You wouldn’t believe just how powerful it can be to create a detailed persona for your typical target customer. If you can define the attributes that make up the type of person or organisation that your typical customer(s) consists of, you can help yourself to understand what motivates them, what turns them off and hopefully, how you can win others like them as customers.
Often when organisations talk about customer analysis and building a persona it’s usually referred to as customer profiling. The aim of customer profiling is to try and understand some of the more common statistics that make up a common type of customer in order to help understand their needs and requirements. Depending on your product or service you can usually create several key customer profiles for the main groups that you believe your customers typically fall into. For example, these could include creating a profile of a customer such as one who:
- Is a male aged between 25 and 40
- Typically lives with a partner
- Earns more than £30,000 a year
- Lives in the East of England
Now these are quite broad characteristics and you wouldn’t be blamed for wondering how knowing this information is going to benefit you. In short, the more you know about your customers the better. Even in these 4 points you can actually create a clearer insight into who you’re marketing to and therefore will have extra information you can add to help capture their interest. So what methods can you use to capture more of this information?
- Capture it when a customer places an order
- Run competitions and add an extra “field”
- Conduct progressive profiling – this means each time you engage with your customer you find a way to ask for a new piece of data you didn’t have previously.
It might sound a little odd but it can actually be beneficial to give these customer personas different names and build their identities as though you were building a character in a computer game. Maybe you’d called the above male example Steven or the female equivalent Stephanie…quite honestly it doesn’t matter! The reasons you’d consider doing this are it helps you to think about your customers more when you’re putting your marketing plans together. By giving them some semblance of existence it can actually be easier to think about “how would I get Steven’s attention from this email” and so on.
Once you’ve done this exercise the first time, it can start to feel more natural and more intuitive the more you do it. Create a basic framework or model that you can use each time – possibly just a table or such in Microsoft Word is easy enough – and turn it into a tool that you can use as a living document that you will evolve and work on over time.
Whatever you choose to do remember that you can literally never have too much data on your existing and target customers. Every new piece of intelligence you gain is a new way to understand your market and a new insight into how best to market to them.