Customer experience is the key competitive differentiator within today’s leading businesses. So how do you deliver that in a meaningful, personalized way? One option from the connected marketeer’s toolbox is to start by developing buyer personas or customer personas.
“63 percent of ‘high performer’ sales, marketing and support teams are more successful at creating personalized omni-channel experiences for customers, compared to just 2 percent of the ‘under performers’.”
– The ‘State of Marketing 2016’ Report, Salesforce
Aligning sales, marketing and customer service departments is increasingly seen as a critical staging point in your journey to delivering outstanding CX. This alignment cannot happen unless you are able to describe your customers consistently.
In this never-ending quest to better understand and build up a target consumer profile, sales and marketing departments have over the years relied on segmentation tactics to filter priority consumers by geographical, demographical and other sociological attributes.
But building a true buyer persona requires a slightly different approach. Taken into consideration collectively with factors like job title, function, household income and other qualities, identifying customers real-world behavior can be the biggest game-changer in your pursuit to understanding your customers better.
Let’s define them.
Customer personas are generalized representations of the ideal customer and are typically based on a real set of data and fancy-schmancy market research. They typically live in an evergreen, pretty PowerPoint presentation that slowly but surely collects digital dust bunnies until they need to be referenced and distributed by marketing once a year for an annual sales kick-off.
Buyer personas on the other hand, are constructed in ways that help everyone in a company – marketing, sales, service, IT, quality assurance and product development – relate to a customer emotionally. With buyer personas, teams are actively putting a science to establishing and connecting with a buyer’s emotional motivators.
Pro Tip: User stories are fictionalized examples explained from the persona’s perspective and help to bring a buyer persona to life. Build user stories to help your team imagine how and why a customer would engage with your brand. Additionally, define what a successful engagement outcome looks like—whether that’s making a purchase, renewing a contract, referring a friend or registering for an event.
So you’ve created a foundation for a buyer persona, what can you do to continue to optimize it? Learn more about your target personas by marketing to them and getting a feel for what messaging sticks below.
The advent of marketing automation and closer integration with CRM data means marketers are now able to create much more powerful, timely and relevant emails. Brands that don’t use personas to create personalized email communications and offers will only end up destroying the value and lifespan of their email database. Customers expect to receive relevant communications based on either their current interaction with the brand or something that adds value to their role or personal situation (education, special offers).
Pro Tip: This marketing automation platform can help you segment and leverage email customer data the right way.
Social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook are ideal channels for creating highly targeted and personalized adverts for your target audience. By using personas and your own sales and marketing data to define your audiences, you can improve the power of the advertising tools on social platforms to target niche audience groups. This will enable you to create personalized promotions, offers and content, ensuring your ad spend is targeting and converting the right customers.
Pro Tip: Use retargeting features on LinkedIn and Google AdWords to create brand new audience groups of untapped customer pools.
Building buyer personas is inherently more useful than applying traditional demographic data filters when attempting to understand and connect with your audience. Want to further enhance your customer experience? Contact our team of experts to learn how today.
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