Marketing is both an art and science. The art of marketing includes design elements like color, imagery and layout. And regarding the science, it’s all in the power of data and getting to know your customers, one persona at a time. Personas are developed based on extensive research that reflects the behaviors and personality characteristics of the key segments brands market to. These personas help guide brands to a deeper consumer conversation and assist marketers in the development of their personalization strategy so they know when, how and in what channel to communicate the message.
90% of companies using personas have been able to create a clearer understanding of who buyers are, while 65% of companies who exceed revenue goals have updated their personas within the last six months.
Developing personas is only the first part of the process. What is more challenging (and fun!) is living and breathing them. Here are some tips for you to consider:
- Use the right data
When developing your personas, use both first- and third-party data and make sure the strategy applies to all customers and not just a subset of your customer file. Seek buy-in from leadership on your strategy and leverage the entire organization as you develop and enhance your personas (digital, in-store, merchants, operations, loyalty, analytics, etc.). Often times we get asked how many personas organizations should develop. Consider creating four to six personas that reflect your customer base. If you have more than that, you risk confusion and incomplete adoption in your organization. And if you don’t have the resources to develop your own personas, there are several standardized versions that you can use in the marketplace like Epsilon Niches.
- Develop a cohesive plan for the marketing use of your personas
Develop a marketing plan that’s going to work best for your organization. Incorporate relevant email and digital campaigns for your personas. Additionally, use personalization in the development of direct mail, (such as versioned catalogs), landing pages and call center processes. And consider clienteling to enhance the in-store experience.
- Never lose sight of your goals
Develop clear goals, and always keep a close eye on your algorithms to see first-hand how they come to life. And remember, testing is essential to adjust your strategy along the way, if needed. As consumers’ needs change, so do yours as a brand.
Incorporating personas into a marketing strategy has multiple benefits. By helping you craft more relevant messaging and marketing approaches, personas yield positive acquisition rates across segments and performance lift with versioning per segment overall. Additionally, they increase customer shopping cart conversion, retail traffic and customer spend and margins are improved. Incremental shopping occurs with enhanced loyalty, and personas create an opportunity to penetrate into different categories. So have fun, and get started today.