For any marketing strategy — offline or online — you need to know who you’re marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them.
Buyer personas represent your most probable customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data wherever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to take the wrong direction.
To get a rounded picture of your persona, your research pool should include a mixture of customers, prospects, and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.
But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy? That depends on your businesses, and is likely to vary depending on whether you’re B2B or B2C, or whether your product is high cost or low cost. Here are some starting points, but you’ll want to fine-tune them, depending on your type of business.
Quantitative (or Demographic) Information
Location. You can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.
Age. Depending on your business, this may or may not be relevant. It’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database.
Income. It’s best to gather sensitive information like personal income in persona research interviews, as people might be unwilling to share it via online forms.
Job Title. This is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base, and is most relevant for B2B companies.
Qualitative (or Psychographic) Information
Goals. Depending on the need your product or service was created to serve, you might already have a good idea of what goals your persona is looking to achieve. However, it’s best to cement your assumptions by speaking to customers, as well as internal sales and customer service representatives.
Challenges. Again, speak to customers, sales and customer service representatives to get an idea of the common problems your audience faces, you can use surveys websites like Survey Monkey to gather specific information concerning a particular product or service.
Hobbies and interests. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience. Try to find our what they would love to do in their free time, the things that pique their interests.
Priorities. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience to find out what’s most important to them in relation to your business. For example, if you’re a B2B software company, knowing that your audience values customer support over a competitive price point is very valuable information.
Take this information and create one or more rounded personas, ensure they’re at the core of your digital marketing strategy and you are well on your way to succeeding in creating a very foolproof Digital Marketing plan.