I’ve seen many marketers concentrating so much on their campaigns, messaging and creatives that they forget who they are targeting in the first place. Who is their target audience? Has that changed since their last campaign?
It doesn’t matter if you are a startup or a huge organisation, knowing your target audience at every stage of your business is important.
Building a user persona should be simple. And what I mean by simple is don’t try to target the entire world, target your core customers, the customers that are more likely to be your early adopters, use your services or buy your products.
Create a hyphotesis of whom your customers might be or whom you may want to target. Next step is data. Grab your hands on any data that you have access to, be it from Google analytics, Webtrends analytics, email campaign analytics, CRM, social media analytics, social media tools such as Brandwatch and any sales databases.
Data is a great way to validate your assumptions. Even if you don’t have the full picture, it will help you when you are ready to build your user personas.
A long time ago marketing used to be the only department looking at user personas. Now designers, product managers and even sales should be involved. Because they represent every aspect of your business, it can improve your user journey, optimize services and products and it can help your sales team too.
Hubspot has done a great job in listing - The 6 Steps to Building User Personas and Why You Should Care. I recommend going through it.
They’ve also developed a pretty straightforward tool called - Make my Persona that will help you build it.
My favourite tool is Xtensio. It’s so simple to use, the templates guide you through things you should be asking yourselves when you are building the user personas. Such as what are their frustrations, their annual income, the potential brands they might buy from or like to be associate it with. Someone said to me once – get as many details on your target audience that make you feel uncomfortable.
Knowing you target audience is one way to unlock user and revenue growth. But of course, just like with any other areas of the business it should be revisited, optimized, remember to test and test again.
Good luck! :)