>> Persona Development
Personas are developed by our inbound marketing consultants to represent typical customer archetypes who are “brought to life” for marketing strategy development. These fictional representations provide a mental model of various customer groups: who they are, what motivates them and causes them to engage – or not engage with – your brand.
Persona development is rooted in customer segmentation, and a variety of market research methods can be used in creating personas, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research and website analytics. Quantitative research (via online surveys) can also be used to validate hypotheses and confirm the segments.
Here are typical steps our inbound marketing consultants use in creating customer personas:
- Step 1: Gather and assess customer data through internal interviews, workshops, existing research and plans. In this step, initial hypotheses (which may include 3 – 7 segments) will be formed, to be proved or disproved in subsequent project steps
- Step 2: Test and confirm initial persona hypotheses through additional research. During this step, a more robust picture of personas should emerge, considering demographics, attitudinal and behavioral input. It’s often useful during this phase to think about real people you may know. Can you “find” this individual in one of the core personas you’ve identified?
- Step 3: Build out the personas to paint a mental model of individuals represented. The deliverable is a Persona Bio representing a segment of the data, complete with name, image and written description of all accompanying detail that incorporates the segment they represent. The end result is a set of distinct segments for each persona with detailed information on each segment’s goals, behaviors, pressure points and influencers
- Step 4: Prioritize the personas for marketing strategy development. Because organizations have limited resources, it will be necessary to “place your bets” by selecting targets. More information on target selection is available here.
Persona Development provides a common framework for synthesizing and understanding rich customer data that that is shared across the organization. Sales, marketing, product development and customer service can understand and appreciate the concept of serving a particular customer archetype. Just that one association represents a treasure trove of data that can help inform and focus the entire organization in delivering on customer needs.
Customer Journey Mapping is another useful framework that can help identify when, where and how customers make decisions, to assist in marketing strategy development, and is often a next step.
Contact EquiBrand to learn more about our inbound marketing consultant services.