What is a customer persona?
A customer persona (also referred to as a buyer persona) is a fictional character developed to represent the key traits and behaviours of your target audience. They provide companies and marketers with insight in to the thought processes of their audience while they consider potential solutions (your product or service being one of the solutions) to the problem that they face.
An actionable customer persona will identify what your target audience’s goals and objectives are, as well as (importantly) what challenges currently stand in the way of them achieving these. Beyond this, your persona should explore their motivations, personality traits and dive in to their daily routine, ie. what technology they interact with, what brands they are already familiar with and what hobbies they dedicate time to.
Depending on your company size you may have anything from one to twenty customer personas. If you have a variety of products or services then you’ll benefit from creating specific personas for each area of the business, otherwise you’ll end up with a generic persona which isn’t optimised for any one product.
Why are customer personas important?
Having an actionable customer persona can provide invaluable insight to any business. A customer persona can establish a customer-centric vision across the business and create a harmonious alignment between departments, all resulting in a more refined and attractive product and brand.
How a customer persona can be beneficial at all levels of the business:
- They provide product design teams with a guide to inspire specific features which address their target audience’s pain points.
- UX designers will have a blueprint of the decision making process that they need to influence and direct during use of the company’s website and/ or app.
- Marketers will have a clear direction for messaging and content placement, creating a more optimised marketing strategy.
Having an actionable customer persona gives you the edge over competitors that don’t as you’ll be better equipped to deliver a superior experience that not only delivers that first sale but keeps customers coming back time and time again.
How to effectively build an accurate customer persona
By now we’re assuming you’re sold on how impactful a customer persona can be. But how do you create one that is accurate and (as we keep referring to) actionable?
The best personas are built around data-driven research rather than opinions and assumptions. The good news is that a lot of the data is already out there, you just need to tap into it. Below are some of the best techniques to collect high-value data to inform your customer persona:
- Interview current and prospective customers. You’ll need to dedicate time to consider exactly what questions would be insightful to your customer persona. Think about what information will really guide your marketing, sales and product development. Questions around shopping and communication preferences could be applicable across the board, however, you’ll want to be specific when it comes to 'challenge' questions in order to identify factors relevant to your product or service. It’s also best practice to follow pretty much every question with “why?” in order to gain a better understanding of your customer's motivations, behaviours and decision-making process.
- Make better use of lead capture forms on your website. Instead of just asking for a name and email, think about what persona information you could also be collecting from these forms.
- Look at your website traffic search queries to discover relevant (and irrelevant) trends in searches that have led to visits to your website. Dive deeper by looking at search queries that lead to certain actions on your website (sales, conversions, downloads, etc.)
- Go back to your keyword research. What did this tell you about your target audience? What language do they use? What questions are they searching for an answer to that you could provide a solution for?
- Speak to your sales team to identify trends in the leads that they’re communicating with. Are there generalisations that can be made about leads that convert and those that don’t?
Free Customer Persona Template
With so much information to capture and condense into one character, it can be difficult to summarise into an informative persona. Make life that bit easier by using our ready-made customer persona template (download below).
Create individual personas for different products, services or areas of your business with the blank templates in each tab. If you need more than three, simply duplicate as many times as required!
TIP: Write the customer persona in the first person to really immerse yourself into their mindset.
Put your persona to work
You’ve inadvertently created a new colleague! That’s right, your new customer persona now needs to get to work.
Refer back to your customer persona at several points during the creation of your marketing strategy to ensure they’re at the heart of it. Re-introduce yourself to them when you’re creating new content to ensure that the messaging and placement are appropriate.
Keep your customer persona in mind at all stages of the customer journey. Refining your customer journey to their specific needs and motivations can help foster customer loyalty, increasing those all-important repeat customers.
When it comes to marketing videos, like any form of marketing content, it's vital to keep your target audience at the forefront of production. From scriptwriting and storyboarding, to where and how you distribute your video, stay focused on who you're creating the video for. The beauty of animation is that every single element is completely bespoke and can therefore be designed with the intended viewers in mind. Everything from graphic styles to character design can all be tailored. The creative minds here at Posh Gecko are experienced in creating awesome, inspiring and powerful marketing videos, providing full-service production all the way from initial concept creation and scriptwriting, right up to the final delivery. If you've got a video project on the horizon we'd love to hear about it. Get in touch with the team today.