There was a time when almost none of our new clients had any persona profiles done when we started working with them. Today, most new clients have persona profiles that they believe are complete and ready to go.
The challenge with most of the persona work we get to see is that 95% of the time, while these are really good initial efforts, they are still incomplete.
To generate leads, you need detailed persona profiles that include more than the demographic information associated with your best customers or those prospects you’re hoping to attract with your marketing.
In this article today, we’re going to share all the specific details associated with the persona work we do for clients so you can make sure your prospect personas are 100% complete and ready for action.
This is the most basic persona work. It’s what most companies think of when we ask about personas, and it’s what most companies produce when we ask to see their personas.
You probably have this. It’s the industries your prospects are in. It’s the size of your best prospects, either by the number of employees or annual revenue (or both). It usually includes geography, even if it’s the entire U.S.
Typically, demographic persona data might include the roles or titles of the people you want to talk to. In some cases, it may include the types of products or services they typically buy from you.
This is all fairly basic, easy-to-capture, high-level profile information for your best customers – those people you want more of or the specific types of prospects you want your marketing to attract to your company.
This is where it gets a little harder. Understanding your target audience is crucial for crafting successful marketing campaigns, and psychographic information plays a pivotal role in this process.
Psychographics go beyond the traditional demographics to identify the beliefs, values, interests and motivations of your prospects. By incorporating psychographic data into your prospect personas, you develop a deeper understanding of your audience’s needs and desires.
This invaluable insight allows you to create more personalized and resonant marketing messages that truly connect with your prospects on an emotional level.
Psychographic information enhances the accuracy and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. When you know what drives your audience’s decision-making process, you tailor your content, imagery and tone to appeal to their specific interests and values.
This level of personalization cultivates a sense of authenticity and builds trust, which results in increased engagement, higher conversion rates and more loyal customers.
To gather psychographic information, consider employing various methods such as surveys, interviews, social media listening and customer feedback analysis. Analyzing website behavior and engagement patterns also provides valuable clues about your audience’s preferences and preferences.
Moreover, staying up to date with industry trends and changes in consumer behavior helps you anticipate shifts in psychographic factors. As you gather and analyze this data, be sure to continuously update and refine your prospect personas.
Integrating psychographic information into your marketing strategy not only helps you speak directly to the hearts and minds of your prospects but also fosters long-lasting and meaningful relationships with your customers.
There is another critical and often-overlooked element of a complete prospect persona profile, and that is a map of their buyer journey.
A prospect buyer journey map, also known as a customer journey map, is a visual representation of the stages and interactions a potential customer goes through while engaging with a company or brand before making a purchase decision.
It provides a detailed overview of the prospect’s experience from the initial awareness of a product or service to the final purchase and beyond, including post-purchase interactions.
A typical buyer journey map is divided into different stages, which may vary depending on the complexity of the product or service and the specific industry.
At Square 2, we use our Cyclonic Buyer Journey™ framework to help better define the nuances of today’s buyer journey and map marketing and sales tactics accordingly.
The stages in our framework include:
A well-designed prospect buyer journey map helps businesses gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ thought processes, pain points and touch points throughout the buying process. This insight allows companies to optimize their marketing and sales strategies, enhance customer experiences and develop targeted content and interactions to meet their customers’ needs effectively.
The Cyclonic Buyer Journey framework is one of the few that includes a detailed review of the questions prospects ask at each stage in the buyer journey. These questions are critical to collect and map. They help you with a wide variety of marketing tactics and might be one of the key elements missing from your current marketing.
The questions prospects ask change as they go through their buyer journey. Being able to answer those questions helps you get your prospects to know, like and trust your company. It educates them and makes them smarter, but most importantly, it positions your company as a business that wants to help its customers, and ultimately that helps your prospects feel safe working with you.
Questions also help you know what content to create, what website pages to build and publish, what sales tools to arm sales with and what emails to send prospects to get them moving along their buyer journey.
To find these questions, we typically start with sales. They very often hear the same questions from prospects at the same stages in the buyer journey.
Document ALL the questions you can relate to people who are considering buying products or services like yours. Align these questions with each of the eight stages and you’ll have an inventory of questions that you can use to strategically inform your content marketing efforts, your website and conversion optimization efforts, your ongoing email campaigns and your lead nurturing execution.
If you do this correctly, you’ll have a much more strategic approach to a wide variety of marketing execution you’re doing today, and this should also contribute to a lift in the performance of those tactics.
You’ll need to have a deep understanding of each prospect’s online behavior too as part of your personas. Knowing where they’re spending their time online is going to help you know where to place your content to get their attention.
For example, what social platforms do they lean into? Which ones do they spend the most time on and then the second most time on?
What blogs do they read? What podcasts do they subscribe to? What videos do they watch and where do they get those videos? Are there online communities that they frequently visit?
Are there websites that they spend their time on? Are there people who they follow? They could be industry leaders or other business leaders who they aspire to be like or who they find helpful.
What webinars do they attend? What emails do they subscribe to and read regularly?
Understanding this activity is going to have a direct influence on how, when and where you publish your content and how you use that content to attract new visitors and new potential prospects to your business.
Finally, while the above section is primarily about digital and online behavioral profiling, let’s face it, people today still do a lot offline too.
Because of that, we want to have an equally robust profile for your prospects around affiliations related to their business and/or industry.
What associations do they belong to? What groups are they members of? What events do they attend? Are they part of any peer-to-peer learning groups?
Having these details helps to fill in the profile. It’s also common that discussing these fringe profile elements uncovers other related opportunities that would otherwise be missed.
Personas might now seem like one of the more important parts of your marketing strategy, but it is one of the most important foundational elements of strategy.
Without detailed personas, like the ones we’re describing above, it’s almost impossible to develop a compelling, emotional and disruptive Big Story.
It’s almost impossible to create differentiation that moves the needle from a lead generation perspective.
It’s nearly impossible to create campaigns that attract and drive new visitors to your website, and it’s even more challenging to keep these people engaged with content while they go through their buyer journey.
Personas, while a well-known first step, need to be done in a very specific way that allows you to transform, personalize and maintain your marketing so that you create demand, generate leads and turn those leads into new sales opportunities for your reps.