Once upon a time, marketers tended to think that every customer buying a certain shoe was the same, every person buying the same brand of coffee was alike, and every consumer buying the same type of wrench was the same.
No more. The digital era has brought us untold amounts of data that we can analyze, understand and incorporate into marketing campaigns.
But how do you filter out all the noise to get to the data that makes the difference?
How do you make sense of all that information in a way that lets you make authentic and effective connections to your customers?
The answer comes with the increasing personalization available for use in your marketing campaigns — and with the use of customer segmentation and the creation of customer personas.
Because the more you know about your customers, the better you're able to reach them.
Why You Need Personalization
Let's talk first about the ultimate goal of developing customer personas and segmentation.
Why do you need them?
Because creating useful, actionable customer personas is the foundation that allows you to deliver more targeted, personalized marketing.
Marketing personalization makes itself known not in the actual products or services sold, but in the relationship between your brand and your customers.
Personalized marketing strengthens customer relationships and creates a sense of delight.
Like the moment when you send information about a product they didn't even know existed, but which they realize they must have because it speaks so perfectly to their needs and preferences.
Personalization helps your customers know, deep down, that you understand them.
You get them.
You're there for them.
It forges an ongoing emotional connection with your customer.
Customers today are turned off and annoyed by mass broadcast emails and generic newsletters.
They feel disrespected when you send them an ad for a product that has absolutely zero to do with their interests and needs.
In today's digital world, customers only feel acknowledged and respected when your approach to them is personalized.
Ultimately, personalization is the natural evolution of truly understanding your customers' needs.
And that begins with developing customer personas.
Customer Personas & Customer Segmentation
With customer segmentation, we first identify groups of your customers based on various factors that can include demographics, prior purchases, expressed interests, their age, perhaps income level, and more.
You're categorizing them based on data you already have to help you dig deeper into your sales funnel.
Segmentation is essentially a deep analysis of your existing data. It serves as an overview of who your business currently attracts and retains as customers.
And yes, that's important, but segmentation alone is not going to give you what you need to deliver truly personalized marketing.
Segmentation and persona creation are many times more effective together than either one alone.
While the best personas are rooted in objective, realistic data, they also include vital information you'll never find in funnel analysis or in Google Analytics.
Personas embody one or more ideal customers based on in-depth research including behavioral data, personality traits, purchase habits, customer interviews and other valuable insights.
In creating customer personas together, we'll help you understand and develop true empathy with your ideal customers.
You will better understand the values they hold, and the decisions they make based on those values.
You will finally be able to tap into their underlying desires and interests. You'll come to realize the hidden emotions and motivations that are behind their decisions to buy from you (or not).