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.