How to define your marketing target to find your customers and retain them: the ultimate guide.
“My product is for everyone, anyone can need it“. This is a belief that we still regularly come across. However, it is impossible to hold the attention of your visitors, prospects or potential users by trying to address everyone.
Not knowing who is your target audience is a mistake that can quickly become fatal for the company or lead to exhaustion – and burn out your teams – in the face of efforts that do not bear fruit.
- Your social networks are not taking off
- Your website is more or less ignored
- Your blog posts don’t work
- Your commercial actions are not very effective
- Your emailings are not open…
Why is that?
Because you don’t know your target, your audience. If you are concerned by this mistake, accept it now – and tell yourself that you are far from being an isolated case – and read on!
Identify your target by creating your buying persona
The idea is to do exactly the opposite. Instead of focusing on everyone, the goal is to identify a typical client profile that has the ideal characteristics for your product or service. Or for whom you are going to adapt the characteristics. It’s about defining personas. The persona totally embodies the real customer you’re targeting: you’re going to use real information to build it. You will also regularly find the terms “ideal customer” or “archetype” to designate the persona, it’s more or less the same thing. The idea to remember is that the persona helps you to almost physically materialize the customer to whom you will sell your product and who will find it irresistible because “made for him”.
The persona represents a real person who lives, breathes, and who by his beliefs, his needs, his lifestyle… has a strong interest in your product.
How to define your audience thanks to personas?
If the concept is relatively simple, the practice is a little less so.
Nevertheless, we are going to discuss here methods that allow to reliably realize your personas.
A persona is not based on feelings, impressions or intuitions. The persona is not defined in a hypothetical or theoretical way but empirically, with facts and data. These data can be your own or they can be the result of research.
Humanize your target by giving life to your personas
Here are a few tips to make your persona real, alive and therefore easier to identify and “listen to”. Your best weapon to create relevant, realistic and consistent personalities with your product or service is to make the most of the benefits of an empathetic approach. Empathy is clearly recognized today as a key quality in marketing, allowing for a superior level of understanding and anticipation of the customer’s needs.
1. Give a name to your persona
Giving a name is a way to humanize and give life to your persona, for you and also in the eyes of the other people in your company. You will then be able to specifically name actions or products for this persona internally.
You can use a simple first name, an expression or a nickname.
Ex: Sarah the hard-worker, Jeremy the anxious or Robert the future retiree.
2. Identify it in the population
Your persona embodies a real person, your “perfect customer”. It is therefore a matter of representing and qualifying him with concrete characteristics.
- How old is he or she? The answer is not “between 15 and 30 years old”. Your persona has a specific age.
- Place of residence
- Marital status
- Economic situation
- Professional situation
- Tenant or owner
- What is its environment?
3. Give him / her a personality
For example, you can create scales with sliders to qualify your personality on several levels:
- Introverted vs. extroverted
- Analytical vs. creative
- Conservative vs. Liberal
- Liabilities vs. assets
- What are its values?
- Who does he trust?
4. Give her a story!
Depending on your industry or the type of product you sell, you may find that your customers belong to certain groups. You will therefore try to retrace the main lines of the common history of your persona with his group: job, a center of interest, hobby, activity, level of education…
For example, if you are in a BtoB sector, your persona could be an SME manager, having attended a business school and being a member of an entrepreneur association. Membership in groups can be easily identified during interviews or surveys.
For example, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What brands does your persona consume?
- Where does he or she go on vacation?
- What studies has he done?
- What does he or she think about the news (a specific event)?
- What city does he or she live in?
- What are their hobbies?
Our advice: make a bio
5. Assign goals, values, fears, etc. to your child.
By studying your persona, you will try to identify what pushes him or her to act or, on the contrary, what holds him back from acting. Globally, this touches on three main levers which are his goals, values and fears. It is a far from obvious exercise, but it is thanks to this that you can best understand the motivations that drive your client and the problems he encounters every day. At this stage, you will have a lot to gain by involving your sales team and, if you have one, your customer relations department.
If you don’t have any customers yet or too few, you ask yourself the opposite: why did you create your business? To respond to what problems or needs? It is common for entrepreneurs to get the idea of their business by being confronted with a problem themselves.
This third point being often the most difficult to address, here are some ideas of questions to ask yourself in order to identify the goals, values and fears of your persona :
- What keeps them awake at night?
- What are the biggest challenges they face?
- Who do they turn to for advice and information?
- How are they experiencing change?
- What prevents or pressures them to change?
- How do they want to feel after purchasing your product or service?
- Short of ideas?
6. Personalize your marketing message
Once you have an idea of your customer’s background, who they are and what their problems, expectations, fears, etc. are, it’s time to define the right marketing message to address them. This message describes your product or service and the practical, economic or emotional benefit it brings to that particular person.
To complete your persona, we recommend that you write his bio, which summarizes in a few lines his background, his personality, his expectations.
7. How to approach him/her?
An important question is how will you reach your target audience, your persona?
Your grandfather is probably not on Twitter (although…) and your 10-year-old niece probably doesn’t read the Herald Tribune. Thanks to your research and the study of your personas, you should have a pretty good idea of the media they use in priority.
At the end of the day, you should be able to answer this 3 questions :
- Do you know the 3 common points of your clients who will ask themselves 0 questions about working with you?
- Do you know what motivates the decision makers ?
- Do you know the essential elements to put in your sales proposals in order to be systematically included in the short list during consultations?
Think you need help to answer YES to these 3 questions?
Let’s meet here. If you think we could be the right team for you, just contact us !