Albert Einstein once said “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Not only do your customers have the ability to change, but in order to survive, the smart thing to do for us as human beings is to change.
No matter the industry, lockdown has impacted the customer mindset significantly. Although we have all gone through lockdown together, everyone has been affected in different ways.
Across the board, customers have voiced the importance of tone and valuable content in addition to a more personalised approach to marketing. Monitoring the shift in behaviour using first-party data and trends in consumer behaviour has always been important to any marketing strategy, but is now more prevalent than ever.
As lockdown has started to lift, many of us have had to change our marketing plan along with the shifting landscape, therefore it stands to reason that perhaps your customers’ needs and goals may well also have changed.
Why is this important? According to research, over 50% of marketers say that the ability to connect with your customers' values, interests and pain points is the most important element for success of a content marketing strategy. This of course can be applied across all channels to help you to create and implement a successful digital marketing strategy.
How do I ensure a strong digital marketing strategy for my business?
Personas are a key part of your offline and online digital marketing strategy. They are in-depth and precise characters that represent your ideal customer. Perhaps you already have one, but it needs fine-tuning. Even if they are precise, you may need to revisit them in light of the societal and business changes that have taken place over the last 18 months to ensure your marketing strategy remains in line with your business goals.
How do I build a persona?
There are several ways to build a persona, however, one of the best ways to start is to get to know your current customers better, what are their pain points, and why did they choose you over another business?
If you are not able to survey your customers, ask those who have regular contact with them such as your sales team. If your customers are based in a particular area, you can research common attributes among the demographics of people who live there, such as local politics and common values.
When building your personas, you will need to outline the specific characteristics, demographics, motivations, goals and frustrations that will help you understand them better. What is the specific age of your persona? What is their marital status? Where do they go out to dinner? What are their hobbies and interests? What is their gender? Give them a name and humanise them to help you to understand how to market to them. We recommend you have more than one persona that you market to and can use different marketing strategies such as different social media channels to reach different personas.
Let’s consider a persona for a charity; meet persona one, Jennifer, the operations manager of an accounting firm. She is 42, she is working full time and has 2 children who she spends all her free time with. She wants to raise the profile of her business and is aware that having a charity partner and getting involved in corporate social responsibility can help her with this.
We can use this valuable information to create content that resonates with Jenifer, for instance, the charity could consider creating and promoting a case study of previous businesses they have partnered with, where they have successfully increased their brand awareness. Jennifer is tech-savvy and career-focused so she spends time on LinkedIn so this would be the best place to target her. This is a good example of how creating your personas can inform the best marketing strategy for your business goals.
How are they useful?
Personas apply to both business-to-business strategies and business-to-customer strategies, as well as brand-new businesses. In the end, we are always marketing to individuals, not faceless target audiences. Personas can also increase your return on investment (ROI). By knowing your customers better, you do not waste money targeting people who are never going to buy your product or service, instead, you are investing in those who are most likely to convert. Recent studies show that when you apply personas to your marketing strategy, website visits can increase up to 210%.
When it comes to email marketing, the use of personas can increase the conversion rate by 10%. Personas are a key marketing tool, especially when you consider the changes that Google has made regarding cookies and with less access to customer information, we need to be equipped and aware of who our customers are and what they want.
What comes next?
Once you have built your customer persona, it is important to ensure that you update your marketing strategy to make sure this valuable information doesn't go to waste. Share the persona with your salespeople, marketing team, customer service representatives and use it to inform every step of your business strategy. Some companies even make an image of their persona and post it up around their office to remind everyone who they are marketing to.
Not sure where to start?
One of the key services we offer is persona exploration as part of our branding process with our experienced marketing strategists, to ensure you are reaching the right customers and to inform your marketing strategy.