At this point in the guide, you’ve learned about the importance of connecting with your customers through digital marketing. Creating customer personas for your target audience is one of the ways you can do this. In this reading, you’ll learn more about the process of creating a customer persona.
Related: Performance Marketing 101
Introduction to customer personas
Customer personas represent a group of similar people in a desirable audience. They are fictional users whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a larger group of users.
Customer personas can help you focus on creating marketing materials for the people who are most likely to buy your products or services.
Most businesses have more than one type of customer, so they typically create multiple customer personas to accurately capture their target audience. Each customer persona represents an individual from one of the organization’s target groups. A target group is a set of people who have similar interests, goals, or concerns.
In a later activity, you’ll practice creating two customer personas.
What’s included in a customer persona?
Although some templates for customer personas can be longer and more complex, the template you’ll use in this guide is a simple one.
It includes three basic components:
Who: Provide a short description of the fictional person that includes their name, age, location, household, and education. You’ll also include a photo. These details make it easier to imagine someone who represents an actual customer.
Goals: Describe what the person wants to achieve. This might include several related goals that apply to the customer’s life and your products or services.
Barrier: Identify a pain point that prevents the person from achieving their goals.
Although it’s not required for the personas you’ll create in this guide, it may be helpful to include more information. For example, you could include a detailed description of the individual’s personality, hobbies, values, and lifestyle. Including more information can help you understand the customer better.
Researching your customers
Creating an accurate customer persona begins with research. You’ll need data about your customers, including demographics like age, location, household, education, and occupation. You’ll also need data that describes your customers’ goals and barriers (or pain points).
Companies gather this type of data using analytics tools, customer interviews, surveys, focus groups, and other research methods.
Here are some examples of questions you might ask to gather customer data:
- What is your age?
- What is your education level?
- Where do you live?
- Whom do you live with?
- What is your occupation?
- What are your primary activities on a typical workday? What about at the weekend?
- What challenges do you face?
- What do you value most?
- What are your goals?
The questions you ask should also be tailored specifically to address your company’s products or services.
After you gather and compile all the data, you’ll need to organize it by finding trends and grouping similar answers together. Then, based on the data collected, you can create fictional personas that represent each target group in your target audience.
Customer persona examples
The following examples represent customer personas for a company that sells camping tents, which is one of the examples used in a video. Based on the company’s research, they found that a majority of their customers were parents or guardians in their mid-30s to mid-50s with two or three children.
They also researched the goals and barriers for their customers and found that customers fit into several different groups based on their answers. They used the information from this research to create a customer persona that represents each group.
Here is one of the customer personas that the camping tents company created:
Who: Antonio Weber is a 35-year-old dad with three young kids. He is an electrician with an associate’s degree and lives in the suburbs.
Goals: To share a love for the outdoors with his three young kids
To purchase a large, budget-friendly tent that will last for several years
Barrier: Concern about being able to set up the tent alone, since the kids are too young to help with this task.
Why do customer personas make a difference?
It’s important to remember that customer personas are based on the research and information you have about your actual customers. Accurate customer personas based on research help you better connect with your target audience.
Creating customer personas will help you approach your work from the customer’s point of view. Your marketing messages, your brand voice, and your email and social media campaigns can all benefit from knowing the customer at a deeper level.
Creating customer personas can help you better understand and empathize with your target audience. The process begins with researching and identifying who your customers are. Then you group similar customers and create a customer persona to represent each group.
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