Here’s the thing, the internet is a VERY busy place nowadays. Look at the infographic above from visualcapitalist.com(full link will be below), there are literally millions of things happening every 60 seconds on the internet. If you don’t know how to stand out, attract new customers, or accurately target customers, you will get left behind. At this point, it’s simply the truth and there isn’t really a way around it. I believe that your products, services or skills already have the ability to stand out, marketing personas will help you better target, attract, and keep customers. They may very well be the thing that can save you from fading away into all the rest of the noise on the web.
- What are they? Think of marketing personas as roles for your marketers to take on in the play of life. Marketing personas are basically tools to help your marketers understand the customers they are trying to attract and serve. Humans are typically very bad at simply knowing what other people want and need, mostly for the very simple reason that there is just simply a ton of different people in the world with different likes and dislikes. The more you can pinpoint general customers in your target market, the more you can track them and apply your products and marketing to them. If you’re doing everything right on your side this will make you more money and give you happy, repeat customers! Which is very much a win-win in today’s busy internet climate.
- How do I make one? Making a marketing persona is a mix of incredibly easy, broad stroke assumptions backed by data and demographics, mixed with at times painstakingly minute details. A more basic summation is, find all of the data you can about your average customer groups and then make a profile for them as if you were on an in-depth online dating service. Let me explain, I promise it’ll make more sense in a second. After going through all the data on your site try and find some consistent groups that you end up marketing to or groups that end up on your page that you aren’t marketing to(don’t worry you will be shortly!). For example, if you’re running an arts and crafts blog, you’ll most likely have a notable percentage of your base will be women from the age of 30-45. Now comes the fun and slightly more difficult part, you have to design an entire person that doesn’t exist, based on either dozens or thousands of real people based on how big your reach is. Give the persona a name, a background, a career, figure out their demographics, figure out what drives them. Go as in-depth as you can, the more precise you are in this step the more precise you can be in targeting them for marketing, which will generate more clicks and more money.
- How many do I need? Simply put, the more the better, within reason of course. If you can find a group of people that you’d be able to make a market for (or having an existing market for already), make one. Again, depending on your reach this could be one, five, or a dozen. After you make the first few you’ll begin getting the hang of it and can really begin nailing down the details and things that drive these personas. Elegant themes has an excellent paragraph on this to help you tailor the number of personas that best fits your business (link will be below).
- What to do now that you’ve made one (or more than one). Once you’ve made your personas you can now use them to begin helping you market to these groups! As we said in #2, the more precise you were in creating the profiles, the more precise your marketing can be. Use the things that drive them, their careers, and their hobbies and interests to figure out what you can sell them and where you should be marketing those products and services!
- Why they’re the future. Like it or not, the future of all services involving the internet is on a path that will lead to more and more accurate targeting, eventually it’ll be unnoticeable to the average person. Targeting will eventually be able to go past zip codes and neighborhoods and will be able to track individual people. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if within a decade or two you will receive targeted ads based on the place you stopped for lunch a couple weeks ago because of some minute detail you were unaware ever occurred. Yet somehow companies will know that this minute detail makes you statistically slightly more likely to want a pizza for lunch instead of a burger. Regardless, what it comes down to is the future is coming closer and closer, and targeted ads and marketing is going to be one of the main weapons in everybody’s arsenal. If you didn’t start dipping your toes in the water this last decade, I hope you’re ready to jump in now because quite a few companies are already swimming laps. Marketing Personas help you find and retain customers while keeping those very same customer’s values at the center of your marketing. If you decide this isn’t really for you, have fun on the back pages of a search engine.