Author: Ben Allen / Source: Marketing Insider Group Understanding your target market is essential to successful marketing. An effective t
Understanding your target market is essential to successful marketing. An effective tool to doing this is utilizing personas to represent your target market. This takes raw data and understanding of a group of people and condenses it into a single fictional person.
Then, you use that persona to guide and inform marketing decisions. A good persona leads to making the right decisions, but a poorly crafted one can cripple a campaign.
Personas can always be improved to better reflect your target market. It’s also important to recognize that people change over time, so updating your personas regularly needs to be a normal practice. Here are some useful ways to learn more about your target market and how to improve your personas.
Go Undercover With Your Market
One of the best ways to learn about your target market is to spend time with them. Go where they go, do what they do, and pretend to live their lives.
Going undercover and being where they buy stuff, enjoying what they do for fun, or simply understanding how they think can bring valuable insights to a persona. It’s easy to craft a persona based solely on data and then fill in the gaps with assumptions, but this is not the most accurate approach. By spending time with your target customers, you can create a more rounded persona that feels more like a real person that has habits, personality, and a life.
Along with spending time with them in the real world, you should make efforts to inject yourself into their online lives too. What do they post about on social media versus what they will email to a friend? What sources of information do they trust and why? Explore the sites they visit, and locate them on social media so you can follow them.
Becoming a part of your target market, even if it’s briefly, can help improve your personas and help marketers come up with more creative and effective ideas.
Interviewing Your Customers
Gain information to build your personas straight from the source. Personas are meant to represent the market, so talking with current customers can help, since they are clearly within that target market.
Interviewing customers can be done both when creating a persona and when you are looking to improve on one later. The key to having successful interviews is to focus on their background and how it influenced them to buying your product. This can include their standard demographics, their job title, how much money they make, and if other people influence their purchasing decisions. Find out key moments in the buyer’s journey for them, how they found your…