Customer Persona: Know your audience inside out.
There’s an old saying in marketing that goes “If you market to everyone, you market to no one”. The most successful companies know their niche. They understand what makes them tick. They can speak to them in a way that is relatable. They know how to make them excited about their product. If you try to target everyone, then your message becomes too vague to appeal to anyone. This is where buyer/customer persona come in very handy.
What is a Buyer/Customer Persona
A buyer persona is a document that outlines your average day-to-day customer. It is usually an observation of shared traits that the majority of your customers have. These can be as gender, age, hobbies, income and buying habits.
Why do I need a buyer persona?
Personas help you align your branding and products with your customers. You can refer to your customer persona whenever you make business decisions. Personas help keep up with your audiences wants and needs.
A persona can also help when working with outside agencies. Your Marketing Guy uses your personas to help us understand the audience you want to target. We will have these personas in mind when placing adverts, creating content, or suggesting changes to your website.
What does a persona include?
Your persona needs to include anything you know about your customers. You can use assumptions about your audience if you are starting out. Remember, the information needs to be relevant to the product you are selling.
You can include things like:
- Disposable income
- Other brands they regularly use or buy
- TV/film/music preferences
- Number of children
- Where they live
- A Day in the life
Naming your customer persona is important. Pick a name that suits the type of person that they are. It helps when having meetings to say “What would Jane do?” or “Would Jane understand that”
It also helps to have a stock photograph that sums up your persona. You can find free stock images of websites such as Unsplash, Pixabay or Pexel. Make sure the picture is a candid, realistic photo that is relatable. It can be difficult to percieve a over posed stock photo as a real-life customer.
Let’s imagine that you’re selling expensive toys for toddlers. An average customer might be a 36-year-old parent of young children. They have a university degree, works for a corporate company and has a high disposable income. They want to find a toy for their child that lets them exercise their imagination. They want high-quality toys that their children can’t break.
How to lay out a buyer persona
Buyer personas can vary from company to company. They can be as complicated or as basic as you need it to be. An average buyer persona usually looks like this:
The buyer persona for the high-end toy company we mentioned earlier might look like this:
How do I find this information?
We recommend looking at your analytics on your website. If you haven’t got enough data, you can make assumptions about your customer. You can always adjust your persona as you learn more about your customer base.
If you have a website, you can find the information in Google Analytics. Open the analytics page. On the left-hand side of the page, you will see an “Audience” tab.
If you’re a shop owner, spend some time getting to know your customers. Strike up a friendly conversation with them. Can you spot any similarities between customers? Are there a large number of your customers in a particular age bracket? Do specific age groups buy certain things? Write down some observations and use these to inform your persona.
Can I have more than one persona?
We recommend having one persona, but you can have more if you need them. Some brands split personas by “hobbyist” users and “business” users. For example, a bicycle company may have personas for “Commuters”, “Road Racers” and “Mountain bikers”.
It’s essential to remember that buyer personas will change over time. New fashion trends with come and go, new products will enter the market. As you learn more about your customers, you may find extra information that will help you market to them. Keep updating them as you go, but make informed, well researched choices before you do. If you are using these in your business decisions you’ll want to know the information is reliable. Remember, if you market to everyone, you market to no one. Be relatable and recognisable to your customer. Then you can expand outwards from there.