Get Started: Creating Customer Personas

Customer Persona

How well do you really know your customers?

While there are many activities that businesses can run, creating customer personas still remains one of the most effective ways of getting to know your audience. Whether it’s to coincide with a new product line or range of services, or just to make sure that you’re still reaching the right people, creating personas shouldn’t only be a one-time exercise, but instead something that you carry out frequently.

What is a customer perasona?

A customer persona, or buyer persona as it’s also known, is a semi-fictional character profile used to identify key traits from your audience or ‘ideal’ customer. This persona is usually based off existing data and research that you’ve collected as a business. To see what this looks like, let’s take a look at an example of a retail customer persona.

Example: Claire is a 29-year old female shopper who works as an HR assistant. She is always looking for sale items or promotions and offers. She searches online in the evenings but likes to pop to the high street stores on her lunch break. She rarely purchases full-priced products and often bulk buys.

From this information, businesses can then start thinking about how they will best target this particular customer in terms of developing product lines, angling marketing efforts, and structuring any promotion plans.

What information should you include?

Some information that you can use for your customer personas include: location, age, gender, interests, job title (including predicted income), relationship status, online behaviour, devices that they use (mobile, tablet etc), buying motivation and buying concerns. You can add more or less traits to this list to better suit the level of detail needed.

How can you gather customer data?

Customer Surveys

Carrying out customer surveys with current customers is a great way to gather information on them. There are many ways to do this which could include sending out a short survey (with services like SurveyMonkey) via email, getting customers to provide feedback in-store or collecting information from your customers over social media.

If you have a few regular customers that you already have a relationship with then you could also ask to interview them. This means you can get real in-depth insights and dive deeper into customer pain points and frustrations.

Social Media Research

Going online and using social media channels to find information about customers can also work well. Activities such as social listening will enable you to see what kind of questions your potential customers are asking or what problems or frustrations they’re having. You should also be able to extract likes, dislikes, and general traits from their profiles and use this to help build out your personas.

Conveniently, a lot of social channels already have inbuilt features which can help you extract more information from users. Take a look at this article to find out how Facebook Insights can help you do this!

Data and Analytics

Using data and analytics can give you a much more informed view of your customer and allow you to create more accurate personas based on real facts and figures. For example, if you have a CRM system where you’ve collected information from website forms or sales data from purchase orders. This could include information about their location, occupation, age, preferences and what they’re looking for.

You can also look at your site analytics to see where your visitors came from, the keywords they typed into search engines to find you and the web pages that they visited. You can break this down further by location, age and gender, as well as seeing other vital bits of information such as what device they’re using.

What should you do with this information?

Once you’ve gathered enough information, you can create a persona template and begin to fill it in. You can choose to create multiple personas or just focus on one for your business; remembering that creating these identities isn’t about cutting customers out, it’s just about pinpointing the ideal customer!

Once you’ve got these together, Iit’s a good idea to set aside some time to run this as a team activity - either on a whiteboard, large sheets of paper or using online persona templates and tools - to get everyone onboard, and in understand of who the business is serving.

 

So now that you know how to create your own customer personas, it’s time to give it a try!

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