▷ Building a persona: The 4 most important steps

Do you want to generate qualified traffic for your website? Laying the right foundations for sustainable inbound marketing is important to you? Start defining your persona and you’re halfway there. Quality web content is the backbone of inbound marketing. And it’s the strategic point of contact with your target customers…

However, we agree that delivering a relevant and persuasive speech is impossible if you don’t know who you’re addressing. And today we are concentrating on shaping the profile of our target group.

You got it, we build the persona.

However, keep in mind that there are multiple types of Persona and just as many methods to create them.

What is a Buyer Persona / Marketing Persona?

Based on the principle that we need to know our audience in order to tailor our communication plan, personas facilitate this process.

The persona is simply a company’s ideal current or potential customer featured by its marketers. He is a fictional character created by gathering information through field studies.

The persona is the marketing goal of your company.

It is important, even essential, to create a persona with the utmost precision, because this is the only way for your company to know its target group well: individuals or companies in the B2B case. All this with the aim of controlling the conversion levers of your segments.

1. Marketing Personas

The marketing persona is the typical customer of your company. It is defined by demographic data (gender, age, location, etc.), media preferences used, buying motives, etc.

Its usefulness is to measure the viability of a product and to define the most attractive promotional messages of such a profile. Conversely, this classification is not used to design a product or service or to define its functionalities.

2. User Personality

In contrast to hypothesis-based persona marketing, the user persona relies on real people by collecting specific data. The information stored is the needs and goals of consumers, also called “pain points”, in order to best meet them by customizing the product or service.

Note that “design personas” or “UX personas” are two other common names for user personas.

The recipients of these two profiles in the company are obviously not the same. Sellers use persona marketing to tailor their promotional messages. Designers, on the other hand, are more likely to rely on the user persona to envision all the functionalities of the product or service.

Why is it imperative to define your persona?

The answer to this question is simple! Addressing one person at a time and getting to know the other person well improves the receptivity of your message, in this case advertising. Therefore, correctly identifying the goals is crucial for the success of your marketing strategy and the creation of attractive content.

A study by Hubspot revealed a very revealing result. Email campaigns that use personas have twice the open rate and five times the click-through rate of campaigns that don’t use personas.

Knowing who you’re talking to also affects the difference in customer profile. The information collected from professional clients when we operate in the B2B sector, or from individuals in the case of B2C.

The most common difference is that in B2B, multiple decision makers are involved in decision making in the same sales cycle.

How do I define my persona?

Professionals divide the persona definition process into 4 main steps that must be followed:

1- List of key questions

Here are the types of questions to ask yourself:

  • Who is your product and/or service intended for?
  • Who are your current customers?
  • What profile do the customers you want to win have?
  • Who are the unaffected customers of your product or service? This is the concept of anti-persona. It allows you to focus better.
  • What is the profile of the customers that your competitors are targeting? This answer will make it easier for you to differentiate yourself in your positioning.

This list, you guessed it, is far from complete.

Having an exhaustive list of the most relevant questions is a real brainstorming task to be carried out by the marketing team involving all employees. Each will comment on the information useful to them to best identify the ideal client’s profile.

2. Collection of data from the target

After getting as complete a list of questions as possible, you need to look for answers. At this stage, marketers are responsible for recovering as much data as possible from the target customers.

There are different methods to combine:

  • Use existing data: Several analyzes are automatically available on your digital communication media. Whether it is Google Analytics, Facebook audience, etc. You have a large amount of easily exploitable socio-demographic and geographic data such as gender, age, location, etc.
  • Survey your current customers! What is their purchase motivation? According to which criteria do they select products/services? And what are their problems, pain points, etc.? … It is the cave of your ALI BABA!
  • Gather information about your prospects: If you’re new to a highly competitive industry, it’s advisable, if not essential, to make direct contact with your targets. As ? Through on-site market research. Otherwise, consider conducting online questionnaires, organizing focus groups, or gathering your useful information to download an e-book, white paper, or other lead magnet.

While collecting data from your target, you must remain vigilant to keep only the data useful for your study.

On the contrary, it is counterproductive:

  • Recover as much data as you can and you’ll drown in over-information;
  • Stick to profiles that don’t match your ideal customer.

3. Discuss with your employees

In isolation, marketers have little insight into the reality of the marketplace. Additionally, creating a persona is not a responsibility reserved for the marketing department. The entire company is mobilized to generate qualified leads, and in particular the employees who have direct customer contact.

To illustrate, I would say that the marketer analyzes data to understand the behavior of potential customers. The sellers know exactly what the problems, questions and needs of your prospects are.

The role of the technical service is also of great importance as it controls the way in which your products are used.

Also, in order to get the profile of your ideal client in consultation between all the stakeholders just mentioned, organize a working meeting (or meetings) where they come together. It makes sense to plan the latter after the end of the data collection phase.

4. Creation of the persona

You’ve got all your data, now you need to group them! That’s segmentation.

The final stage of this work is the simplest. All you have to do is gather all the information you gathered and create your persona(s).

As a bonus, don’t hesitate to name yourself and give it a photo. This will help you tremendously in visualization. However, this step remains optional.

Finally, reserve a space in your file to write a message specific to your persona. It is necessary that your text is personalized and contextualized to appeal to the emotions of your potential customers.

To wrap up this article, I have one piece of good advice for you: be careful not to be biased when describing your persona. You risk an overly generic profile that only partially represents your target customers. Rather, be open and observant of the market to ensure you are successful in building your persona.

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