The majority of people closely connect their personality to their identity. It’s at the core of who they are, what they like to do, and what they’re passionate about. However, despite the innate sense of self that people associate their personality with, no one maintains the same attitude and behavior in every situation.
Enter personas—also known as the various roles that humans adopt in their interactions to ensure they’re perceived a certain way. Your personality will always stay the same, but the parts of it that you share and your overall persona will change based on who you’re interacting with. What does this mean for marketers? It means that having well-defined personas for all of your organizations’ stakeholders is a must if you want your marketing efforts to reach their full potential.
A Month of Marketing Marriage
In our month of talking about how marketing relationships parallel marriages, we’ve explored everything from the honeymoon stage to the explosion phase, the importance of good communication, and why developing marketing personas can help beat out your competition and preserve your audience relationship.
Last week's blog dove into how "creating personas allows you to understand your customers' needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. You gain a greater sense of their why or reason for being in a relationship with your brand."
Through this understanding, you’re able to market with your audience as opposed to marketing to them, which is a difference that saves you time and money. So how do you make personas that allow for personal connections? Check out our advice below.
Crafting Marketing Personas
The first step in creating marketing personas is identifying your audience.
Depending on what stage your business is at, this can include who you want to target, as well as those already engaged with your content. You want to understand the who behind your audience—their similarities, differences, and how your service or product can benefit them. Finding out who your audience is, whether it’s who you planned for or not, allows you to adjust your marketing to connect best with them.
The second step involves research, both from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint.
While you want to consider the experiences you’ve had and the learnings that have come from them, you don’t want to limit yourself by only using previous information to craft your persona. In order to fully understand your audience, you need to listen to what they’re telling you. On a daily basis, they talk to you through their engagement or lack thereof. The likes, shares, comments, and website traffic your digital platforms experience are more than just numbers. This data depicts the story about how the lives and needs of your audience are evolving and offers insight on how to adjust your marketing accordingly. Don’t forget about your data, because if you want your marketing relationship to go the distance, and not just be a fling, you need to pull out all the stops to ensure you fulfill the needs of your audience.
The third step is outreach.
Correlation doesn’t equate to causation. Instead of guessing and relying on assumptions, get rid of the guesswork by reaching out to your audience. Ask them for their insights, perspectives, needs, and concerns. Go to where they are and mingle with them there. When you arrive, listen to what they have to say because it will help guide your marketing.
The fourth step is to consolidate your data.
While it’s true that the more information you know about your audience, the better you can ensure your marketing and brand connects with them, you don’t want to have information overload. You want to identify common trends, themes, and responses. Once you’ve identified these commonalities, you can draft and then refine your personas.
The fifth step is creating the personas.
After you’ve completed the above steps, you have the information you need to create your personas. Unless your company is incredibly niche, you should have at least a few personas to ensure that you’re not marketing to too general of an audience. Once you have created your personas, you should be able to answer two questions about the relevance of your marketing strategy going forward.
Who truly are you marketing to?
Why will they be interested in what you have to offer?
The Foundation of Your Marketing Marriage
Don’t date just to date.
In the world of marketing relationships, having a personality may help you get the first date. However, you must care enough to see that individual customer as more than just another meal ticket. You must be willing to get to know the person behind the numbers. That's what personas help you do, allowing you to connect with your audience on a deeper, more personable level.
It’s by crafting, and marketing to, personas, that your first date will transform into a lifelong commitment.