How to Create Customer Personas That Really Mean Something
One approach is to stay connected to the same people you talked to during your original research; ask if they’d mind being contacted again at regular intervals. You should also hook up with your colleagues in sales and customer support; they’re talking to real customers and prospects every day and can tell you what issues they’re hearing about and what shifts they’re seeing in the customer base.
Finally, keep an eye on your social channels. You’re already active in those channels, publishing your marketing content and engaging people with your brand. You should also pay attention to comments and conversations that spring up around other topics — such as unexpected ways people are using your products, remarks about competing products, features they’d like to add, or other unmet needs that may reshape your customer view.
Most of all, don’t leave your personas on a shelf. Make them an integral part of every marketing initiative you begin and use them as a gut-check to ensure that you don’t fall back on assumptions. Share the personas with the rest of your organization too, so that everyone is reading from the same playbook and shares the same reality-based picture of who your customers are.
Customer personas are the fuel behind delivering personalized experiences — the kind of experiences customers have come to expect. By feeding high-quality persona information into your marketing automation systems, you’ll be able to target customers more accurately and serve them the most relevant and satisfying experiences.