Do you know who is buying your product or service?
One question I am asked is how do I target my content to create buyers? Well, firstly you have to know who your customer is and what interests them?
How do we do this? We can and should be asking our customers why they chose us over our competitors. This is a relevant question and one you may or may not get an answer to. Another way is to create a fIctional customer or Buyer Persona. Not an easy thing to do but something that is worth the effort. Here are a few but by no means all the benefits of having a Customer Persona:
- Focus on qualified prospects,
- Guide our product or service development from features and benefits to pricing
- Make sure the team is focused on what the customers want not what they think they want.
- Improve customer service by making the faceless customer on the phone more real to the team
- Attract higher value customers
- Drive not just content creation but our sales follow up and customer service process.
- Improve customer retention, acquisition, and referral leads
The best Customer Personas are based around what you know about your current customers and how much more you can find out from them as well as the interaction you have with prospects who do not buy from you.
What is a Customer Persona?
- It is a picture of what your ideal client looks like.
- We can use this to identify key buying traits
- Helps us understand what motivates our customers and how we can give them more of what they want
What do I need to Know
Let me preface this by saying I am writing this from a B2 B Perspective but most of this is transferrable to a B2C environment
The best Customer Personas are based around what you know about your current customers and how much more you can find out from them as well as the interaction you have with prospects who do not buy from you. Here are a few action steps you can take
- Google Analytics: This will give you an overview of what people are looking at on your site and what interests them.
- Your Database: You may see trends emerging as to the type of people that buy from you and those that do not. It could be by age, gender, job title, industry.
- Sales team Feedback: What type of person are they having success with and what types are not closing
- Talk to your customers. What do they like/dislike about your business?
- Keyword research. Allows us to see what they are searching for
- Social Media platforms have built-in analytics that can offer us valuable information
- Direct Mail feedback on where people are clicking and who is opening the emails.
There is some basic information that you can use to start the process of distilling down to your ideal customer.
- Job Title
- Identify Customer goals
- Professional Goals. By understanding what the goal is you can understand how your product will suit them. I have always had a challenge to working with Tradies. Once I figured out there were two basic types (remember people can change as well) The first was happy on the tools, with their partner helping out with the books. To be honest, not much we could do for these guys and we spent hours banging our heads against this particular wall. Then we understood there was another group, these were more entrepreneurial and wanted to build an empire of vans across the country or even the city. Now, these were guys we could help as they needed a regular supply of inquiries.
- Personal Goals: This generally relates to the career goals of the decision-maker and their influencers. Once we understand how we can help them achieve these then we can get them to help us get the right decision.
- Identify Pain Points:
- What are the biggest challenges they have? One of the most common ones we hear is having a regular supply of leads
- Roadblocks in their environment. One we solved was the fact that ht sales team did not have the latest technical information when on the road. A simple fix was to develop an intranet site that allowed the techs access to the lasted information and only required updating at one source.
- Staff Morale: It was amazing to see the increase in company pride when a new website was released. Especially as there was a lot of staff involved in the design.
Solving the Problem
Now that you understand your customers’ pain points and goals, it’s time to create a really clear picture of how your products and service can help. As part of this step, you’ll need to stop thinking about your brand in terms of features and dig deep to analyze the benefits you offer to customers.
It can be hard for marketers to get out of the feature mindset—which is one reason buyer personas are so important. They help you flip your thinking and consider your products and services from a buyer’s point of view.
A feature is what your product is or does. A benefit is how your product or service makes your customer’s life easier or better.
Ask yourself three key questions for each of the pain points and goals you’ve collected:
- How can we help? Capture that in one clear sentence and add it to your persona template.
- What are your audience’s main purchasing barriers? And how can you help overcome them?
- Where are your followers in their buying journey?
- Are they researching or ready to buy?
- Looking for reviews?
Again, talking to your team who deal directly with customers can be a great way to learn.
Developing the Persona
You may have more than one persona I know we do. Perhaps that is because our products help across so many different industries. Remember not all people in this customer group match the characteristics of your persona exactly. But this persona represents this customer group to you and allows you to think about them in a human way and relate to them as people.
Here is one we have developed
Name: Alec the Tradie (We almost called him Bob the Builder)
Job Title: Owns a trade business
Age 30 to 50
Family 2 children
Interests Rugby Fishing and Family
- Provide for his family both financially and to have more time to take them fishing and to watch the All Blacks (this is a $500 day out)
- Get off the tools as he can see this is having an effect on his health
- Build a business to achieve the above
- Time Poor
- Recruitment of staff
- Financing of growth
How can our digital marketing services give him what he wants which is time with his family and the money to take them out?
Answers: Drop me an email and I will tell you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Implementing the Persona
This is not that difficult most of the hard work has been done.
We have a Customer Sheet Yes this is a PIece of paper
- A photo representing the Person
- All the Information above
- When we are targeting that type of business we refer to the sheet and use it as the basis of our discussions.
- By the way, the sheet has a space for other comments which the team fills in as they see fit. We review the sheets after each campaign and we can update the persona based on new information. So just like a real person, Alec is developing as we learn more