Customer Persona Grata
You know your market and your customers. You know who buys from you. You know they like you (hopefully). You know who's the highest value to you, and you know who you want to keep. But how well can you express their real needs and the role your product/service plays in their life beyond the functional? What are the emotional benefits that come from your customers making a great choice in your category? And why does this matter?
By segmenting your market and building personas for your customer types you can better understand their pain points and pressures in their lives, learn about what motivates (and demotivates) them, and get to the bottom of what your product/service really delivers for them. Plus, you can prioritise different persona types according to where the juiciest market opportunities are.
Sound complicated? It doesn't have to be. In an ideal world market research informs these personas, but that shouldn't stop you starting with what you do know and drafting personas to test, debate and refine with your colleagues and customers. This works just as well for B2B as it does for B2C businesses.
Try developing the customer personas by putting yourself in their shoes.
Create a customer profile - a hypothetical person with a name, picture, age and stage. Describe their current situation, what's keeping them awake at night, what they currently think of your category, their shopping and consumption behaviour, and critically look at the options available to your customers in your market, recognising that their problem could be solved by something other than the immediate product/service category you operate in
Next bring together the job you need to do for this customer (again going beyond the functional performance of your product/service) and
Develop the customer insight - This is the concise expression of their situation, need and the payoff they're looking for. You can write it in 3 phases. "In a world where .... I need ... That way I can ..."
Here's an example:
By establishing personas, you will be able to direct marketing efforts more precisely, and communicate more effectively with current and prospective customers. In addition personas help to anchor your innovation to better meet current needs, meet new needs or target new customers.
Top tips from me:
Always write your customer persona in the first person
The "job to do" should go beyond the functional performance of your product or service to how it impacts your customer's life
Never try to shoehorn your product/service into the insight statement. Remember that the insight is all about what they need, not what you offer
As the world and your business change, so too will your customers' wants and needs, so revisit your personas regularly to update them and/or create new ones.
Developing customer personas is one of my passions, and I believe understanding current and future customers' needs well is the cornerstone of every business strategy. I've helped develop dozens of customer personas such as a busy mum wanting to make great food choices for the family, the owner of a heavy transport fleet needing high quality truck servicing, and a whole lot in between!
If you'd like to talk more about your customers, I'm all ears.
Get in touch by calling me on 0276333146 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org