Every brand has probably gone through the process of creating “Customer Personas.” For most, this would have been conducted before the launch of a brand or a product or as part of drawing up marketing plans or repositioning one’s customer service. Yet, this important subject is often neglected, sometimes done cursorily or just for show.
Isn’t It Just Common Sense?
A former PayPal employee leaked the fact that consultancy studies cost the company US$1 million, of which one key study on customer personas yielded unexpected results. This electronic payment platform studied that its target customer persona is someone willing to pay, trust, and cooperate with the merchants’ payment systems. He or she is not keen to spend too much and desires good customer service. What is unexpected about this result is that it is simply basic common sense. Although it is often said that common sense is not something that everyone can grasp, imagine how the person in charge of commissioning the study felt after spending an enormous amount of money to obtain the same results one could similarly gather from informally surveying a few customers.
Consultancy Studies Should Aim to Be Practicable
When drawing up plans or engaging consulting services, the final report must have practicable recommendations. Otherwise, it is like building castles in the air, where the professional perspective does not benefit the client nor his marketing strategy. The result is that these reports and research into personas are merely a rudimentary academic reference, with little or no value to offer a brand’s business strategy.
Four Questions to Ask When Establishing Customer Personas
To get a practical customer persona to facilitate marketing perspectives, one must first ask the right questions. These are the four most basic questions that must be answered:
- What do you want to achieve the most?
- Why is this important?
- Where will you find a solution to attain this?
- What else would you have wanted to become or achieve?
These four seemingly simple questions are easy to understand. If you ask them and follow-up well, you will be able to obtain data on the pain points of your target customers, where to find them, and understand their innermost expectations. This will help brands evaluate whether they have captured a unique place in their customers’ hearts or the reasons for why they may have failed to have done so.
The Most Important Thing: Ask the Right Questions
To reposition a brand, to attract new streams of customers, or to improve one’s products and services by differentiating oneself from the competition, you’re off to a good start if you study customer personas. There is a need to invest in resources, and for it to be worthwhile, the right questions must be asked.