Building Out Your Marketing Personas

Have you ever wondered about your customers purchasing motives? What makes them upset? What triggers their happiness? How do they make decisions?

All of this information can be discovered by building out personas to serve as the foundation of your marketing campaigns. HubSpot defines a persona as a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Get closer to your target market by using four simple steps to set you up for success.

Step One: Collect Data







Start by gathering information about your existing customers, leads, and competitors. Conduct interviews and focus groups — but not just with consumers. Don’t be afraid to survey your sales team and customer service representatives as well to gain various perspectives and valuable insight!

While interviewing, ask about particular points, including:

  • Detailed demographics and psychographics
  • Each customer’s buying journey
  • Factors that trigger emotional responses
  • Buying challenges and goals

Unfortunately, conducting interviews takes time and may be costly. Looking to save on your budget? Construct a digital survey or questionnaire for a more economical approach! You’ll likely see a higher response rate. Additionally, you may find that surveys receive better answers due to the level of anonymity.

Step Two: Create!







This is the fun part! Gather your data and meet with your team members to begin building the recommended 3-5 semi-fictional customers. Think of this as taking pieces of a puzzle and attempting to assemble them — you’re trying to find the aspects that work well together. Start with your demographics, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Salary
  • Job

 Chose the demographics that repeat most frequently in your research, and distribute them among each “character.” Continue building out your personas with psychographics, which may be discovered by asking about the following topics:

  • Type of lifestyle
  • Triggers for happiness and sadness
  • Specific product preferences
  • Interests, activities, or hobbies used to fill time

Your findings should help you discover the overall characteristics and personalities of each persona.

Step Three: Beyond the Basics






Now that you have a solid foundation to build from, it is time to add industry-specific information. For example, a university creating personas on potential applicants might ask students:

  • What are your academic goals?
  • Which social media sites do you use most frequently?
  • What are you parents’ occupations?
  • Did you work summer jobs?
  • Where are you spending your free time?

This information will help you become more specific in defining your characters by creating a story-like element. Don’t forget to add a name and picture to your persona that fits the newly established description!

Step Four: Implement Your Personas







The next time you create social media content, write a blog post, conduct a keyword search, or plan an event, think to yourself: Does this message fit one of my key personas? Not only will your data collection provide information about your consumers, but these stats will also tell you a lot about how to improve your business. Take the feedback and adapt your purchasing process to simplify the customer’s buying journey.

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