[FREE TEMPLATE] As a professional marketer, before I can begin to create a marketing campaign, the first question I ask my client is “Who are your customers?” The most common answer I am given is something generic and non-defining; “Anyone in Australia who likes Tea” or “Everyone on the Sunshine Coast who owns a Car.” While technically this might be correct and with an unlimited marketing budget you could target every single tea drinker in Australia; in my experience, small businesses are usually tight on cash and need to spend every cent of their marketing budget wisely.
Customer Personas help you understand finer details about your customers, so you can target them efficiently.
Creating Customer Personas allows you to thoroughly define your customers, so you can understand who they are, where they are, what they do and why they would love your product… so you can understand how to target them correctly and in the most cost effective way. (Read that again, so you understand how important this is!)
A Beginners Guide to Customer Personas:
Why is it so important to create Customer Personas at the START of my business?
Understanding your customers BEFORE you start your business is imperative, as you need to think of them in everything you do. From product design, packaging and pricing, to logo design and brand development, through to website design and marketing strategy – it’s all about YOUR CUSTOMER.
It’s not about you and what you like… it’s all about the person who will buy your product or service and what will appeal to them.
Proper Customer Persona’s go further than just the gender, age and location of your customer, they should also cover how they think, how they feel and what their behaviours are – so you know how to talk to them and where and when to deliver your marketing message.
In Business, your Customer Personas need to be the first thing you think about.
I personally take my Customer Persona’s so seriously, that I have printed and framed them. They are mounted on the wall behind my computer – so I can literally look at their photos while creating my blogs and tutorials. I ask myself “What does Jemma need to know? What does she really need help with?” This helps me write relevant topics in an authentic way, that will resonate with Jemma personally.
Why do we need to create Personas?
Think about a conversation you would have with your Grandma. Ok, now think about a conversation you would have with one of your girlfriends. I bet you ten bucks they are TOTALLY different conversations – not only for the talk topics (*ahem*) but also the WAY you talk. The language you use is different. The tone of your voice is different.
Now think about the difference between the behaviour of your Grandma v’s the behaviour of your girlfriend. What are their interests and hobbies? What shows do they watch on TV (or do they watch TV at all)? What does their day-to-day look like? What do they do on weekends? What is important or not important to them?
… there’s a big difference huh?
Using this analogy, it’s easy to see that to successfully market the same product to BOTH your Grandma and your girlfriend, you would need to use a different approach – Not only in the WAY you talk to them, but WHEN you talk to them. Chances are, your Grandma isn’t using Instagram… and your girlfriend isn’t watching “Rosemary and Thyme” on telly in the afternoons. The same goes for how you approach different Customers – you must tailor your marketing to suit each of them.
How many Customer Personas do I need?
You cannot define and label all of your customers into one neat box. Even if they are all the same gender and same age, there will still be differences in their lifestyles, behaviours and values, which will effect how they feel about your brand and product.
So, think about your THREE best customers. Your “Ideal Customers” who you know would LOVE your product. You need to make a profile for each of them.
Having 3 profiles will make you realise how different they are and how you can create a marketing plan to target each of them.
How do I create a Customer Persona?
- You can base the persona on a real person or a real customer or have fun inventing them.
- Give your Customer Profile a first and last name. This helps them feel real.
- Define your Customer by age, gender, location, education and income level.
- Go further to define their habbits and hobbies, likes and dislikes as well as their life stage and lifestyle.
- Describe their problem or “pain point’ and explain why they LOVE your product, how it solved their problem.
- Detail how often they would purchase your product.
Follow the link below to download a free Customer Persona template which you can edit to suit your business.
There are two templates for you to choose from:
- “Basic Customer Persona” covers all the essentials and will be quick and easy to complete.
- “Consumer Profile” is a professional document that digs a little deeper.
Why do I have to review my Customer Personas every year?
Businesses evolve and change as they progress, particularly for start-ups. It’s important that you make time to re-evaluate your customers as this will affect your marketing strategy.
As businesses grow, you collect customer data. This could be actual sales data, Google Analytics (website visitors), Social Media followers or eNewsletter sign-ups. When re-evaluating your Customer Personas, make sure you dig into your data, rather than just trust your gut feel. You could be really surprised at what you find!