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How to think about your Customer Personas 👤

How to think about your Customer Personas 👤
By Ahmad Abugosh • Issue #5 • View online
Hey friends,
If you’re selling to everyone, then you’re selling to no one!
That’s one of the most important marketing principles I learned: you need to clearly define who your customer persona is, otherwise it will be very hard to market your product or service.

Let’s say that you’re selling phone cases. Who would you start selling to? Most people would say everyone! Everyone has a phone nowadays, so everyone is a potential customer, but is that a good way to think about it?
The first question you need to ask yourself, is who would be interested in buying this right now, and what are their constraints.
If I take the phone case example, the first filter I’ll put on it is, what is the minimum required to buy this product? First of all, they have to have some expendable income. Next they have to own the phone that I’m selling a case for (obviously), I can’t sell them a case for an iPhone if they have a Samsung phone for example (unless let’s say they’re buying it as a gift).
Ok, now that you filtered out the minimum requirements, it’s time to go deeper. You need to get so granular in your targeting that you actually envision that person. Give them a name, age, occupation, interests, likes and dislikes.
In the marketing world, this is called a customer persona. Starting with a customer persona, helps you figure out exactly who your product or service is for, and allows you to be very specific in your targeting.
This helps you in two ways:
1. It makes it easier for you to create marketing campaigns, both from defining your audience and targeting and writing the copy (text) of the ad.
2. It allows you to test your assumptions and see if your target persona actually is interested in what you offer.
So, what is needed in a persona?
One way to think about it, is that you want to build a persona that is so detailed that you can actual picture that person in your head.
It might be someone that you actually know in real life, or if you already have customers it may be modeled off of your most ideal customers.
Persona example
Let’s give another example of a persona for a new eCommerce store selling female clothing. Since we’re just starting out, we don’t have any previous customers we can base this upon, so we have to come up with our personas.
When thinking about a persona, there are a few fields that we need to define, and the more of these fields we have, the easier it will be for us to test. The ones that I recommend are:
· Name (a random name generated to make the person seem real)
· Gender
· Age (an age range of +/- 5 years is fine too)
· Location (if you are active in multiple places, could be a country, city or neighborhood)
· Occupation (not always necessary, but can give more context into who you’re targeting)
· Likes and dislikes (these can be directly related to the product, or can be more generic. We’ll talk about how to tie these into your messaging)
· How they would use your product/ service (this is the typical use case, that is related to their likes / dislikes, which is either what the gain is that they want to get or what pain are they avoiding).
The following is an example of what a customer persona would look like:
Name: Sarah
Age: 28
Location: Dubai
Occupation: Event Manager
Likes: Event Management, Concerts, Fashion Shows, Art
Dislikes: Common Fashion, Bad Quality, Expensive Retail
How would he/she use your product / service? She would use the product to wear for her casual outings or for normal workdays.
Ok so you may have noticed a few things about our customer persona:
  1. We went very specific. We gave her a name (Sarah), an age, location and occupation. You may think this is going too far, but this actually helps us because it allows us to personalize our messaging in a way that is not possible when we think in generalities (otherwise we would be marketing to an abstract concept and not a real person in our mind).
  2. Our likes and dislikes are not necessarily tied to the product directly. This was done on purpose to show you two different approaches to think about likes and dislikes. You could go the route of tying it directly to the product, like we did for the likes, or you could make them be based on the behavior of your target customer (which may not be tied directly to your product). Either approach you take helps you personify your customers and allows you to target them in a much more effective way.
Now that we have a general idea of our customer persona, we can go about testing to see if this is an actual profile of our customer.
Your Next Steps
Think about the customer personas for your product or service. Start with one, but eventually you may have dozens of them.
If you want to learn more about how to use customer personas in digital marketing, learn more at the AstroLabs Digital Marketing Course.
Next Week
Once you have your customer persona, you need to think about what stage of awareness your prospects are at. That’s what we’ll be covering next.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ahmad Abugosh

Practical digital & tech guides, deep thoughts and useful ideas delivered by me Ahmad Abugosh. I'm the Director of Marketing & Learning Programs at AstroLabs and the Author of Timeless Digital Marketing. Hope to see you inside!

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