What Are Customer Personas and Why Are They Important?

by Gerald Fisher 13 December 2022

How do you get to know your customers? 

After all, everyone can’t be your customer. Tell that to Amazon, you say? Well, sure, but let’s be honest, you’re not Amazon. Also, Amazon was established in 1994, so it has spent almost three decades becoming, well, Amazonian.

What is a Customer Persona?

A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal or typical customer based on data and research. 

Customer personas give you insight into who your customers are, “the specific attitudes, concerns and criteria that drive prospective customers to choose you, your competitor or the status quo

Why are Customer Personas so important?

Personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to meet the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of the members of your target audience.

Basing your digital strategy on helping your personas meet their goals will help you build a bond with the real customers they represent. It’s all about creating brand loyalty and trust to, ultimately, streamline your sales process.

Developing personas sets you up to create content and messaging that successfully appeals to your target audience, and it enables you to target or personalise your marketing for different segments of your audience. Say, for example, you’ve identified four personas in your database. You can develop four different, tailored messages that match each persona.

How do you build a Customer Persona?

Things to learn about might include the person’s job, the kind of company they work for, their short, medium and long-term goals, challenges they face (pain points), personal background and demographics, what motivates them, spending power and patterns, interests, stage of life, where and how they get the information they use to make decisions, and where and how they prefer to shop. 

Great research

Current customers, prospects, referrals, and third parties are all good ways to discover people to find out more about, what their needs are if your product might be for them, and how you can develop a message that resonates with them. 

Then you have to reach out to those people and interview them, so you also need to know what questions to ask. 

Look at existing data

Analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights can give you s breakdown of your customer demographics and geographics such as: 

  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Location 
  • Language 

These tools can also give you insight into customer interests, social media channels used and devices used. 

Value Proposition

A key part of determining your customer persona, and using that persona to generate leads, is knowing your value proposition

  • What problem does your business solve? 
  • How would people benefit from your business? 
  • Why should people choose you over your competitors? 

The point is to attract high-value customers and keep them. In short, everything you do next, from a digital marketing perspective, flows from customer personas. Anything and everything that relates to customer acquisition and retention is dependent upon a good customer persona.

Negative Personas

You can also develop negative personas – semi-fictional profiles of your less-than-ideal customers. These are people who are least likely to convert or are not a good fit for your business. 

By developing negative personas, you can avoid wasting resources on the wrong people. Well-built out negative personas can also help you fine-tune your messaging to speak more ideally to the ideal customers. 

Focus on addressing customer priorities instead of your own

You can go with your gut or you can go with data and hard work. At Rumblr, we prefer the latter. Customer personas help you:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of customer needs and how to solve for them
  • Guide product development by creating features that help them achieve their desired outcomes
  • Prioritise which projects, campaigns, and initiatives to invest time and resources in
  • Create alignment across the organisation and rally other teams around a customer-centric vision

“As a result, you’ll be better equipped to serve your customers and deliver a superior experience that keeps them coming back for more. But if you don’t nail down your customer personas, every aspect of your product development process, user experience, and marketing campaigns will suffer.”

Developing a great customer persona is critical, and truly an organic process. This is going to be different for every business, and every product. It’s not plug-and-play, and it is super-critical that developing your personas is done well. It forms the basis and structure for content creation, product development, and follow-up. 

by Gerald Fisher