Buyer personas are one of the most common things to build in a modern marketing infrastructure, but they are also one of the most difficult and frustrating things to plan for. Despite their difficultly they present in implementation, companies who are able to implement them reap the benefits that come with being able to better target their customer database. This creates campaigns that customers better related to and, in turn, are better performing for the business as a whole.
Who is the Persona?
When we get asked, what personas we create, or recommend, the answer is not always as clear cut as it seems. Our response to such a question is to take at the business itself and determine what types of personas would make the most sense. For your business, this may mean different sales channels, or it could mean top of funnel marketing categories, or maybe even product/solution lines. And it is absolutely possible that as your business grows that you may venture into multiple persona categories. The fact that this varies so much only complicates the issue which is why it is important to align the answer with your current, or planned, marketing initiatives.
Once you have made that initial determination as to the first personas you want to build, it is important to identify the key data points that tell the story of who fits this persona to a “T”. Much in the same way you work to build your lead scoring system in marketing, the persona works in the same way, but it helps you to identify what type of prospect you are talking to. This could affect the language or tone that you use, or maybe the features and specifications of your product or solution that you focus on.
Overcoming Initial Challenges
Once you have identified the key fields that you have data on, it’s time to identify the completion percentage of those fields. It is important to understand this as anyone who does not have these key indicators you have identified will not be able to match your personas.
Then comes the tricky part. What do you do with the key indicators in your marketing database that lack the necessary data? There are many tactics that you can explore to help solve the missing data ranging from external data sources to progressive profiling campaigns. The type of data you need and how engaged your audience is will help you in determining which option would be best for your business.
Implementation and Beyond
Once everything is mapped out, it is important to monitor your initial results prior to creating the custom content so that you are able to identify if prospects are falling into your persona map as you would expect. Many times, it is often overlooked and rushed, but by allowing a minimal amount of time you pass, you can be certain that the right persona will be receiving the right message and it will also provide a time cushion to develop content that can start to speak to those prospects.
Want to get started on building out personas for your business? Reach out to us today for your free digital strategy assessment and let our team of experts help you strategize and build results-driven personas for your business.