Keeping it Real: Personas Matter in Marketing.

As a company, getting to know the demographic details of your customers is step one in connecting with them. Find out as much as possible about the people you depend makes it possible to better speak their language, customize your products and services to their needs over time, and, well, just find them when you’re marketing. The best marketing agencies in Orange County can help you do this, but it will also take an internal commitment on the part of your business.

There are a variety of approaches, but all center on the same principle. You want to know as much as you can about your customers. This includes the basic demographic info, like income, education, and other personal info, but also more subjective information, such as:

  • Their Interests
  • What motivates them
  • What hesitations they might have
  • And of course, buying habits

Too often, businesses will stop at the demographics, without digging a little deeper to these interesting traits. A powerful approach to leverage the information you find out about your customers is, simply enough, to think about them as people. To do this, construct a persona out of the information you collect. But first, you’d better get all the information you can.

Collect Data

It’s an incredibly valuable time investment to go after insights in various forms. Here are a few of the most common.

  • Surveys

Conducting occasional surveys is a go-to for gaining more quantitative information, like demographic info such as income bracket, age, and gender, as well as buying habits and any other info that may be useful. All in all, surveys are and extremely useful too that shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Personal interviews with clients

As this can be a time-consuming process, you won’t do a ton of these, but still, they can be incredibly informative, giving you the opportunity to learn some more of the subjective motivations behind your buyers.

  • Don’t forget any in-house data

It can be easy to assume that we’ve got to go out and get customer data, while there may be a wealth of insight to gain from the information you already have. Sales teams may be able to provide you with tons of useful qualitative information about your company’s typical customer. Don’t have much in-house info to speak of? Well, it’s always the perfect time to look at your sales cycle and see just where you can implement some processes to capture any relevant information, to collect over time. It’s likely that over time, this will pay off in a big way, as you become able to make informed decisions.

  • Listen in

If your brand is established enough to be discussed on social media, it is a huge learning opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Social listening allows you to get a sampling of candid feedback about your products and company. Not really being talked about yet? It’s just as big an opportunity to listen in on what’s being said about your competitors. This can be your opportunity to find out what is working, and where you have room to make a name for yourself.

The Persona

After taking time to gain insight into who your customers are, it’s time to take action. Odds are there will be a few different “types of customers” that your company typically courts. Once you have the data to more clearly understand who these people are, it’s time to tell their story.

A seller of frozen readymade dinners may discover that three demographics stand out from the pack:  1) busy professionals, 2) college students, and 3) the elderly. These are the personas that the company will refer to for all its marketing efforts, and much more. First, it’s necessary to compile everything we know about these personas, from our research. More than that, businesses find it helpful to develop these descriptions with real-life detail, making each persona into a person: a Student Sam, and a Busy Barbara, if you will. Write out the descriptions with as much detail as possible, with the intention of making them feel as real as possible. This approach is helpful in many ways up and down the marketing pipeline, from copy writing, so that the messaging can take into account a crystal-clear description of the person it’s intended for—to the audience targeting for media buys.

The best marketing agencies in Orange County will be able to help get you started with this, but the key word of this strategy is “long term”. This is true because over time, you’ll be able to gain insights into the way your customer base changes. This is all to say that your company will need to take personas seriously, and revisit them from time to time, to get the most long-term benefits from the approach.

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