Create the RIGHT message by defining a target market & buyer persona.
It is all too often that we have this image in mind of what it is that our perfect customer looks like. You may have taken formal steps to document your vision of such person through formal processes such as creating buyer persona’s or just brainstorming on who it is that will actually buy your product. In any case it is very similar to the old day dream of fantasizing about the perfect mate. That vision may go something like this, must be 6 feet tall, have blond hair and blue eyes, be athletic, etc… Then you happen to meet this guy out of nowhere that has brown hair and not a clue who your favorite sports team is but for some reason you hit it off and ten years later you’re driving a minivan taking your 1.2 kids to their favorite after school activity. So what happened? And before you ask, no this story is not about me as I would never drive a minivan!
There is always a gap between perception and reality. No matter how closely you envision your customers details there will always be some sliver of disconnect between your perception and reality. The goal is to gain as many accuracies as humanly possible to ensure that the message you are sending meets with its intended target. This may vary tremendously on what exactly you are trying to market but in every case success comes from boiling down the commonalities. The universal fact is that they all want what you happen to be selling!
All kidding aside let’s go back to the topic of persona’s and why it is important to formalize your perception of the ideal customer. First, the purpose of formalizing a persona is to identify the basic elements that make up your so called ‘ideal’ customer in terms of their demographics and online behavior including motivating triggers to help identify and socialize this representation. Once you have identified your average customer it is easier to move on to creating the properly messaging and experience targeting your imaginary customer.
One of my previous clients always used Bob as our example and in every conversation each scenario was about what would “Bob” do? A day in the life of Bob had to be a part of every concept from beginning to end. This made it very easy to communicate amongst the team once everyone participating understood who exactly Bob represented. You can clearly and easily create messages targeted to what Bob will need to convince him to purchase your widgets. Persona’s can provide an invaluable tool to remove communication barriers between team members and serve as a centering device to keep everyone on task.
Define Your Target Customer
Creating a persona may be easier than it sounds. It is important to identify the key elements that make up your ideal customers. Who are they? What do they want? How do they find their information? What is their key motivator?
Persona’s should include a combination of information such as the following:
- Personal preferences relative to interests, attitudes, and opinions of the individual, such facts as lifestyle preferences , likes and dislikes, as well as motivational factors should be determined.
- Demographic and background information such data as age, gender, income, occupation, education, or religion.
- Shopping habits should be clearly identified. Where does someone go to find your product?
Your foundation should be data related. Build on what you can prove and add layer by layer as information becomes available. If you have an existing customer base take the time to interview what you consider a cross section. If you are just starting much of your buyers information will be based upon assumptions of what you think your buying will look like. This is a process that should evolve over time but you have to start somewhere.
Tailor Your Message
Now that you understand a bit about your target customer we can talk about ways to send the right message. You’re selling widgets. The best darn widgets ever invented which happen to come in every color under the sun. You also include free shipping because you know how to be competitive. How does your message stand out in comparison to all the other widget companies who are following the same rules and reading the same how to articles as you are? You have to have your own style, a little swagger so to speak, after all your widgets are better than any other widget on the planet. Don’t forget to convey your message with the same style and intention in which you designed the said widget!
Promote the Right Message in the Right Place
You should have already identified where your target customers go to find information about your widgets. It is important that you have the right message designed specifically to where it is being found. If you have just identified that most of your widget sales originate from a search engines your content should be readily available on SERP’s in both organic and paid if your budget allows. Don’t limit the promotion of your message to just one channel. Discover where your customers are and establish a presence with a well tailored message that fits your buyer persona.