Here we are at last—the final installment of our series, Target Your Ideal Customer With Personas. We’re so glad you’ve joined us, and we firmly believe your team’s marketing strategies will be the brainier for it!
In previous installments, we’ve discussed the whys and hows of building a more evolved customer profile, The Whole Brain way. The “why”? Your business succeeds when you know your audience and speak directly to their needs. The “how”? That’s about structuring your observations into a useful tool—one that integrates complete information about your diverse customer base, and delivers that information to your team in a clear and succinct visual format.
If you’ve been following the series from the start, you’ve already done the hard work of gathering data about your ideal customers. Now it’s time to put that data into a format you can really use! Read on for our final installment in the series…
Combining Your Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Personas
Your Ultimate B2B Customer Profile is made up of two components:
- Ideal Customer Profile (Ideal Customer Profile), which describes the kinds of companies you seek to engage.
- Personas, which describe a fictionalized person representing key audience segments you are targeting within those companies.
Let’s start with your Ideal Customer Profile. Using the data you gathered about your ideal customers (see Company Demographics: Gathering Data For Your Ideal Customer Profile), your goal is to produce a one-page customer profile. Start with a few sentences describing your company and its mission. Next, list the attributes of the customers you want to reach, including
- Their demographics and other characteristics
- Their values, needs, and pain points
- How they make buying decisions
Describe why your product or service is right for them. For example, check out The Whole Brain Group’s own Ideal Customer Profile. Ultimately, a great Ideal Customer Profile clarifies the mutual benefits of your customer relationships: what opportunities you offer them and what opportunities they offer you when they choose your business.
Use Personas to Visualize Your Buyer
Now, complement your Ideal Customer Profile with your personas—as many as you need. Great personas are at-a-glance “pictures” offering concise information about the different audience segments you’re trying to reach. For each individual or audience segment, create a one-page profile that starts with a name (go for what fits—flip through a baby name book if you need ideas) and a picture of the persona (try browsing the web for stock photos). Use bubbles or callouts around the image to describe the following elements:
- The persona’s needs (why they’re looking for your product or service)
- The persona’s pain points (which of their problems your product or service would solve)
- What questions they would ask about your product or service
Not everyone will need the same number or type of personas--the ones you choose to create will depend on the specific people you’re trying to reach. Personas are always based on real people and should be depicted in a personalized format.
Share Your Customer Profile - Internally
When you’ve completed your Ultimate B2B Customer Profile, distribute copies to your staff so that everyone gets a chance to look it over and discuss it. Review your profile at regular intervals to make sure it continues to feel relevant, amending it when necessary. Refer to your personas every time you create new content or strategize your marketing efforts. Finally, although the profile should be treated as an internal document and neither published nor distributed to customers, you may find it desirable to share with referral partners. (If so, make sure it’s worded wisely.)
Here at The Whole Brain Group, we know how much work you put in to this task, because we’ve done it ourselves! Happily, our experience has shown that it’s well worth the effort. In creating a thorough profile, you make a concerted effort to understand and speak to your customer base. The rewards of this exercise are improved customer relationships and growth in your business. Really, what could be more worthwhile?