Why You Should Begin Your Online Marketing Strategy with Personas
Doing Market Research and Understanding Your Target Market is Crucial to Growing Your Business
Buyer Personas are research-based example profiles of a target customer. They look at who is currently buying your product and some important factors to help you market to them. It’s often overlooked when it comes to working on a digital marketing strategy, yet it’s a crucial step to know how to design your site and where to position your marketing strategy. These personas represent a larger array of a “target market” that you want to somehow reach with your strategy. Understanding each of these personas and your target market can save you money, time, and make your marketing strategy more effective. A study by Cintell found that 71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas. But how do you even start? By looking at who's already buying.
Brainstorm 3-5 of Your Current and Ideal Customers
Why 3-5 personas? There are a few reasons:
First, as you grow your business, there’s always going to be new opportunities, so having multiple markets you target on a regular basis can give you an in with each of your target markets when the opportunities arise. Your main target market may change as your products and services change, therefore leaving opportunity to market to each of these groups is crucial to your business.
Secondly: Even if you feel like you have one strong target market, there are at least 3-5 groups that could somehow benefit or use your product or services and it’s crucial to know and understand them in case of changes in your main market. What if a new change in technology took away a huge market share of your main target market? By having an established secondary target market, you already have an understanding of your other markets and can save time and money in a time of crisis by understanding their needs.
And finally, each target market or set of personas can teach you something different. Purchasing habits from one persona can give you insight into the goals of another, and it’s worth it to take note of similarities and differences between each of your target markets, as you may see some correlation.
From there, it's important to take a consistent set of areas you analyze for all three personas. These are just a few of the areas we cover in our persona development process:
Giving a background story to your persona is helpful in understanding the rest of their story and actions. Their story and background can guide their decisions--are they trustworthy right off the bat or do you need to build a lot of trust with them? Are they someone who has a lot of experience in your field and therefore knowledgeable, or do you need to educate them? By knowing where they are coming from, you can better predict their future choices.
It’s helpful to know where your target market is at when it comes to their demographics. Are they living in a city that’s exposed to a lot of marketing? What is their income and are they able to afford your product? When doing both product development and marketing, demographics are helpful in guiding your choices--whether it’s where to market, what price to sell at, how to package the product, and more widespread marketing decisions.
This is a crucial step that is often overlooked when learning about potential clients. It’s so easy to build and market a product for yourself, but it’s important to understand what the goals of your client are. When we work with eCommerce clients, it’s really important to know the end-consumers goals when we design the site. For example, if we are working with a clothing company that’s value proposition is offering Fair-Trade products, is their main goal to find a product and purchase immediately, or is it to learn about the fabric and more about the company before purchasing? By knowing the goals, we are able to streamline our marketing to help the consumer convert quicker and easier.
When you know the purchasing habits of your clients, you’re able to spend your money more wisely when marketing to them. If you know that your clients tend to be seasonal shoppers on your eCommerce store, you can increase the AdSpend on your digital marketing initiatives. Knowing purchase habits can also show you space for improvements, opportunities, and untouched market share.
These are just a few of the areas that we cover when creating personas. We like to create and research a more extensive list, with special consideration of the type of business and personas. For example, is it relevant to include social media behavior or abandoned cart behavior?
From there, we take the time to walk through key takeaways for each of the personas as well as actionable steps to move forward. These key takeaways can guide our design process, with everything from product pages to site navigation to homepage layout. They also give us insight into ongoing digital marketing tactics. Say your first target persona uses Instagram every day and their age group is the highest converters from Instagram shopping. This gives us a key piece of information in that we should probably be marketing on Instagram, making linking and shopping clear and obvious.
Overall, whether you’re beginning a new social media campaign or deciding to redesign your site, you should take into consideration the process of your buyer personas. The benefits allow you to move forward with data-driven strategies and be prepared in the best or worst of circumstances. You can do them internally, or have an agency like us, walk you through the process and do the heavy lifting research for you.
Have a question about persona development for your digital marketing strategy?
From persona development to implementing the strategy that follows, let us know if you've got questions. Feel free to fill out our contact form or give us a call at 206.384.4909!