5 Tips to Develop Your Customer Persona
Do you Know Your Customer (KYC) before starting a marketing plan? If not, it might be time to take a step back and look at what your customers are asking for. One way to understand how to improve your marketing strategy, or to be sure it’s working, is to build a customer persona for your business. Not only will a well-defined customer persona help you find and fill the holes in your marketing strategy, it will help define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Having a finely tuned USP though KYC means smaller, targeted marketing campaigns that save your business money and bring in the bucks.
1. Build Your Idea of an Ideal Customer
Create a mock customer persona based on your current market knowledge. You can build this from previous customers or, if you are getting started, by your idea of an ideal customer. Things to consider include:
- Age, sex, location
- Single, married, kids
- Job title
- What is their goal when coming to you
- What are the pain-points you aim to solve
- Where would they look to solve their problem
Pain-points identify what the customer believes to be a need your business can solve, while goals often refer to a want that the customer is seeking out with less urgency. At least that is the guideline for now. Try to cook a few up for your business, jot ideas down. The following steps will help define your customer persona.
Once you have a mock customer persona, start reviewing your competitor’s customers and see how they stack up against your mock.
2. Review Your Competitor’s Customers
Read your competitors 3-4 Star reviews in online marketplaces. These reviews will uncover what customers are genuinely liking and missing about businesses in your industry. 5 Star reviews won’t help you identify needs, and 1 Star reviews are usually too negative. Start with these three core marketplaces then expand into niche groups:
3. Ask a Group or Forum
Using forums and groups will help you understand how real people stack up to your mock customer persona. They may or may not be customers yet, but they have an interest in your industry or niche by being part of the group and discussing certain topics. Review their interests by studying profiles, compare them to your customer persona, and build a second version. Take note of the group discussions and questions, where are they having problems, and what your business can solve.
- Facebook Groups – Study group member profiles
- Quora – Ask common questions about your industry and niche
- Reddit – Free flowing forum, be ready for very honest and sometimes funny answers
4. Survey Your Industry
Create an online survey and pole your audience by posting your survey in groups and forums. Make sure the survey is short and punchy. I would suggest 4-5 questions. Read the group or forum about page–you may need to ask the admin for permission to post the survey. Offer to share your results. The survey will be related to the group’s interests and therefore useful to the admin as well.
5. Review Your Analytics
All social media platforms have analytics where you can pull data. Google has free analytics for your website. I will provide a link so you can register your website with Google if you haven’t already. Analytics will tell you how your customers found you and from where. You can review how a customer flows through your site, seeing where they drop off before buying or contacting you, or seeing what landing page or piece of marketing is making them buy.
- Google Analytics – Register for free and start tracking your site’s performance
- Facebook – Insights tab on your business page
- Twitter – Analytics on your profile menu
- LinkedIn – Directly on your business page
- Instagram – Under settings on your business account
Following these 5 basic KYC steps to build an accurate customer persona will help define your USP. In turn, your well defined USP will eliminate marketing waste and get your business in touch with the right audience.
If you know of innovative ways to KYC or advance your USP, let me know in the comments.