments or sales teams.
While this is a little outside the norm for a persona, having this information will ensure you create better content and a better experience for your potential customers.
Personas are not new, and yet we do not use them frequently enough. Without this level of detail it is difficult to really understand your target. Furthermore, you are unable to make any appropriate tweaks or changes to content and future campaigns if you do not have a baseline persona that guides your actions.
Finally, putting this much detail into a target audience profile makes that person come alive for you and your team. This will only improve any marketing and content efforts going forward and keep your target audience in the center of your decision-making process.
Have you created a persona before? How did it help your marketing efforts?