Earlier this year I wrote about the opportunity for brands to reflect increased customer appreciation for provenance, ethical values and skilled craftsmanship in their marketing, ( you can read it here). Now, as we feel our way towards a new normal, premium and luxury brands need to focus on their target audience. It is time to re-examine your Customer Personas.
Ensuring your brand appeals to the right audience is crucial to survival and success. Covid-19 altered the way we all lived and shopped. Some changes were temporary, others have had a more lasting effect. Businesses need to work hard to find or retain customers, so it is essential to accurately identify any shift in your audience, or adjustments in their values.
This month, I explain what Customer Personas are, why they are important, and how you are holding your business back if you haven’t identified them.
What is a Customer Persona?
A Customer Persona, also known as a Consumer Avatar, is a fictional (but realistic) person who represents your ideal audience.
I recommend creating three different avatars to fit each of the largest pools of your target audience. These could be based around age and life stage, or solutions to particular problems.
For example, a brand selling high quality paint in trendy colours may have the following three Customer Personas:
- Young professionals who have just bought their first home
- A mature woman who loves renovating properties
- An interior designer who wants to create a unique look for their clients
Once you have identified your ideal customer, all marketing efforts can be targeted to them and their needs. Your resources can be laser focused to deliver the results you need.
How do you Create a Customer Persona?
To visualise each Customer Persona, find a picture that represents them and give them a name. Work out exactly who they are, what they need, and create a detailed image of their daily life. This will determine the times and places that you target your marketing activity. For example, if your avatar is a mum, it is likely that she will be online after 9pm, rather than browsing social between 3 and 7pm.
Ensure you have a thorough understanding of each Customer Persona: give realistic goals, values, challenges, pain points, and barriers to sale. Think about their lifestyle. Consider,
- Demographics: Location, age, job, education, earnings, preferred newspapers and magazines, social media usage
- Psychographics: The way they think and feel, their values. Do they prefer sustainable brands, or are they driven by price? Have a deep understanding of the pain points your target customers have. What is the biggest problem they want to solve?
- Personal Qualities: do they have an eye for design, do they throw a good party, are they astute in business?
Why are Customer Personas Important?
A clear Customer Persona enables targeted marketing to the people who matter most to your brand. If your messages appear in the right place at the right time, and appeal to the right people, you will increase conversions, grow engagement and strengthen brand affiliation.
Simply put, you no longer expend time and money on marketing that does not appeal to, or even fails to reach, the people you want to engage with.
Surely anyone can be a customer, though? Well possibly, but would a feminine handbag brand create a social media post about a flash supercar? Probably not. It would be a waste of time and may even alienate parts of your audience.
The paint company we discussed earlier would post pictures of beautiful, inspiring interiors, decorated with taste, not the latest rapper’s penchant for bling.
Of course, these examples are taken to extreme to illustrate a point, but the more your content relates to your audience, the closer you can draw them to your brand.
Demonstrating that you understand their life and can help them improve it is a powerful tool in building brand affiliation. Without focusing on your Customer Personas, your brand will miss the opportunity to connect.
Take your Brand Forward to Success
In the current environment, failure to focus on your Customer Personas could spell disaster for your business. Squandering time and money on marketing activities that are of no relevance to your audience is at best a waste of your precious resources, and at worst counterproductive and alienating to the customers you need to attract.
Refocusing on your Customer Personas will show in your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators.) Your audience engagement will grow and conversion rates will rise.
Are you ready to connect with your future customers? Book a free enquiry call now to discover how Coleman Hammond can develop a Marketing and Social Media Package that speaks directly to your audience.