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6 Steps to Build Customer Personas (And Why Your Business Needs Them!)

In order to put your best foot forward with your customers and attain new ones, you need to understand who is currently interested in your products. After all, it’s way easier to market to somebody when you know and understand them. That’s where personas come in. Developing personas for your audience can help determine how best to reach your current and potential customers. Not sure where to start? Check out the simple six-step process below. 


1. Get to Know Your Customers

It all starts with what you know. Consider what kind of demographics or identifiers you already collect about your customers. Types of information that may be helpful include age, gender, interests, past purchases, types of purchases and more. Consider what data you already have and what might be useful to help you understand your customers.


2. Ask Questions

There will undoubtedly be gaps with the data you do have. Or, maybe you aren’t collecting any data yet at all! Consider sending out an optional survey to your customers letting them know that you’re trying to better understand them and their needs. This is an excellent way to get some of the information you may be lacking. Ask for their demographics, what they feel is missing from your offerings or things that they currently love. 


3. Group Your Customers

Now it’s time to synthesize your data! Some themes may begin to emerge. For example, maybe your customer base is largely male or female and in a certain age range. Or, maybe you realize that customers go crazy over one type of product and another has been left sitting on your shelves. 


4. Give Your Groups a Personality

What brands do your customers enjoy? What are their hobbies? Of course, you can’t definitively say that ALL customers will love those same things or fit specifically into one persona. However, you should be able to identify general themes. Give your personas a name and make them as real as possible. This will help you as you move forward and start to communicate with your persona types. 


5. Identify Communication Styles

Different personas will have different preferences for how you communicate with them. For example, Steve could be a busy on-the-go dad, so he prefers to get text messages since you never know where he’ll be, and he often doesn’t have time to check email. On the other hand, Sarah could be a businesswoman who is constantly checking her email while in meetings and prefers for your business to send her updates via email during the workday. There are so many possibilities and combinations. One persona type may prefer multiple modes of communication and marketing, so make sure to include everything you can think of!


6. Update Regularly

As marketers, our work is never done. As times change, so will your personas. New products or services may spur a brand new type of customer who is suddenly interested in your offerings. As your brand evolves, you may lose certain persona types and gain others. That’s why it’s important to keep a pulse on your audience base at all times. The more you know, the easier it will be to communicate with your customers.


How will your business use personas to reach customers? From marketing to communications and test groups, there are so many ways persona groups come in handy. Use these personas to educate new team members and to make informed decisions about your marketing moving forward!