Customer Personas: What They Are & How They Can Help You

If you haven’t been living under a rock in the marketing world, you may have heard the term “Customer Persona” thrown around.

However, many people struggle to understand what a Customer Persona is.

But, if you’ve clicked on this guide, you may be searching for understanding & we’re here to give it to you!

As a marketer, it’s easy to get lost in your analytics tracking and lose focus on what your target audience needs in your products. Customer Personas are a great way to keep you on track of your customer’s wants and needs rather than what you think they will need.

What Are Customer Personas?

A Customer Persona is a representation of your target audience based on data you’ve surveyed on your audience, they may not match all of the customers you may have. They will be a profile based on a majority of your target audience.

Giving the Customer Persona a name, details, behavioural traits and interests will give you an understanding of their goals, needs from your product/service and most importantly pain points.

You need to include context-specific details with the Customer Persona, based on your industry as this will give you a better depth of understanding of the goals they have.

It’s good to treat the Customer Persona like it’s an actual person so you can understand the decisions they will make and how they think. Relating to your customers and giving solutions to their pain points builds brand loyalty and helps you understand how you can make your customer’s experience with you better.

Why Are They So Important?

Customer Personas are key to keeping you focused on your customer’s priorities instead of your own.

They also can help you make informed decisions based on your product/service, such as making design changes to a website to suit what would present better to the customer’s needs.

When creating a new Ad campaign, you can use Customer Personas to create empathy towards the campaign and pique the interest of your consumer. If your campaign doesn’t align with your customer’s needs and pain points, you will have to redesign or reconsider the Ad campaign.

Customers when deciding on a product/service tend to come back to the business that they are familiar with and trust. Showing understanding and trust is the best way to build trust amongst your potential customers, once that connection has been built the customer will be more open to exploring your product/service.

What Role does a Customer Persona Play in Creating and Maintaining your Brand?

Customer Personas guide you on what you and your business should be doing to align your brand with your potential customers and your business’s image.

Without Customer Personas, you will struggle to develop content that lands with customers and gets engagement, the uncertainty of which marketing ad campaigns will be successful and most importantly the trust of your target audience.

If you don’t have a brand message or a message you don’t feel is successful with your customers, Customer Personas are a great way to give you an understanding of how a real customer will interact with your brand or business and how they will need your product.

Once you have taken a look through your target audience and customers (using analytics and surveys etc) you can start targeting your brand and company message to match your target audience’s needs.

If the customer views your brand and develops a connection to your messaging they are more likely to follow your business and will eventually open up to purchasing your product or using your service!

What Should Be In A Customer Persona?

When you’re creating a Customer Persona it’s handy to first start with a name and a picture – these can be stock images if you like – having a picture can help you identify with the Customer Persona and treat it like a real customer instead of a bunch of surveyed data. 

Next you need to include other basic information about your Customer Persona that will add depth, for instance:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Spending patterns
  • Interests
  • Goals
  • Challenges they face (also known as pain points) 
  • Career
  • If it’s for a B2B persona, the size of the company, and who makes purchasing decisions
  • Social media they use
  • What devices do they have?

Remember that these Customer Personas reflect the data you have collected and need to be context-specific to your product/service so you will have to add extra categories based on your industry needs.

Create a few different Customer Personas to get a perspective of the different types of customers you will have.

How To Use Customer Personas

Having these Customer Personas are key to helping you and your business understand your customers, whether you present them with your shareholders or you are a one-man band you can look to these representations of your data to give you an out-of-the-box perspective on the customer’s needs.

Whether you are making a design choice or even launching a new Ad campaign to get more engagement, you can refer back to the Customer Personas that you have created to make informed decisions to appeal to your customers.

Saving you time and possibly money on those unsuccessful ad decisions or focusing on the wrong channels that your customer’s aren’t using.

Creating Customer Personas will also help you develop a customer journey map, giving you a better understanding of user behaviours throughout their journey with your company. You could use the RACE (Reach. Act. Convert. Engage) model to further detail your customer mapping by creating a pipeline of how your customers interact with you.

Making A Target Persona

While Customer Personas are great for understanding your overall customers, who doesn’t love to know how their ideal customer behaves? A Target Persona is a true representation of what your marketing efforts and lead generation strategies are focused on.

Creating the outline for the Target Personas is very similar to how Customer Personas are made however the data that is imputed to give the persona life is much more focused and more accurate to your target market. Think of the Target Persona as the type of customer that would be perfect for your business, the type of customer that you’re looking to attract with your marketing efforts

While you can create a larger amount of Customer Personas, you will only need to make one or two Target Personas as this would dilute your marketing focus. When you focus your brand message and marketing efforts correctly using your Target Persona, the message to the customer will feel like you are speaking directly to them and building trust in your company.

Examples Of Customer Personas

The great thing about Customer Personas is that can be as detailed as you want them to be. The Customer Persona that you will create can be anything from a list of bullet points all the way to a multi-paragraph narrative. There’s no right or wrong answer to how much detail you should go into, as long as you and your team can understand and empathise with the Customer Persona you should add as much as you are comfortable with.  

Here’s an Example from SmartBug, Their Customer Persona Advocacy Andy.

SmartBug created this Persona for a free social action app for smartphones after identifying the types of people that would be using their app and looking at their analytics. After identifying Andy’s goals and background they were able to develop a deeper understanding of how their service can be beneficial to the customer.

Customer Persona Example

A more detailed example from Sport England and their Persona, Brenda.

Sport England has created this Target Persona to appeal to their older working women audience, they are able to understand the pain points and this audience’s behaviour and build that empathy with that audience using this.

With this Persona, they can focus their marketing efforts that will entice the audience and create a service that would be beneficial to “Brenda”, Such as more opportunities for exercise classes or cheaper alternatives to the pricey adventure playground.

Customer Persona Example

How You Can Use Your Customer Personas In Your Marketing

Make sure to share these Customer Personas with your team so that you all have an understanding of your audience, this way you can start to develop your marketing ideas based on your audience’s needs rather than focusing on your product.

Once you and your team are more familiar with your audiences, your ideas for marketing campaigns, designs and user experience will be more appealing to your target market.

Looking at the data that you have collected from your Customer Personas you can devise what channels your audiences are using. For instance, you may find that 90% of your audience uses Instagram daily (a channel that you might not be putting any content into) and less than 10% of your audience uses Twitter (a channel that you might be putting all of your focus into.)

You could be looking to improve the user experience on your website, but you and your team can’t decide how large or small the call to action button on your website should be?

Refer back to your Customer Persona and you could find that “advocacy Andy” uses his phone the majority of the time to browse the web… This leads you and your team to conclude to make the “BUY NOW” button slightly smaller to not take up as much space on a mobile screen and less in-your-face.

Now that you have the knowledge you need to start making your own Customer Persona, make sure to get started!

If you would like any help with your customer personas, alongside your marketing plan, make sure to get in touch with the team today!

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