Customer personas (or client profiles, marketing personas, buyer avatars, or whatever you choose to call them) are living, breathing, growing documents that give a representation of your customers.
Without a detailed customer persona, it is unlikely you’ll be able to reach the results you want when it comes to online marketing. That’s because the information inside your customer persona is the key to communicating one-on-one with your clients/buyers.
Yeah, yeah… you’ve probably heard that all before. It’s one thing to tell you to collect strategic information from your prospects and customers. But that’s where most people stop.
How, precisely, do you use the information to make your marketing better?
Let’s take a look at a section of a real-life customer persona.
- 25-45 who have careers, are building/maintaining a family, are work-focused, but also love simple pleasures.
- They stay in shape even if that means waking up earlier than normal. They pay attention to how they look and how others perceive them.
- They make in excess of $100,000 per year, but are also money conscious. No outlandish cars or expensive, trendy clothes. They are big into a balance of high quality that lasts and affordability. They make the most of their time by contracting chores such as house cleaning. They eat well and are particular about the quality of their food whether they cook at home or eat out. Their home is not large, but it’s in the best location.
- They go for a minimalistic approach, taking care of what they buy so it lasts. Beauty is important but only if it is combined with functionality.
Overall, what do you pull from this description? What characteristics can you list? Here’s what I see:
- They Are Busy. People who are in full career mode with families at home have a lot on their plates.
- They Prefer Uncomplicated. The customer profile mentions simple pleasures, taking care of their stuff, skipping trends, and ignoring the Joneses instead of trying to keep up with them. This also plays into their minimalistic approach to life.
- They Pay Attention to What Matters. By skipping cleaning (and maybe car maintenance and home repairs) and outsourcing those tasks, these customers have more time for what matters to them.
- Know What They Want. They forgo huge houses and instead opt for a smaller one right in the location they want.
The typical approach to communicating these characteristics is to list them flat out. But that often sounds awkward. I’m usually not a fan of telling people what they are or what they like. Here’s an example of a technique I do not recommend:
Because you have a job and children at home, you are busy! You know you want an uncomplicated life, but how do you get that? Our Crock-Pot slow cooker is exactly what you need!
Instead, frame the product (or service) in a setting so the client/buyer will recognize themselves without your telling them what they already know. Here’s one approach using the same Crock-Pot product:
Programmable Start/Shutoff — Between ballet practice, homework, meetings, & more, who has time to manually turn a Crock-Pot on or off? Just put your meat & veggies in, lock the lid, then set the start and finish times. You’ll walk in the door at the end of the day to a healthy, homecooked meal you and your family can sit down and enjoy together! Speaks to busy people with families and jobs as well as paying attention to what matters.
15-Year Average Lifespan — Owners of the Primo Crock-Pot tell us they are still using their cookers on a weekly basis even after 15 years! Sure, they paid a bit more upfront. But buying quality that lasts has saved them at least $125 over the life of the cooker because they didn’t have to replace cheap Crock-Pots every 3 or 4 years. Speaks to buying quality. They pay more at first, but it’s a better value.
Get the idea?
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You Don’t Have To Include Everything From Your Customer Persona
Not all of the information you gather has to be communicated in every piece of copy you write. Choose what is most relevant. Then look for other ways to highlight the details that won’t fit into the copy naturally.
For example, if you’re using photos on your website, pick the ones that relate best to the customer you’re selling to.
The people we mentioned don’t care for overblown, expensive houses. Take photos that depict the customer using the Crock-Pot in an average kitchen, not an enormous, gourmet kitchen that would usually be found in a million-dollar, 10,000-square-foot home.
If you’re including lifestyle shots of the customer (as well as those of the product in use), don’t show the family rushing out of the house and jumping into a brand-new Mercedes. Instead, choose a vehicle that fits their values and lifestyle such as a 5- or 6-year-old Toyota or Ford sedan, SUV, or minivan.
Writing social posts? Use these same techniques. Images should fit the customer and his/her beliefs. Text should communicate directly with what the customer values/needs/wants.
Whether it’s emails, landing pages, Amazon listings, ecommerce site descriptions, or any other bit of marketing; ask yourself:
- Does this copy speak specifically to something important to my customer?
- Will my customer immediately see him/herself in the images I’m using?
- Have I made my customer the hero of this marketing piece?
- Is my copy on the level that my customers speak?
- Have I incorporated references in my copy to the most-important characteristics?
Using the information from your customer persona is more like dropping hints than confronting someone. While the buyer might not be blatantly aware of all you’re doing to relate to them, s/he will sense that they feel comfortable while reading about your product or service.
Never created a customer persona? Not sure how to evaluate the data you’ve collected and put it into a form that’s usable in your marketing? Check out my Easy Customer Profile Creation course today and save 37% today with code PROFILE.
Have questions about using the information in your customer personas? Talk to me below!
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