Use Customer Persona Profiles to Increase Revenue

target customer profiles

Posted on January 18, 2018

How does your brand align with your clients? …don’t know? Being familiar with your customers’ goals, beliefs, and the places they frequent can help improve your bottom-line. Using Buyer Personas and Customer Personas is a great way to target new customers and upsell to existing ones.  Here’s how Buyer Personas can help your small business…

Know Your Target Customers. Discover Their motivations.

As businessowner, once you’ve determined your target market the next step is to understand your customers’ buying habits and motivations. Being mindful of this information will enable you to place your product/service in front of ideal customers at a time when they’re most likely to buy.

Use Persona Profiles to Capture More Customers

What is a Persona? A persona is a model representation of your target client or prospective customer type. It provides clarity on customers’ wants and needs, making first-time sales and customer retention much more effective.

“My world changed forever when I witnessed the birth of personas.”
“Buyer personas are research-based representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions.”
– Tony Zambito, an authority in buyer insights and buyer personas

small business buyer persona profiles

Demographic Info v. Buyer Personas: What’s the difference?


What is Demographic Targeting?

Demographic data is composed of broad aggregate information to describe generalities of a market audience. This aggregate information usually specifies little more than age, race, gender, relationship status, income, education and job title. This information is often publicly available (U.S. Census) or quickly ascertained through private databases (such as InfoUSA or Association of Realtors). Although demographics can help businesses determine which neighborhoods or communities to market to, demographic targeting is an unfocused marketing technique and can be a big waste of a marketing spend. Demographic targeting is regularly used to sell billboard ad space, and sell airtime on radio and TV.

What is Buyer Persona Targeting?

Personas, on the other hand, present deeper insight of your target market. A persona profile is a model representation of your top client or prospective customer type. It provides clarity on customers’ core values, motivations and behaviors associated with your brand. Having a deeper understanding of your customers can help businesses make acquisition and retention sales much more effective.

When persona types are curated, marketing plans can be molded and improved over time to offer products at the appropriate time-and-place when a customer is most-ready to transact or purchase. A small business can easily have six or more persona profiles describing their customer base.

Case Scenario…  A rod and reel manufacturer may be able to serve an internet ad to a prospective customer right when that customer is looking to book a fishing tour company.

‘Buyer Persona’ versus ‘Customer Persona’

The terms “Buyer Persona” and “Customer Persona” are used to describe a customer-type at different stages of the buying process.  While the Buyer Persona profile is designed to describe a first-time customer (prior to making an initial purchase) the Customer Persona profile speaks to customer retention and brand loyalty. Many times, these terms are used interchangeably; however, there are specific groups of people inclined to favor one term over the other. Customer Support and Inside Sales departments would most likely use the Customer Persona term, while Outside Sales and Business Development representatives would use the Buyer Persona term.

Seizing the Persona Opportunity

When customers start purchasing seasonal items, how do you sell to them before the competition?  Is your business missing complementary offerings when groups of products are purchased?  With persona profiles, customer situations can be prepared for and accurately anticipated.

The following are examples of how persona profiles are used to improve the bottom-line.

  • Pinpoint the optimal time when a product or service should enter or exit the market.
  • Identify customer trends before the competition does.
  • Leverage your firm’s advantages to be vendor of choice.
  • Align product feature-sets and benefits with customer values.
  • Offer more complete solutions to problems.
  • Help customers make an informed decision.
  • Advertise across more effective locations, online and offline.

What Customer data is Used to Build a Persona Profile?

A single persona is an encapsulated list of personality traits that provides a general description of a target customer subset group.  Starting off with three or four persona profiles, growing to 10 or 12 over time, can provide paths for distinct marketing strategies that are laser-focused and improve ROI on your marketing spend.

Building Profiles Takes Detective Work

Keep in mind that psychographics (the psychological study of customer attitudes) is based more on the quality of data and less on the quantity of data. Typically, information gathered from services like Google Analytics only provides a sliver of the needed information for building a persona. There are other ways to curate the information you need.

Every business niche is unique.  Therefore, gathering information for your company’s personas will take some detective work and time. So, where do you start? The following are some suggested data-gathering techniques.

Ask Questions to Build Persona Profiles!

To compose your initial persona profiles, start with known customer types.  Let’s say you already know two customer types; one’s that you nicknamed years ago (for example, the “Executive Mom” and the “Young Empty-nester”). These current customers would be the first personas you build out.

To start composing new personas… first, list personality and value traits for each profile. Much of this data will need to be queried from existing clients and prospective customers – it’s best to do this in an unintrusive manner.  If you don’t know certain (but crucial) information, start asking your customers questions. However, limit the customer Q&A to a few but meaningful questions. Asking more than a handful of questions per customer can skew results, because individuals will answer in haste (providing inaccurate or wrong informaiton) if a Q&A feels drawn out or contrived.

Social Media is All-knowing

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great ways to interact with your current clients.

  • Ask questions in your social media bio encouraging your audience to share product experiences and expectations.

Follow-up Questionnaires

When prospective customers inquire through your website, or make some other on-site conversion, ask them to answer a simple question with a form. Where did first hear about your company (or product)?  What feature interests you most? How will this product fit into your lifestyle?

The key is to ask questions and get answers that are valuable insights about your customers and will provide information to help you improve future business. You know your customers better than anyone else, which makes you the best person to formulate the questions to ask.

What Does a Persona Profile Look Like?

While no one can tell you exactly what persona profiles would look like for your organization, the following are a few examples that might inspire you.

Clicking on a persona below will enlarge the file.

In Summary

Armed with buyer personas profiles, your company will have insights to better serve current clients and outmanuever market rivals.  As a parting suggestion…. be sure the information you collect is actionable, in part or in whole.  Many businesses will go through the time-consuming exercise of building persona profiles, but will either end up doing nothing with the profiles or curate information that won’t be helpful. Be mindful that this is a time-consuming task and it may take weeks/months to build effective profiles.

Does your company lack the personnel to undertake a Buyer Persona project? My Internet Scout regularly performs such research for businesses. Start listening to your clients today and contact us about organizing your customer profiles.

Written by Peter La Fond

Having lived most of his life in Northern California, Peter consults for organizations of all sizes on Internet marketing engagement, strategy and execution. He regularly speaks on website design techniques and WordPress. Peter is a graduate from California State University, Sacramento, and practices the ancient art of eating sushi with nose-hair-curling wasabi.

About My Internet Scout

Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, My Internet Scout, LLC is an Internet Marketing firm for small- and medium- size businesses. We specialize in WordPress website design, marketing and related services that include e-commerce, event registration, maintenance, content creation and search engine optimization (SEO). We service a variety of clients across the United States.

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