Why You Need A Customer Persona: Stories Need Characters

Allan Caeg Branding

Imagine watching Star Wars without Luke Skywalker, Alice in Wonderland without Alice, Jessica Jones without Jessica, or Lord of the Rings without Frodo.

It’s like running an online business without a customer persona or avatar. It’s a business without the star.

If you’re a startup business, you’re still clarifying who your customer is. Does that mean you just shoot in the dark? Build stuff for no one in particular?

Not really. To make real conversations, you need a customer avatar or persona. It’s better to talk to a sub-optimal avatar than to speak like a robot.

Role-playing with your mom, even if she’s far from your audience, is better than speaking to your MacBook.

Customer Avatar or Persona

A customer persona is an attempt to represent your ideal customer. This persona helps you internalize the customer interaction and relate to them as real humans.

They are the lead actors of your story. Your story should be told for them. When you already know your persona, you are catering your business for them. Because you will know the specific group of people that will have a need for your service or business.

Defining your customer avatar/persona is important. In fact, it is very crucial for any business.

Storytelling for Your Customer Persona

Storytelling is not only for books or movies. It is also essential in marketing. You create stories for your audience, because that’s how they can understand you better.

In marketing stories, they are the lead stars. Your product is also a character in the story. It’s the guide that helps the main protagonist achieve her goal.

Let’s talk a bit about the power of storytelling. Blendec has a seemingly boring product, the blender. But they create stories that make the product interesting. You likely have seen it before, but check this out and see for yourself:

Successful brands manage to appeal to their customers based on storytelling, directed to their customer avatar or persona. You just can’t pull that off without talking to a specific face. This is why defining your customer avatar/persona is important. In fact, it is very crucial for any business.

Here are some reasons why:

1. It helps you understand the needs and interests of your customers.

Think of it as buying a gift for someone important in your life. You visualize them. You imagine what they want, their needs and what they don’t like.

This is the same way with a customer persona. You can understand better the needs and wants of your customers. That way, you can create a product or service that your customers will find valuable.

2. It gives you an idea where your customers can be found.

When you know the background of your persona, you will also know where they spend most of their time online. Where they get information from. What social sites they frequently visit.

This information will make it easy for you to target your customers. You can promote your business on the sites where they visit the most. The chances of them seeing your posts are very high. Your prospects are likely to react and get interested in what you have to offer upon seeing what you are offering.

3. It means that you will get better leads.

Catering to the right people, at the right places. As opposed to just throwing your marketing out there to random people.

It allows you to filter. Which would you rather do? Talk about your business to a group of very interested people. Or try your luck to thousands of people who might not have a need for what you are offering.

It’s ok to start small. Small can grow big. They are exactly the customers you are looking for. The niche they are running around with are still the market you are targeting. That means more customers for you!

4. It leads to better product development.

You already know your customers and their needs. The only thing you need to do now is to create the most awesome product for that need.

If you already have an existing product, you can adjust it so it aligns with your customer persona better. If your product is new, take all the information you have on your persona and build the product around it.

Your knowledge can lead to better marketing campaigns. Your pitch will be directed straight to your prospects. No beating around the bush. Straight up campaign that will bring in those customers.

You now know how important a customer avatar/persona is.

How do you go about gathering information about your persona?

Moz has their way of building a customer persona:

The idea is simple: gather information about their psychographics, demographics, and how they learn & get entertained.

Ask your audience, check your analytics, check competitor data, and survey your audience.

How should your customer avatar/persona look like? Here’s an example:

Name & photo

  • Jane Park ?

Background information:

  • Age, gender: 32 years old, female
  • Job: Creative director
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in advertising and PR
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Family situation: Single
  • Archetype: Straightforward Advertising Professional

Quote:

  • I love coming up with exiting campaigns for my clients. I work long hours. I just wish communicating with the clients is much easier.

Goals:

  • Wants a promotion
  • Wants her ad campaigns to win awards
  • Better relationship with her clients
  • Effective and better communication tools she can use.

Problems/Challenges:

  • Too much workload
  • Numerous emails from clients
  • Communication problems with co-workers and clients.

Values:

  • Open to new ideas
  • Loves music and art
  • Practical and straight to the point

Buying Decision Process:

  • Workaholic
  • Gets info and buys online
  • Reads reviews about products
  • Prefers product referrals from friends/experts
  • Doesn’t like telemarketers

Over to You

Your business is a movie.

To be successful, it has to be a humane conversation. You need to be talking to someone specific.

Who are you trying to influence?