Customer Persona Creation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Customer Persona Creation: A Step-by-Step Guide_

You’ve got a product or service to sell – awesome! But who are you selling it to? It’s key in any form of marketing to have an idea of who your ideal audience is, especially when you’re in a competitive field. While you may have heard of several strategies to solve this issue, Punch’s digital marketing team is here to cut through the chaos and offer you the best solution to this issue – customer personas.

Building customer personas is one of the first steps Punch takes when working with a new client. With an idea of who we’re marketing to, we can create the most effective strategy and content – still with us? Let’s break down customer personas a little more and then talk through how to create them.

 

What is a customer persona?

A customer persona is an archetype that represents a particular segment of your audience. They’re fleshed-out tools that can help you understand your customer in a more holistic way, helping you grapple with their needs, goals, behaviours, challenges, and motivations.

 

Why are they important?

If you’re just creating content to market your brand without considering your customers, then no matter how good your content is, it’s likely to be ineffective. Your marketing team needs to put themselves into the shoes of the consumer to understand what is going to motivate them to make a purchase. This will then inform your decision regarding marketing channels, frequency, what content you’re creating, the facets of your product or service that you emphasise and so, so much more. Basically, they’re crucial.

But why customer personas as opposed to other methods for identifying and understanding your customer?

Customer persona versus customer segments

An alternate term you might hear in the world of marketing strategy is customer segments. As opposed to customer profiles, segments broadly diver your consumer into subgroups utilising shared characteristics. This could be demographic, geographical, or age-related. However digital marketers are now identifying the importance of the individual in terms of consumer behaviour. While you could easily use analytics to identify a key age range, we’re seeing that Gen Z for example are behaving in vastly different ways While they share a characteristic (age), the way they would respond to marketing is unpredictable, and therefore this approach isn’t entirely useful. Customer personas allow you to consider more facets and develop a ‘type’ of person.

 

Customer persona versus user persona

You may hear the term buyer personas used interchangeably with customer personas. However, user personas represent a different stage in the buyer journey. A user persona is a fictional representation of the user of your product, not the potential customer.

 

Customer persona versus demographic

For decades, marketers were focused on demographics (i.e. 20 to 30-year-old males) when thinking about their audience. Demographics cover the basics – age, gender, race, and income bracket, whereas customer personas cover these aspects of a persona but delve into psychographics as well.

How would you use a customer persona?

We’ve covered what customer personas are and why they’re important but how would you even use them? Avoid your customer personal doc sitting around unused and make sure you’re getting the most out of this key marketing tool.

Your personas can be used to personalise your marketing. When you know what motivates your target audience, what challenges they’re facing, and what makes them tick, you can create content they’re likely to respond to. More effective marketing = better marketing.

But more than just that, these customer personas can be utilised across your teams and help with product development. If you know who you are creating a product for, you can make sure that every aspect of that product will work with their lifestyle.

 

In simple terms, customer personas are a tool, like buyer types, that marketers use to help them market better. If you’d like to find out more about buyer types, check out our article on the topic here! 

 

Creating your Customer Personas

Gather information

Before you do anything else, it’s time to live out your childhood detective dreams. You need to gather as much information as possible about your target audience so you can use this information to create your custom personas. Use both quantitative and qualitative research and build up a great base of knowledge. Surveys are a great way to gain first-hand data, but you can also look at surveys and social media profiles. While you may feel like you know your customers, basing your profiles on real insights will always make them more realistic.

 

Look at their background and flesh out

Now you have the data available, it’s time to put it to use. Start by creating profiles using the basic demographic information you have. This would look something like ‘ Asian Female, 32, Professional’. While these points are important, many individuals who share these factors can behave in extremely different ways as consumers. So we need to look a little deeper. We also need to build the profile up to seem like a real person. It’s time to be creative. Give them a background, and a sense of personality.

Top Tip: At Punch, our excellent strategic team loves to give quotes to our customer personas when we get to this point. Being able to put yourself in their shoes and speak in their voice gives you an immediate understanding of the profile, making it so much easier to utilise in the future.

 

Describe needs and pain points

Here’s where we get a little bit beneath the surface. Consumers are just people. People have needs and wants. They also have pain points. If you can work these out and identify them before you start the journey of marketing your product or service to them, you can effectively smooth over any issues and showcase how essential you are to their life – basically guaranteeing you a sale. Once again, surveys and user data can help you indeed these. Even interviews with current users or potential customers can be useful in this stage.

 

Look at their motivations and their challenges

This is the why. Identifying motivations and challenges will help you work out exactly how you’re going to market to these personas. If they’re motivated by financial incentives and want to save money, then you know that discount codes are going to really appeal to them.

 

Bring your personas to life

 

Finally, make sure you’re presenting these customer personas well. When you’re working within an agency, a sleek look can help you convey this information to your client in a more convincing way. For your own purposes though, adding a photograph or illustration can really bring your personas to life. Rather than a stagnant overview of someone on the page, fun facts, quotes, and images can bring everything together.

Creating a customer persona can be intimidating before you begin, but by following the right steps you can create a marketing resource that will improve every step of your marketing efforts from branding to your social media copy.

Customer personas should be an essential part of your marketing strategy and at Punch, they’re a crucial step we take with our clients at the very start of our journey together.

Curious about the process or want a helping hand creating your own? Punch has got you.

Get in touch today by dropping us an email at info@punch-creative.co.uk or dropping us a line at 0113 255 7285