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Successful marketing requires an understanding of who your ideal customer is. This is the individual who benefits the most from your product or service and provides the most value to your company. You should spend your energy and resources attempting to acquire the individual who will benefit the most from your product or service. But how do you find this consumer? That’s where customer personas come in handy.

What Is a Customer Persona?

An important building block for growing your customer base is personas. You can use the customer persona as a cheat sheet to identify those who are likely to become long-term customers. The best thing about a good customer persona is that you will be able to get meaningful data about your target customers that you’ve been wanting. Think of the customer persona as a quick one-pager that you can use to fine-tune business decisions that impact your customers.

Why Are Customer Personas Important?

Customer personas are an invaluable tool for fostering a shared understanding of the target audience and gaining a firm grasp on their desires and behavioral patterns. This allows for strategic decision making instead of relying solely on intuition. Not only do they benefit decision making, but they also minimize the risk of not fully understanding your target customers. 

Personas are highly detailed representations that focus on individual characteristics and highlight the most valuable customers for your product or service. This is why we create them in the first place.

What About Negative Customer Personas?

The negative customer persona represents any demographic segment that you would not want to sell your product or service to.

In addition, there are prospects who were involved in the sales process almost until the end but didn’t close, red flags displayed by problematic clients during the sales process but not caught, and clients who were not profitable for your business.

By creating such a persona, you can focus on better quality leads that are part of your original buyer persona, and you can also streamline your marketing strategy.

How to Build Customer Personas

You can create buyer personas through research, surveys, and interviews — all with a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside your contacts database who might align with your target audience.

Once you’ve gone through the research process, you’ll have a lot of meaty, raw data about your potential and current customers. But what do you do with that data? How do you distill all the information you’ve gathered so that everyone can understand it? After reviewing the answers to your interview questions, you need to identify patterns and commonalities, develop at least one primary persona, and share that persona with your team.

Let’s review what steps are necessary for creating a persona:

Establish Demographics

You can ask demographic questions on the phone, in person, or online. Find out about age, gender, income, location, etc. You could make some of these optional unless it’s a pivotal part of your buyer persona, since some people prefer to disclose personal information privately, or may not wish to at all.

Learn About Their Motivations

What keeps your persona up at night? Who do they want to be? What problems are they facing? Asking these questions can be incredibly helpful in determining how you want to position your product or service. Most importantly, tell your buyers how your company can help them.

Educate Your Team On Your Personas

The personas we’ve created are more helpful and impactful when we include real quotes from interviews that exemplify what our audience is concerned about, who they are, and what they want. Be sure to educate anyone who will be interacting with these personas on what makes them happy as well as what makes them upset. The more you can know about a customer the better you can sell yourself to them.

Craft Your Messaging

Let people know how to talk about your products/services with your persona. This includes nitty-gritty vocabulary and a more general elevator pitch that positions your solution in a way that resonates with your persona. Your company will benefit from this if everyone in your organization speaks the same language when dealing with leads and customers.

The Takeaway

When you create buyer personas, you gain a deeper understanding of your target customers and ensure that everyone on your team knows how to target, support, and work with them effectively. I don’t doubt that you’ll see an increase in reach, conversions, and customer loyalty when you use your personas to guide decisions.