Why spend time defining your personas? How can you adapt to the reality of your market and your business?
Speaking from experience, I can assure you that if you don’t devote enough attention to this issue, sooner or later you’ll be knocking at the door of a communications specialist asking “Would you have some time to give me your opinion of my persona? I’m not sure I’ve really managed to find the “right” target audience to sell my solution.”
What is the purpose of defining a persona?
It allows you to make choices based on a customer-oriented vision. Your idea might be the best in the world to you, but if there’s no one to buy it, it won’t get you very far… Ask yourself this: “Is there real demand for the solution I’m offering?” An entrepreneur can be brimming with ideas, but to figure out which one will actually work, they need to be tested against both reality and the market before moving forward.
As explained in the article “How to determine your target and where to find it?” knowing which persona you want to direct your messages to is essential to avoid spreading yourself too thin. It’s a baseline and framework that gives you your priorities, your choices in the allocation of resources and defines which performance indicators are relevant for you.
What’s the point of defining a persona in B2B?
Even if you have a B2B business model, it’s a human being made of flesh and bone who will dig up your solution and decide - or not - to release the budget to buy it. So, you want to know who that person is, just like with B2C!
How it can help you define your growth strategy
A well thought out customer approach can ensure relevant positioning, and effective sales and communications initiatives. Defining your persona will help you attain objectives that are key for both orienting decisions during your launch and growing your business once everything is underway:
- Choosing: really knowing the person who will buy your solution is the only way to choose and prioritize which services/products to develop pragmatically and realistically.
- Concretizing: this step is essential for defining your communications strategy, and… your business development strategy too by confronting your idea with reality, then testing and adapting it to the results.
- Adopting a “customer-centric” vision: put yourself in your customer’s shoes from the get-go to get real results. If possible, question a real customer to put the journey that led them to buy your solution to the best possible use. You need to know your core target, understand their needs and anticipate their expectations to be able to offer them a relevant solution. In short, for efficient communications, starting by taking an interest in your persona is imperative. Doing so will help you speak to them in terms they understand and use in their own searches.
How to use it to establish your customer journey
People generally think to define a persona right before they launch their entrepreneurial project, when they start creating their website, or when they launch a new product or service… No matter the case, to develop an effective marketing strategy, find out where your persona goes (and how) for information and entertainment.
Start by asking yourself where and when you will need to communicate to get through to the right audience. To do so, answer these questions:
- What communities (either real or digital) do they belong to?
- What are their interests?
- What type of content do they consume? Videos, blogs, social networks (and which ones?)
Do beware of generalizations! One person can fit into several boxes. Someone could very well be passionate about quantum physics and an absolute Muppets fanatic… (did that put the jingle in your head ?)
Lastly, find a few keywords your prospects use in their searches. Be sure to make use of them when writing your own content to increase the chances of them finding your page rather than the competition.
The basis of your digital marketing
The goal is to strike the best possible balance between your different persona and your positioning. It will then infuse into your communication plan, and each marketing action you take to unfold that plan.
In terms of digital marketing, establishing a specific target will allow you to (1):
- Personalize your messages
- Cut costs by properly targeting your marketing actions
- Effectively manage your marketing resources (budget, time, skills)
In practice, a job well done in defining your persona will optimize:
- Your supply/demand alignment: you provide an appropriate answer to a real issue faced by your persona and make sure your solution will be seen by your customer. Let’s imagine your persona is very into items that revolve around a certain topic within your specialization. In this example, a blog with high added value would surely be a good option to position yourself as an expert in the area.
- Your referencing: the keywords you use match those your prospects type into search engines when looking to solve their problem or address their need. To use the blog example again, you would need to make sure you use the same terms as your persona in your articles.
- Your UX design (2): enhance your prospect’s user experience to give them easier access to what they’re looking for. In other words, make it as easy and quick as possible for your persona to get to the action you want them to take. Back to our example: make sure the most recent article automatically appears at the top of your blog page and that it’s easy to find with relevant keywords.
In order to build an optimal customer journey and be sure your offering gets the attention of the right customers, you need to know who it is you’re talking to!
And to take things further…
Check out these video testimonials on the same subject:
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