It’s Time To Update Your Customer Persona

Human model on blue background in technology concept, artificial intelligence, 3d illustration

When was the last time you reviewed your customer personas?

Customer personas are critical. In order to make a meaningful connection with a buyer, you need to know who they are, what they like, how they live, and what motivates them, aka, how they make purchasing decisions.

 Most of the brands we work with understand the value of personas. However a common mistake we see is a brand failing to update their customer profiles.  Just as brands are not static, neither are customers. They change and grow and new customers come along. To ensure your marketing is targeted and effective, it’s smart to update your customer personas every 12-18 months.

Here are 3 steps to updating a persona. 

Focus on what matters. Details matter when developing a buying persona, but don’t be ridiculous. Don’t waste precious time arguing over whether or not to name your persona Audrey vs. Aubrey. Don’t worry about whether or not Aubrey owns a dog (unless you’re marketing pet-related products or services, in which case that information is critical). Do think about what Aubrey’s goals are – at work if you’re marketing business products, and at home if you’re marketing consumer products.

Don’t stop at the description. Ineffective buyer personas are those that end with the description of the target customer. It’s not enough to know that Aubrey is a woman in her mid-30s, working in middle management, married with 2.5 kids and living in Florida. Effective personas go beyond the who, what and where and answer the how and the why. How can your brand help Aubrey and why would Aubrey choose you? Effective buyer personas get inside your customer’s head.

Get real. Not every brand has budget set aside for market research and some brands are hindered in persona development by a lack of existing clients from which they can create personas. If that’s the case, reallocate some marketing dollars toward customer research. It will be more effective to do less marketing to the right targets rather than more marketing to the wrong audience. No customers? No problem. Hold focus groups. Sponsor surveys. Whether you have an extensive customer database or you’re just starting out, you have to talk to real people in order to develop an effective buyer persona.

A customer persona, like your marketing plan, should get smarter as your business grows.