The art of getting inside the mind of your customer….
Who is your ideal customer? Are you sitting there now conjuring up an image of… a mum juggling it all / suave business person / teenage techy….delete as appropriate. Can you see them now at home / work / out and about using your product or service?
Building up a profile of your ideal customer, a customer persona, can really help with all aspects of your business – from strategy and product development to sales and marketing. But sticking with digital marketing for now, (which is what I know best) so much online marketing relies on creating content. By having a customer persona, you can write far more relevant and appealing content with them in mind, rather than writing for a nameless, faceless audience. It’s when we truly know our customers that we can create content which appeals to their needs and persuades them to buy or convert.
So if you’ve never done this exercise before or at least never put it down in writing, when you next have time to work ON your business, spend it wisely by conjuring up your perfect customer. Think about who your product or service is for and put yourself in their shoes and really think about their wants and needs.
To help you on this quest I’ve put together a simple customer persona worksheet for you to download. (You can print off the pdf or fill it in online in word).
Customer Persona (PDF) Customer Persona (Word version)
A simple guide to creating your customer persona
You may have one customer in mind (so you only have to do this once) or you may have several distinct groups of customers – fill in a new sheet for each main group if so.
What is their basic information
- Name (it really helps when you are writing, believe me)
- Marital / family status
- Position / Job
- Type of Company
- Buzzwords to describe them
- Hobbies & Interests
Behaviour / beliefs
Get inside their mind some more. What motivates them. What do they think about. What interests them.
What do they want or need? What problems do they have that make them go online?
If you have the customer base and budget you could conduct customer surveys. But fail that, keyword research and related queries can reveal a lot. Look for the long tail. (See my article on keyword research here). What do they currently look at your website – what is the most popular content? What Frequently Asked Questions do you get? What is your audience discussing on social media? What are your competitors up to – what else is available to your target customer?
Where do they currently find information – where do they “congregate” – on and offline?
If you aren’t sure – type in keywords related to your product or service and see where it takes you. Are there particular social media sites, forums, online news or magazines? This can help you determine how best to reach them – through your website or social media – which platform, where offline?
Digital behaviour – devices they use, computer literacy, content they like.
This will help you determine how best to get your message across. What medium – are they glued to their smart phone (so you need a mobile driven site) or are they a technophobe so you need to keep it simple. What type of content do they consume? For example do videos work best with them, or images or written content.
What do you do with your customer persona now?
Do a quick image search and see if you can find a photo of your ideal customer and add that in – it can really help you to visualise them.
Now you’ve got your finished persona, next time you need to create some new marketing material, or need some inspiration at work, have a read through and write with them in mind. You can ask questions: “Is this right for Fred/Jo/Sue? You can write in a way that you would have a conversation with this person.
And what to do with your customer persona when you’re not using it. Simply the art of creating it might be enough that you can file it away for when you need reminding or you might choose to stick it up on your wall for your daily reminder. You could even go the whole hog and create wall banners like this company!
The important thing is to have them in mind, get to know them. You never know where that friendship might take you in the future.