Microsoft reports the average person’s attention span is just eight seconds. That’s not surprising given the amount of content we consume every day: According to the American Marketing Association, we are exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. So, as a marketer, how do you make sure your customers don’t simply scroll right by your content?
Make it personal.
By connecting with your audience in more personal and relatable ways, you make stronger and more memorable brand connections. So, it follows that the best way to make such connections is to first get to know your audience or your customers—and then create campaigns that speak directly to them. This is where personas come into play.
Hubspot describes them well: “Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Personas help us all — in marketing, sales, product, and services — internalize the ideal customer we’re trying to attract and relate to our customers as real humans. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”
To develop accurate customer personas, research is essential—you have to dig down beneath the surface to gather the personal data about your customer that paints a crystal-clear picture about who they really are:
- What is their age and gender?
- Which social media platforms do they use: Are they Facebook devotees or all Snapchat?
- What TV shows do they watch: 60 Minutes? Game of Thrones?
- What are their values: Are they intent on making a difference through social change? Strong supporters of U.S. veterans?
- What is their digital capacity: Are they avid smartphone users or adverse to constant connectivity?
Click here to download Hubspot’s worksheet for creating customer personas.
The goal is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to create a detailed and accurate profile. And then, to use that information to your brand advantage by aligning your marketing plan: Send brand messaging using social media channels where your customer persona spends his/her time; use messaging that speaks your customer persona’s language—and resonates with his/her value system; provide special offers that solve your customer persona’s problems, etc.
The more questions we ask and the clearer “customer” picture we paint, allows us to be more effective in our marketing efforts. Are you currently using customer personas? I’m interested in your feedback.