How to Build a Target Persona


Here is a quick tip and one of the 5 steps to long term success in social media at which I will be speaking on during the Marketing Challenges Workshop at the MTO Summit in DC on November 9th:

Step Number Two: Learn how to Build a Target Persona to Reach Your Buyer Audience

In order to be successful with social media, you are going to need to build an audience to whom you’ll target your content efforts. These ‘straw men’ are called ‘target personas’. And what exactly is a target persona and how do you develop them?

A target persona is a model of an ideal customer which incorporates primary research and data, such as income and gender, with personality traits, such as goals, attitudes, behaviors and interests. All of this is put together in a short statement which describes the ideal customer’s personality as it relates to your business.

Let’s get started on how to develop your target personas:

• Start with three types of customers who you’d like to develop into target personas;

• Go into your customer data. Once you have chosen three types of customer, answer as many questions about them as you can, using the information you already have. Look at averages and aggregate data to get some of the basic information about your personas—age, income, shopping habits, average spend and frequency of visits to your site. If you don’t have all of the information, use what you know to fill in the blanks. Make sure you update this information as you learn more about your customer segments;

• Write a summary for each target persona. Aggregate what you’ve learned from your customer data and what you have observed or instinctually know and use this information to write a summary which describes this “perfect customer.” Include his/her likes and interests, goals and motivations, interactions with your site and other relevant information. Keep the summary interesting and brief and write it as if you’re describing someone you know. Give your personas names as well as pictures to make them real;

Creating your target personas will help you better understand your customers and what influences their interactions with you. You can improve your customer’s online and offline experiences much more easily, and help people throughout the company have a uniform understanding of your customers, their needs and wants. Your target personas allow you to develop more tailored marketing strategies meant to reach people, not data. Continually updating, modifying and adding to your personas as you learn more about your customers and your target audience will keep your marketing fresh, relevant, personal and effective.

Remember to do this both for current and future customers as they may be different.

For more information on the MTO Summit in DC, go here: www.mtosummit.com

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