How to Adjust from Marketing to the Masses to the Individuals that Make Up the Masses
Over the last several decades, we have made great shifts in the way we market to our customers.
One of the most prominent of these shifts is the way in which we’ve adjusted from marketing to the masses to marketing to the individuals that make up the masses. That fundamental adjustment is what separates many successful companies — and their competition — today.
Perhaps the best way this shift manifests itself is in some of our strategic tools, and of these, one strategy stands out — using personas to map the buyer journey. Put simply, mapping the buyer journey with personas is about plotting out each stage of an eventual purchase, from recognizing a need to securing whatever service or good fulfills it from the perspective of the personas.
Let’s take a look at how we can use personas to map and enhance a buyer journey.
We’ve touched on personas frequently in our StrataBytes blog series, and there’s a good reason for that — personas are a valuable resource. As a refresher (or for those of us who are not familiar), personas are lifelike, highly specific representations of customers. For instance, a basic persona may look something like this:
Jillian is 32 and assists in buying MarTech systems for her company. She values being able to do her research independently. Being tech-savvy, Jillian appreciates high-level content detailing the functions of the MarTech she’s looking into. Although she’s a thoughtful and independent buyer, she likes open lines of communication should she have questions, particularly when that comes in the form of a consistent sales representative.
Of course, this is just a basic example — most companies create significantly more specific personas by using their own data and research while also making personas representing different subsets of target demographics.
Now that we’ve created our personas, we can begin using them to map our buyer’s journey, and one of the first things we’ll do is plan our outreach.
Knowing that Jillian is tech-savvy, wants to do her own research, yet still values the ability to interface with a sales representative, we might choose to send her something that is both personally inviting and incorporates digital elements.
This could be a dimensional mailer from a sales representative with a short video displayed on a touch screen. After the video ends, Jillian can explore the pre-loaded content to get a better idea of what capabilities the MarTech system has to offer, including a QR code to download a more technical eBook outlining the finer points of the MarTech.
Identify Obstacles, Friction and Bias
We can also use personas to familiarize ourselves with the obstacle customers regularly face. It’s crucial to use personas in this way to gain a better understanding of our customers by putting ourselves in their shoes.
Identify the pain points they may encounter in their buyer’s journey. For our Jillian persona, that would include things like limited availability of information surrounding the product, difficulty conducting independent research, or trouble contacting a representative with questions.
Our job becomes about removing these pain points and ensuring our fictional company has sufficient information available for those looking to research our products independently, providing varying depth of available content ranging from introductory to technical, and creating an environment where sales representatives are easily accessible through phone, email or online chat.
Update and Maintain Your Personas
People and companies change and this change necessitates the updating of personas to match. Constantly going back to your data and research — figuring out what works and what doesn’t — will fine tune your personas into more potent tools as you continue to use them.
Remember, it’s crucial to make unique personas representing different people going through different buyer journeys.
These tactics — using personas to enhance buyer journeys — can make a huge difference in how small and large companies approach marketing. A better understanding of your customer leads to better marketing, and an enhanced experience for them means enhanced sales for you.
Interested in learning how our services can improve you buyer journey? Contact us to learn more about what Strata can do for you.
Marketing Tips to Help You Succeed in 2020
The holiday season is here, but smart marketers know the grind never really stops.
Enter our two-part series, “12 Days of Smart Marketing”.
In this series, we’ll discuss twelve smart marketing choices and tips that virtually guarantee continued success in the New Year.
Enough preface, let’s get straight to opening presents.
1. Utilize Marketing Automation
Pushing a to-do item like a social media post or email campaign blast to the back of the pile may not seem like a big deal at the moment, but ultimately, these types of mistakes can have a serious impact on your bottom line.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution — automation. Keep using it.
Not only does marketing automation allow you to tackle tedious day-to-day tasks in time-saving batches, but it also creates better data, particularly in the realm of social media (where timing is crucial). Using automated MarTech allows you to observe patterns like a data scientist by reducing the human variable of inconsistency.
The case for automation put simply – better data and greater efficiency means higher ROI.
2. Create Marketing Personas
Are you using personas? You should be.
Personas — the idea of using a fictitious customer profile to hone segmented messaging — are an increasingly popular marketing tool that yields dividends when reaching out to segmented audiences.
You can generate them through internal customer information to help you tailor messaging to your audience. You can also use outside research to develop a template of what a new audience might look like.
Personas are a powerful tool that helps solidify your branding and guide your sales team towards delivering consistent and resonating messages. The limits of their utility are the limits of your creativity.
3. Improve Your Database Quality
It wouldn’t be a New Year if it didn’t involve some housekeeping, and your database probably could use a cleanup. This is a chore, so we’ll keep it brief.
First, there’s plenty of MarTech that can make this process be less of a headache. Find what sort of data managers work for you and implement them, it’ll pay dividends in saved time.
Next, revisit your processes and see what has become obsolete or simply isn’t working. Now might also be a good time to conduct some basic training on data hygiene and its importance. Employees operating with a more complete understanding of the impacts of bad data and how to maintain a quality database will be a boon to your company’s efficiency.
Database cleaned up? Great, use it to its fullest.
4. Understand and Leverage the RIGHT MarTech
MarTech is not the place to be playing “keeping up with the Jones’”.
It’s important to do internal evaluations of your needs, considering the real-life obstacles you routinely encounter, to inform your MarTech purchases. Buying a MarTech product that only has limited application to your business or feeling the need to purchase a product simply because a competitor has success with it can be a tremendous waste of money.
5. Merge Print and Digital
If there’s one facet of marketing we love, it’s the merging of print and digital technologies to better resonate with the customer.
Delivering print with digital assets in the form of a dimensional mailer gives you the opportunity to stand out from the competition in big ways — whether it’s the visual and tactile impact of a box received in the mail or the many, many technological options you can include (everything from QR codes to pre-loaded videos), dimensional mailers equal impact.
Not only is a more immersive experience something the customer will appreciate but the opportunity it presents in streamlining direct outreach with digital assets, more efficiently moving customers down the sales funnel, is invaluable.
6. Listen to Your Customers
We recently outlined what makes a great listener and how important truly listening to your customers can be. Listening to customer feedback and looking to your customers as a primary source of critique is a sure-fire way to make constructive changes to your business.
Developing your relationship with your audience is never a bad thing, and thoughtful dialogue between business and customer is something that can ensure you develop these relationships again and again. More importantly, this type of relationship makes customers feel heard, and that level of acknowledgment is often what begins to shift an audience into a fanbase.
That’s it for Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll explore more marketing tactics to greet the New Year.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you make smart happen in 2020 contact us today.