When I first heard the term ‘marketing persona’, as a practitioner of 25 years I have to admit I rolled my eyes a bit, thinking that the term was no more than a new way to describe what I was taught as simply ‘market profiling and segmentation’.
In many ways they are the same, but this also highlights a very fundamental aspect of marketing – the need to keep pace with change and adapt to new ideologies, practices and terminology.
Creating a Marketing Persona – Your Customer Avatar
The creation of a marketing persona is all about profiling your customer – you have to imagine you had a secret window into the soul of your clients and prospects to understand their buying motivations, personal and lifestyles characteristics.
Creating a likeness in a drawing profile or avatar is often very useful if you also have to describe the profile of these ‘target’ customers to stakeholders in your business.
A good profile describes the goals and the challenges they face trying to achieve them. This has to be seen through the clients eyes though – not based on the way your services or products will be promoted. This comes first, so you really get to see and understand their problems such that you can determine the way you position your marketing messages
What a good client persona should include;
- Give each avatar a name
- A section that profiles their family
- A section that profiles their lifestyle, where they live, cars, hobbies, interests, what they read
- Think about the stage they are in their career or position in the business and what is going to motivate them
- Profile their job and the problems they have
- What solutions do they seek
- How can your services help them
Using the above information helps you decide the tone of voice for communications, where perhaps advertising can be placed that they are likely to see, what style of call to action messages will be thought provoking and create action.
Whilst Marketing Personas are fictional representations of your clients and prospects – having a deep understanding of each particular persona helps you to test your entire marketing mix and perfect your promotional strategy.