Whether you’re designing a website, crafting a Facebook ad, or creating an email campaign, one element that should always be front and center: your customer.
If you adopt a “customer first” mindset, you’re already on the way to increasing your conversion rates and achieving your ultimate business goals.
The best websites, ad campaigns, emails, and more are all designed with your customer journey in mind.
It All Starts with a Persona
Buyer personas, also known as marketing personas or customer personas, are fictional general representations of your ideal clients/ customers.
“Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.” - Hubspot
Personas aren’t fictional - they’re research driven. To create a solid persona, you’re going to need to dive deep into customer surveys and interviews. Talk to your sales team. Even customers who didn’t convert can provide useful information that can help you - sometimes understanding why someone didn’t purchase from you can offer more input for driving marketing opportunities than someone who did.
A buyer persona includes two components:
Buyer profile: relevant demographic and psychographic details
Buyer insight: what makes your ideal customer commit to your product/ service
When conducting research on your existing customers, what trends stand out to you? You may find that many or most of your customers share a job role, age, marital status, education, or career path. There may be a commonality in income, interests, or location. What social media accounts do they use? Do they tend to research or shop online from their phone, tablet, or desktop?
A buyer profile will tell you quite a few things about your ideal customer. But do those things matter when it comes to the problems they’re looking to solve and the ways your business can help them?
You’re referring a friend to your personal insurance agent. What is more helpful for the agent to know?
That your friend is 35, married, uses Facebook and LinkedIn, lives in the Pacific Northwest, and graduated from a state college?
That your friend is opening a new bike shop in town, is looking for a commercial building to buy, and plans on hiring 3 employees before his grand opening in 3 months?
Ask any insurance agent and they’ll tell you - the information provided in the latter example will help them understand that your friend is a good candidate for general liability coverage, commercial property insurance, and workers' compensation insurance for his new business.
And that’s a lot more valuable than knowing what college your friend graduated from.
When gathering buyer insights, be sure to ask interviewees the who, what, where, when, and why.
- What challenges were they facing?
- Why were they looking for a product like yours?
- How did they find you?
- What concerns did they have before buying?
- Who else was involved in their buying decision?
- Why did they buy from you and not your competition?
- Or why did they not buy from you?
- What was the overall process that led to them buying?
- What was the first – and last – steps to purchasing?
Your Customer Journey Matters
When you truly understand who your customer is, what challenges they face, and why they choose your business or product over your competition, you have the information you need to build a website that works harder and craft a marketing message that wins.
When you understand your customer you can implement a marketing funnel on your website that speaks to them.
You can craft blog posts and other content that’s designed to answer the specific questions your customers have as they make their way through their buying journey. And you’ll know how to promote that content to get it in front of the right people, at the right time, and at the right place.
If your audience favors Facebook and Instagram over LinkedIn, then spending your money boosting posts on the professional networking site doesn’t make much sense. Invest your digital marketing budget boosting content on the other two networks, instead.
When you begin with your customer in mind and spend the time truly understanding who your customer is and what makes them tick, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition when it comes to the rest of your marketing efforts.