3 FinServ Persona Tips
Financial services marketers can dream about acquiring ideal customers, find out who their actual customers are and reconcile the two, all in the effort to create personas that allow them to better target both.
In “How to Speak So Your Clients Will Listen (And Invest)” that Forbes.com published on Friday, Sari Holtz first talks about the pie-in-the-sky ideal financial services customer. She points out how FinServ marketers may discover these aren’t their actual customers.
“Making assumptions about who your audience is can be a dangerous way to run a business,” Holtz says.
Dream FinServ Marketing Persona
Anyone who’s ever looked at an online dating profile knows that real consumers can never look like what financial service marketers want them to be — but the dream stage can be fun.
So Holtz says FinServ marketers can ask themselves:
- What level of education does your ideal client have?
- Is he/she married?
- Does he/she have children?
- Is your ideal client employed? Retired? Independently wealthy?
- Where does your ideal customer live?
- How much does your ideal user earn per year?
“Some user personas even include deeper theoretical information,” Holtz writes, “such as what the user does as a hobby, what social issues he or she thinks about, or what his or her favorite stores are.”
Reality’s FinServ Marketing Persona
A real customer probably doesn’t look like Gaston — he’s probably not uber-wealthy, unshakably stable or without money-drains, like children.
“If you’re trying to see who your current users are,” Holtz says, “a strong business intelligence (BI) mechanism is essential. If your company is internet-based, this can be run via Google Analytics, one of the dozens of technology providers that exist, or even with a proprietary system built by your own development team. If you are running a brick-and-mortar enterprise, this analysis may be a bit trickier, but it can be done by looking at your clients’ addresses, having your staff speak to your customers to learn more about them or even creating online engagement opportunities (such as Facebook pages or giveaways) that will let your customers express themselves so that you can learn about them.”
Optimized FinServ Marketing Persona
Going back to that dream FinServ dating profile, how can marketers modify their offerings and/or messages to attract those ideal customers?
Holtz says financial services marketers who are ready to create optimized personas need to ask themselves:
“Are you equipped to change your offering to meet the needs of your actual clients? Do you have the resources to re-educate your current user base? Can your team handle a shift in strategy (practically and psychologically)?”
Targeting these personas may mean tweaking products and services, but probably means adjusting the message to show that those products and services meet those customers’ needs. Also, FinServ marketers can see if their products and services are relevant to their dream customers — or if trying to acquire those dream customers would even be a good idea. (Are they really ideal? As in, would they help the bottom line? Or would creating relevant offers for them mean the business has to change in a way that alienates current customers and makes them leave?)
What do you think, financial services marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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