At the risk of putting you off from the get-go, here’s what may seem like a silly question: Does your web marketing strategy include your customer? Of course you’ll say yes, otherwise you might appear sillier than me for asking it, but what if I were to remind you that if you’re marketing to everyone, you’re actually marketing to no one?
A Case of Mistaken Identity?
If you had to, could you point out your persona in an “ideal” customer line-up? If not, the tables are actually turned here and it’s not their life that’s on the line, it’s yours–and that’s how important this is. Despite having the best intentions, if you’ve left your marketing persona out of your web marketing strategy, you’re, in truth, shooting an arrow at your own foot instead of aiming your message at your target (customer). Could this be you? You might feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels and no matter what you try, you’re not connecting with your audience and therefore, not getting the leads you’d hoped for. If this describes you, don’t despair; you’re not alone, and more often than not, this is the first place we must begin with our clients, too.
Grab your Quiver and let’s Get to Work!
One of the first things we insist upon with our clients is ours and their need to identify their marketing persona. Why? Because, describing these archtetypes is the golden ticket to all your marketing success. When done correctly, the process of determining your buyer persona reveals key insights into their motivations, concerns and challenges-and armed with this knowledge, you’ll know how to create the most compelling content that targets only interested consumers. Equally important, it eliminates time and effort spent chasing people who don’t want to be bothered. With your buyer personas identified and in place, you’ll be able to effectively create a content plan and marketing strategy that offers a much greater return for time and dollars spent.
5 Areas of Focus
As you’re developing the archetypes that best describe your ideal customer(s), here are the 5 areas of focus and starting points from which they’ll emerge:
- Priortities: You’ll identify the key areas this persona dedicates their time and money. By doing this, you’ll understand what’s most important to them and therefore, how to focus your message.
- Measurement of Success: What are the tangible or intangible rewards associated with the solutions you provide. By identifying how they define success, whether it’s impressing their peers or saving money, you’ll craft your message in a way that speaks to this value.
- Objections: When you identify what your persona’s most common objections are, and the reasons behind these objections, you will be prepared to address them in a way that validates your customer, while at the same time offering the most practical solution.
- Channels: Where does your persona like to hang out? By identifying the places they gather information, do their research and network, you’ll know where to show up and share your expertise.
- Buying Process: When you understand the factors that trigger their search for a solution and how they come to their buying conclusion, you’ll know what strategies to implement at every step of their cycle.
How do you gain all of this information? Insights from your sales staff are a great place to start as well as interviews with your actual customers. If you’re willing to “walk a mile in your customer’s shoes,” you’ll gain a much greater awareness of what impacts their behaviors, challenges and motivations and, in the end, you’ll find that having gone through this process, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what your customer needs and expects (every step of the way) in order to be convinced you’re the solution they’re seeking.