When you are identifying your target audience to complement your sales strategy, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer to get a better understanding of who they are, how they think, and what their concerns/anxieties are. This will help you identify people who will buy your product and double down on those specific ad campaigns. But more importantly, you’ll save money that you would spend on people who would never buy your products. Gaining this understanding will allow you to use this in ads and develop a customer persona.
In this blog, we’ll help you understand what exactly a customer persona is, how you can define a customer persona for your business and how to use attributes of that persona in your ad campaigns.
A customer persona is a semi-fictional archetype of your ideal customer. What a customer persona contains are traits, characteristics, behavioral patterns, and more that outline your ideal customer.
For example, if I were to be aware of the fact that my ideal customer typically consists of 40+ males, who are busy because of their work and yet feel under-appreciated there, my targeting and messaging would be much different when compared to a self-employed female in her early thirties who manages a team of 30. As a result, customer personas allow you to become more aware of the factors that influence decision-making in a way that allows you to act on them. Customer personas enable you to be empathetic towards your customers which in turn drives effective marketing. In effect, they become a lens through which you can filter out poor marketing.
💡 Teal Tip: Defining key traits based on past sales data allows you to create more effective copies to communicate with prospects.
Creating and developing customer personas is a continuous process of educating yourself about your customers’ needs, wants, fears, frustrations, and desires. For this to happen, you need to get a grassroots-level understanding of who your customers are, what problems they’re solving by using your products, and the kind of products they’re moving away from. This understanding can drive your product development, user experience, marketing, and every customer-centric activity you engage in. It becomes the foundation with which you grow your business.
One of the key components of effective marketing is empathy. By being more empathetic towards your customers’ problems, frustrations, triggers, pain points, motivations, fears, and pretty much everything else that makes them, you can make your offering more appealing.
💡 Teal Tip: One of the key components of effective marketing is empathy. By being more empathetic towards your customers’ problems, frustrations, triggers, pain points, motivations, fears, and pretty much everything else that makes them, you can make your offering more appealing.
Answer the following questions using real-world experience (forums, interviews, surveys, etc.) to create a mini-version of your customer persona:
Who is my ideal customer? Their age, gender, income, occupation?
What are the top 3 goals (verbalized or non-verbalized) in their life right now?
What are the top 3 frustrations (verbalized or non-verbalized) in their life right now?
What are their top 3 fears (verbalized or non-verbalized) in their life right now?
What really important actions/decisions they might be procrastinating on?
For a male skin-care company like Hims, while constructing their customer persona, they find out the following answers
Note: This is an example of a Macro-Persona where we evaluated the needs, goals, and frustrations of a customer on a general life level and how a simple skincare routine affects his overall life.
We can also define area-specific personas that determine the possible attributes of a customer in a specific area of their life.
💡 Teal Tip: We can also define area-specific personas that determine the possible attributes of a customer in a specific area of their life.
Example 2: realtor.com
Let’s define a new customer persona for realtor.com. In this case, we will answer the same questions described above except that they are now focused on a specific area: the customer’s living environment.
Another example would be Learning Resources which sells toddler education products. They might think of an important area of their customer’s life which is their children’s holistic development.
It can get overwhelming to find the right way how you will get the answers for figuring out the right customer persona for your brand. Here are a few ways through which you can think about customer personas for your brand.
When you have a clear idea of who your competitors are, you can review their public information to help benefit your product-market fit and build better relationships with customers.
If your competitors sell on marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, etc then going through specific products and looking at their reviews is a great place to start. Here you would be looking for recurring themes (both positive and negative). Using these insights, you can either create better product offerings or improve your customer experience. For example, let’s say a common theme is people complaining that their products have been damaged in transit; you can show them how you pack your products to ensure that they don’t get damaged.
You can also follow the same process for reviews that exist on their website against specific products. Most websites purge negative reviews but you can always look at the positive reviews and see how you stack up against them. Maybe your competitors offer 2-day shipping and this is what a lot of customers mention in their reviews. Since this is an important part for them, it may make sense for you to evaluate how to provide two-day reviews or better, if you aren't already.
You can also look at their social media comments to identify pain points or positive ones through the same process. Something to look for maybe - customers complaining that they don't know how to reach customer service or make a warranty claim. You can preemptively market how accessible your customer service is or how easy it is to make a claim.
Social media or social community platforms like Reddit, Discord, Telegram, etc have become increasingly important. Several companies have started building more localized engagement with people to receive feedback, troubleshoot common issues, and more. While some of these are managed by the business, several are community-managed. Here, you can either explore their feeds’ content or be direct and ask about the product. It’s a great way to get useful and valid information from people who are exactly your target demographic.
For example, let’s say you’re selling exercise bikes. Maybe your competitor offers no integration with your smartphone to report data. If this is a relevant point for people, you would know immediately and could figure out a way to incorporate it into your product.
The best way for you to get information is always going to be by reaching out to your customers. There’s nothing customers love more than receiving calls from business owners or customer support executives who want genuine feedback on their products. Some interesting ways to do this are:
These are great ways to send out questions to a bunch of users who are in your email list to answer. You can ask them questions that help you get a better understanding of your products, how they use them, who they are, where they’re from, what their interests are, and more! You could even be as specific as asking people what kind of music they like so that you can find a way to work that into your copy. A good way to incentivize people to fill it up is by offering a discount/benefit to people who’ve responded. That way it's a win-win situation for both of you.
As you look at your customer reviews, you should look at your own across marketplaces, your website, emails, SMSs, call logs, and more. Any place where you have customer information should be reviewed.
This entails answering questions with respect to the customer personas. These questions might include questions about:
What is their age?
Where do they live?
What is their occupation?
What does their family look like
What are their primary outcomes with respect to their living environment?
What are the top 3 fears in their life right now?
What are the top 3 frustrations in their life right now?
We have created a structure, a customer persona template, for you to create the customer personas for your business wherein you can simply input answers to questions similar to the ones listed above.
Once you have defined your customer persona, you know them intimately. You are aware of their income levels, age, gender, and current reality. You are also aware of their fears, their frustrations, and what they really want (although they may not even be aware of it).
This can help you define your targeting tailored to online marketing channels because this will help you predict their online behavior.
Based on what we have defined using our customer persona, we can also identify what keywords our ideal customer might be searching for.
Returning to our realtor example, she might be searching for some quiet neighborhoods. She might also be searching for some realtors, if she is actively in the market, searching for a solution.
💡 Teal Tip: You can use the Keyword Planner tool in Google Ads Manager and get to know which among the corresponding keywords has the best volumes and the corresponding CPC bids. Correspondingly, you can test and pick up the keywords which give the best KPIs.
Social media allows you to define the general attributes of your audience such as age, gender, relationship status, income levels, etc.
💡 Teal Tip: You may also want to make the general attributes of your audience more granular. If you have any specific locations in your mind where your customers are primarily present, you can add that to the targeting.
One of the key features of social is targeting based on Interest Groups. You can research Interest Groups presented on social media which might be relevant to your buyer persona. Based on the understanding of their reality, fears, frustrations, and desires, you can also construct what are some of the things they would obviously be interested in.
As an example, let’s take the customer persona of the realtor. Since she is a business owner, she might be interested in -Business-magazines or Business-news (We can research the corresponding interest groups). Since she is contemplating buying a new house, she might lie in all kinds of Interest Groups around Home or Modern Homes, etc. She might also be interested in some ancillary interests like Interior Design etc.
Once you have made the list of possible interest groups in which our ideal prospects might lie in; you can test whether they are yielding KPIs as per our requirements.
This way, we can identify our winning audiences which will ultimately help us stabilize and scale our business.
Besides this, you can also use our audience expander tool to apply attributes you’ve identified for specific customer persona to Facebook audiences. The same interest groups can be replicated on other Social platforms.
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