The online world of marketing is vast. Your customers are out there, but where are they and how do you connect to them? One of the most imperative and often skipped steps in being in strategic social media marketing is to develop and use a target market customer persona to lead your marketing strategy.
Who Is Your IDEAL Customer?
We business people tend to cast the net wide when we talk about who our ideal customers are. Suppose your business is Perry’s Online Pet Supply – you may think your customers are anyone who owns a pet. That sounds good at first because it means that you have millions of people who are prospective customers. But the other side of the coin is that there is no way a small online pet supply store can connect with millions of customers. Odds are Perry’s Online Pet supply just doesn’t have the infinite budget and time to reach that market. So who do you reach out to? Really, there is a small slice of that market that is your IDEAL customer. The strategic approach is to decide who that is and spend your efforts marketing to that guy.
Below I have listed some questions you can ask yourself to get a clearer picture of your persona, but here is an example of how Perry can find his target market persona.
Example of Perry’s Online Pet Store
Perry’s Online Pet Store can go from a million random customers to a smaller group that he can more strategically market to through all his social media and online marketing efforts. To do that he took a look at who are the customers that love his business and buy the most from him. In looking at his sales numbers and talking to the people who are buying his products, he was able to come up with the following picture.
The customers who love Perry’s Online Pet Store are typically owners of cats and dogs in the Seattle and San Francisco areas. These owners are professionals who live in a specific upscale neighborhoods in these cities. He also can recognize this group within predetermined zip codes. The “persona” has no children, works full time and makes over $80,000 each year. Their pets are well taken care of and enjoy high-end cat litter, dog toys, food and other pet accessories. The owner has purchased their pet at high-end pet stores and takes their animal to the veterinarian regularly. Rather than boarding their pets, these owners prefer to hire people to come to their home and feed, walk and care of their pet when they are on their many vacations.
The owner is short on time but has extra discretionary income and enjoys eating out about 3 to 4 times a week and entertainment includes going to popular restaurants, bars and live music, as well as hiking and biking. Their average age is 25 – 45, have graduated from college and are active on social media with Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. Outside of work hours they are active online about 30 hours a week and about 75% of that time they are using their mobile device to access the internet or social media.
After doing the online persona for Perry’s Pet Supply it’s obvious that Perry can be very targeted about how they speak and related to their customer and where to find them. Sure, not every detail in the persona description is accurate, but the overall persona image gives a solid idea of their customer’s lifestyle and buying behavior. The persona information helps Perry decide which products to promote, what topics will interest their customers and which social media channels to reach them on, and how to best target his online advertising. Can you answer all those questions about your own ideal customer?
Craft Your Customer Persona Description Right Now
If not, take the next 30 minutes to craft up your own social media by answering these questions.
- Is your ideal customer male or female?
- What kind of educational background do they have?
- Where do they live?
- Do they shop online, off or both?
- What are their favorite brands?
- Do they refer to local directories such as Yelp to review businesses?
- How old are they?
- What are their weekend interests?
- Which social media platforms do they hang out on?
The questions to define your target customer persona can go on and on. The more you understand about the persona’s buying behavior and life style, the better you can get to a strategic marketing plan that pays off.