A customer persona is a profile of a key segment of your audience as if they were one person.
Benefits of a Customer Persona
- Understand - better understand the desires of your key customers.
- Predict - better predict the reactions of your key customers.
- Guide Creative - guides the design of your website, ads, and messaging.
- Guide Product Development -help develop useful products and features.
- Guide Marketing - where is your audience going to find you and where will they want to go.
Assembling the Customer Persona
A. KNOWLEDGE BRAINSTORM
Start with what you already know. Meet with your marketing team and brainstorm what you know about your customer types. Focus on the most important demographic and psychographic attributes:
- Why did they buy our products?
- How did they find our products?
- How much did they buy?
- How often do they buy?
- How frequently do they visit your website (and log in)?
- How old are they?
- How long have they been your customer?
- Where do they live?
- Are they male or female?
B. TEST YOUR ASSUMPTIONS
Here is how you test and add to your knowledge:
- Front-line staff - talk to the people that directly deal with your customers, such as, cashiers, customer support repres, tech support, and the sales force. Ask them to describe 5 typical customers and their characteristics.
- Online data - your online stats hold a great deal of information about your customers, especially if you're an online retailer. This information is a great way to test your assumptions in step 1. Here are some things you can learn.
- Search engine keywords used to find your business
- Customer demographic information
- Preferred products
- Order size
- Order frequency
- Click habits
- Knowledge gaps - look at all your data and find the holes in your knowledge.
- Fill the gaps - conduct research to fill in the gaps:
- product registration form
- interview customers
C. DEVELOP THE PERSONAS
Write 7-10 different persons. Some personas will be used to identify who not to sell to. Each persona will be about 700 words long and will contain the following things:
- Contribution - what products or services do they purchase and how often.What other benefits do they provide your organization.
- Demographics - age, marital status, where they live, do they have kids, etc.
- Psychographic - what's going through their head. Are they picky, serious, has little patience for marketing fluff, likes to do research before buying, etc.
- Expectations - what do they want from your organization? Do they want personal service, saftey, hand holding, good return on their investment, etc?
D. NAME AND PHONE
Find a photo for each person and a name that best suites each persona (e.g. Margaret, Thanh, Lesley).
Try to review it with the people that gave you all the information to ensure accuracy. You can also make changes to your website to test and measure your personas.
- Male or Female?
- How old are you?
- What is the highest level of education you've completed?
- What is your yearly household income?
- What is your marital status?
- What is your religion?
- What is your ethnicity?
- What is the highest level of education your parents completed?
- Where were you born?
- Are you a <your country> citizen?
- What is your native language?
- What is your political party preference?
- Do you have siblings?
- What is their daily routines?
- What kind of things worry them?
- Who is important to them in their life?
- What kind of cloths and accessories do they wear?
- Where do they shop?
- Which brands do they like? Why?
- How do they unwind?
- What causes are they involved in or care about?
- What is their favorite movie, music, books, etc?
- Where do they like to hang out?
- How influencial is online advertising?
- How important is Word of Mouth in their purchase decisions?
- How important are reviews in their purchase decisions?
- Narrow - after the process is completed, try to narrow your audience to 3 main personas. See if some of the leftover personas can be used to identify of who not to sell to.
- Update - as time passes, your clients will naturally change. Keep repeating this process every few years.
- Stereotypes - try to resist stereotyping.
For each persona you can add the following information to enhance the profiles:
- Selling technique - for each of the personas finish the following statement: When we are selling to this person we are going to do this.
- Power over you - what can this group do to effect change in your organization? Can they force you to compete on price and therefore lower your income? Can their needs hurt other personas in your groups? Can marketing to this persona offend another persona or group?
- Rank - rank these personas in order of importance and profitability.