Persona led marketing – improving conversion with personas.
Many businesses have a broad-brush approach to selling to customers. But what if you could target customers with specific personalised messages, and what would this mean for your sales numbers? Both personalisation and persona led marketing activities can help your business grow.
What is personalisation?
Personalisation in marketing is typically the adding personal details onto communications, such as the person’s name. Companies might also be taking extra steps such as sending out birthday messages if they have that data. Privacy advocates and the law both present and future (think GDPR*), make using this type of data very challenging. So some marketers are striping away the personal details and creating “personas”.
What does a “persona” mean?
The Oxford dictionary says:
The aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others, ie. ‘her public persona’
Research firm Gartner describes the digital marketing definition of ‘persona’ as:
the delivery of relevant digital experiences to individuals based on their inferred membership in a defined customer segment, rather than their personal identity.
A persona can be used by marketers to create seemingly relevant campaign, without personalisation. For example, if your target personas have gardens you can target this group with a relevant messages about your latest garden product. Most business’ typical personas are far more sophisticated than this, but hopefully this example gives you an idea.
How do you establish your customer personas?
It is straight forward to create customer personas, but to really get personas to work for you they need to be well thought out and it can require a substantial effort. Firstly anonymise your data, the names and email addresses are not important for this task.
Create a sales data set. What are people buying? What do you know about their characteristics?
Overlay external data (if you have it) to establish additional insights about your customers. Where do they live? What style of property do they have? Is there anything going on in their lives, for example are they moving house?
When you have enough information you should be able to describe the features of a typical customer. This is your customer persona. If you sell various product types you will probably have more than one persona to create.
What can you do with the persona information?
Once you have your personas described you can then look at how to communicate to them with a specific message. For example, if your target includes a home mover then you can target communications around why it is the right time for them to buy from you.
Is personalisation still important?
If you have personal data you should definitely use it alongside the persona strategy. Including the name of the person in your communication will help. Just make sure you have consent. Where you haven’t got consent a persona led approach will make a big difference, as you will still be able to send out targeted and pertinent messages.
A final thought, the more data you have the better. So review your data strategy to include everything you know or can find out about your customers (remembering to follow compliance rules and best practices). This will give you the best chance of success.
*This article mentions GDPR. Compliance is a vital part of any marketing effort. Please visit the ICO for more information or seek professional advice.