Now that you’re sure your marketing goals and your company’s objectives are in sync, it’s time to make sure you know who you’re marketing to.
Do you know who your ideal customer is? Is it the same person you targeted five years ago? Is it the same person you targeted five months ago?
Understanding who your ideal customer is and creating a marketing persona—a representation of your ideal customer or best buyer—will help you develop more efficient marketing strategies and design better marketing messages that speak directly to your audience’s needs.
How you define your “best buyer” depends on what’s important to you and your company. For some, the ideal customers could be those who generate the most revenue. For others, they could be the customers who share their company’s beliefs or passions.
Will your company have just one persona? Do you have to fit your entire database into one, neat box? By no means. In fact, Ashley Wilson-Rew, SEO and PPC Consultant for inbound marketing company protocol 80, reported in her article, “11 Buyer Persona Statistics That Prove Personas are Awesome,” that most companies have 3-4 personas to represent the majority of their sales.
When you create your marketing persona, don’t just think about it in your head: write it down! Take into consideration such things as job titles, demographics (age, location, education, etc.), personal/professional challenges and goals, purchasing authority and processes, and topics of interest. If you’re marketing to households, don’t forget to consider such factors as living situation, hobbies, and assets.
Where will you get all of this information?
Some of it will come from your analytics, but you can also find answers in reviews about your products or services and in surveys.
Don’t discount web searches, though. Marketing consultant Rebecca Bertoldi says that you can learn a lot about your customers through keyword searches. She recommends “Keywords Everywhere” (an extension through Google Chrome) to find out what topics people are looking for and both Quora.com and AnswerthePublic.com to find out what types of questions people are asking.
When you sit down and picture your audience, who do you see?