But when it comes to knowing your customers, you might say “not everything can be quantified.” And that’s true.
On the other hand, many a marketer has fallen defending the banner of “I know my customers!”
The strategy you’ll employ to know and keep knowing your customers is one of the most important aspects of the marketing plan, and it’s often overlooked. In the early going, your company’s founders probably did know their customers with special insight, and that’s precisely why they succeeded. But that’s not something you can count on years and generations into a company’s evolution.
As the marketer, you need to have a plan for maintaining that customer knowledge, even as your customers grow and change.
Creating personas is basically the act of formalizing the ad hoc mental models you’ve created about who your customers are, and fleshing them out with business information.
It’s how you turn your gut feeling about your customers into hard data that you can target with marketing. It also gives you something you can hold up to reality and see if your assumptions are correct, or experiment with to find the gaps in your knowledge.
Throughout this issue, you’ll find details about how marketers create and use personas, as well as personas you may not have thought of applying to your customers, and more.
I hope this issue helps you fill in those blanks and find the art in the science of getting personal with your audience.
Related story: Personas 101