Who Are You Talking To?

Whether you’re writing a brochure or a Tweet, you need to have a good handle on who you are talking to when you broadcast a message. At first it may seem easy, you’re talking to a current customer or a prospect—but knowing your audience goes much deeper than that. In order to define your message, you need to dig deep into the needs and problems of the people you’re talking to. Understanding who you’re speaking to and what their needs are will help you to craft an action-inspiring message. Customer personas will do just that.

What is a Customer Persona?
A customer persona is a set of information that gives you detailed insights into your target or ideal customer. A good customer persona will cover these two areas:

  1. Demographics—age, gender, location, income, occupation
  2. Psychographics—values, hobbies, interests, concerns, lifestyle

Why Does it Matter?
Customer personas give you a deeper insight into the people you are talking to, which means you will be better able to truly understand their needs. You will be able to put materials together that will grab their attention, appeal to them, and inspire action.

Building Customer Personas

To build a customer persona, you need information. The basic question you are looking to answer is, “who are my customers and what do they need?” A few ways to gather such information, is to use resources such as:

  • Customer files
  • Online forms or mailing lists
  • Customer relationship management systems
  • Google Analytics and Website reporting
  • Facebook Insights
  • Feedback forms
  • Surveys

How Many Should You Have?
To make the most of customer personas, it’s a good idea to build different profiles for different stages of the buyer life cycle. Make segments for verticals, and current versus prospective customers.

Using different profiles means your business can laser focus its message for different segments of your market, as opposed to a catch-all approach that comes with the danger of addressing all and appealing to none.

How Can You Use Them?

Once you have your customer personas, you can start putting them to work for your business. When you are about to put together marketing materials such as blog posts or social media updates, figure out which of your customer personas you will reach out to and build your message around them. Address their concerns and use language that will appeal to them.

John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.

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