How to Develop Your Customer Persona
Have you ever wondered how fiction writers develop realistic characters that captivate readers? Have you thought about how actors develop roles that resonate with their audiences? Successful authors and actors spend a significant amount of time developing the personas they portray in order to connect with their “markets”. Similar tactics can be used by your marketers to develop a customer persona.
B2B marketers are expected to be marksmen, targeting their messaging to appeal to each buyer’s unique attributes. To be successful connecting with your prospects requires the same dedicated focus on developing personas that award-winning fiction authors and actors commit. Developing a customer persona is an essential step towards more effective and efficient marketing practices. There may be several customer types that engage with your brand. The key to successful customer persona development is to create a profile that embodies the same complexity as your typical customer. Consider as many characteristics as possible and be as specific as possible about each one when you’re building your customer persona.
Remember this caveat: Data integrity is important to the persona development process. Without good data, the quality of your customer model is diminished.
Determine “Physical” Characteristics
The most obvious starting point to developing a customer persona is to define who your typical B2B customers are. Break out business and personal characteristics including title, seniority, family makeup, education, geographic location, and any other identifiers that make up your typical customers.
Define Customer Habits
The next step is to define what your typical customer does. Although it can be challenging to collect data on every behavior embedded in a customer’s buying cycle, behaviors that are recorded, such as digital searches or trade show registrations, can be identified, categorized, and organized to reveal the footprints that your customers make on their way to choosing your solution. Typically, the patterns that emerge provide distinct habits that can be used to develop your customer persona.
This is the challenging step – even giants like Google are still working on better ways to understand digital human behavior – determining why your customers make buying decisions. Many SMBs don’t have the resources to devote to psychographic analysis; however, to successfully attract suitable prospects you should understand their attitudes, opinions, and values. Look at what motivates, scares, and interests your customers. Shape your customer persona to reflect what makes them tick.
Despite evidence that shows marketing automation is effective at improving your marketing and sales practices, if you’re marketers are randomly targeting prospects marketing tech won’t be as effective. Before you set out to connect with your prospects, make sure they are the right ones to target – develop a customer persona.