Persona Profiling and Personalisation: The Future of Marketing

Posted in: Marketing, Work on November 5th, 2012
The many faces of Personalised Customer Marketing
Customers have many faces… Personalise to meet their demands. Image credit

Your customer types should be the first discussion topic when you are putting together a marketing plan. Sadly; however, when many people identify their customer profile, they give a very broad brush description. “My customers are usually small businesses.” “My customers are usually over 50.” “My customers are high-profile executives.”

Let’s be honest, we all like a bit of personal attention, so why not incorporate personalisation into marketing? To do so you first need to build a complete customer profile, then you can go ahead and target ‘til your heart’s content. Here are a few points to consider when building customer profiles…

Demographic

This is often the first segmentation instrument used; marketers will usually target demographics such as age, gender, income and/or geographic location. While this is important, and will be the base of many campaigns, it’s only the cinnamon on the top of a fluffy cappuccino when it comes to customer profiling.

Psychographic

Often neglected, psychographic profiling helps identify thought patterns, values, interests, goals and beliefs that can be used for targeting and relationship building. For example, if a person is a single, career-driven male who supports Ford in the V8s, he would be unlikely to respond to a campaign with pictures of a mother and baby in a Holden Barina.

Also, use this chance to get social with your customers and engage them on common personal interest topics outside of your product base. By doing this you personalise your brand, helping drive brand equity, consumer trust and sales!

Webographic and Integrated Marketing

When it comes to reaching customers online, contemplate the time of day people browse for different types of content (this can affect email or ad delivery schedules), devices used to access the web (mobile, browser, tablet), preferred interaction methods (email, website, forum, social media, app), their experience using online tools (how simple is your conversion process?) and how fast their connection is (will you use video, photo and/or text).

Additionally, your website shouldn’t be a solitary marketing channel. Integrating your campaigns across a range of online channels such as social media, PPC, blogs and forums aids content syndication, while exploiting TV or print can help propagate marketing messages offline. Deciding which channels to use will be based on the customer personas identified, and channel specific campaigns should be personalised to suit.

Goals, Challenges and Solutions

Psychographic analysis can lead to identification of customer goals and issues preventing goal achievement, giving you the chance to provide a solution to a problem. For example, knowing that a busy family man’s goal is to purchase a second home but his primary challenge is finding the time to look for properties, you may be able to offer a specific solution. Your matching campaign would then utilise copy and supporting graphics to solve his specific issue, rather than solving the broad issue of being time poor. Furthermore, understanding customers’ specific needs assists identify common objections and prepares you to counter customer dissent, allowing you to provide responses that the customer can relate to.

Putting it Together

Gathering customer insight may not be as easy as Googling it. You may have to actually interview customers, conduct surveys or use social monitoring software to gather online data. But once you have clear, segmented customer profiles you can start to build website content, advertising campaigns and social media posts around these segments.

Personalisation is the future of marketing…

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