Understanding who your ideal customer is, where he or she is, and what he or she is motivated by is key to a successful marketing strategy. If you don’t understand who you’re selling to, it will be pretty difficult to sell. Therefore, creating target customer profiles or personas can be a great way to get started with your marketing strategy development.
Customer personas are quite common in the development of marketing strategies and they’re basically character sketches designed to help you understand your customer and his or her needs and motivations.
To create one, begin with some solid market research so you will be basing your persona on facts instead of just making things up. If you’re not sure how to begin with conducting market research, you can check out my video about that topic.
Next, you want to keep the information you gained from market research close at hand and sit down and begin brainstorming about your ideal customers. You can start with the easy stuff like demographic information: is your customer male or female? How old? What type of job do they have and how much money do they make? Are they well educated? Where do they live? What is their family structure like? Then start moving on to deeper information about the target customer’s personality and motivations: What are their morals and values? What does a typical day look like? What do they do in their free time? What are their habits and likes – i.e. is this a vegan yoga addict or a martini-drinking club-hopper? Do they want to go to the spa on the weekend or go hiking and camping? Where do they hang out and who are they there with?
Be as detailed as possible when you describe your target customer. If you need help structuring the brainstorm, grab my Ideal Customer Worksheet to help you. It’s over on the Free Downloads page.
Once you’ve created a full persona for your ideal customer you can use that persona to inform your marketing strategy because now you understand who it is you’re selling too. If you want this person to actually buy from you, you need to look at their lifestyle and target your marketing so that it hits at the right time in their buying schedule, appeals to their needs and desires, and fits in with their lifestyle and self-image.
When you come up with ideas for new marketing campaigns, go back to your ideal customer persona and think, “Would this campaign appeal to this customer? Would they see it? Would they remember it? Would it motivate them to buy?” If not, it’s not going to be a successful marketing campaign and you need to go back to the drawing board.
Now I want to hear from you: Who is your ideal customer and have you used personas in your marketing planning in the past? Let me know in the comments section below.
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