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The Importance of Using a Persona

January 29, 2015 - Marketing - , ,
By: Chris Riley

Around 200 billion tweets are sent every year, more than 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month and more than 2 million blogs are posted every day. So with all this competition, how do you make sure you and your content stand out?

User-Centered Marketing

The answer is user-centered marketing and personas. One-size fits all has never been a successful marketing strategy, and is even less so now that potential customers experience this huge barrage of content daily. You know you need content because content leads customers to your product. Focusing on marketing that content to a specific set of users rather than on everyone, everywhere may seem counterintuitive when you want to sell as much as possible. But connecting with the right people in the right way saves time, money and resources while increasing your return on investment. Why waste time trying to sell to people who aren’t interested? The more targeted your content marketing, the more quickly you’ll reach the customers you want—the customers who are actually going to buy your product.

Building your Persona

To understand who this person is and where to find them, start by analyzing your current customers and describing your ideal customer. You may already be collecting some of this information through your user feedback channels, but not know what to do with the data. Use what you collect to build a profile of your ideal user—a persona—that uses demographics, interests and behavioral data to describe characteristics pertinent to marketing your product. Create your content based on this profile, and you’ll be providing potential customers with not only information they need and want, but also the perfect place to step into your buyer pipeline.

You may end up with multiple personas you want to target. That’s fine! Each persona you create will represent a different group of users with similar purchasing, consumption and behavior patterns. The more robust the information you gather, the better able you will be to customize your social media and community activity strategies to reach the right set of customers at the right time. Developing efficient and effective personas sounds like a lot of work, but we can help you out!

Personas are valuable for more than just content creation. They can also assist with product development by identifying the features and functionality that will appeal to your ideal customer. Once you know who you want to reach, you’ll be better equipped to provide what that type of customer needs and wants in every area of your business!

Infographic: Domo.com


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Chris Riley (@HoardingInfo) is a technologist who has spent 12 years helping organizations transition from traditional development practices to a modern set of culture, processes and tooling. In addition to being a research analyst, he is an O’Reilly author, regular speaker, and subject matter expert in the areas of DevOps strategy and culture. Chris believes the biggest challenges faced in the tech market are not tools, but rather people and planning.