Skip to content
2.25.2021  - ZW - Persona - How do you gather data to build robust and accurate marketing personas_

 

Many companies understand the importance of developing buyer personas, which are notional representations of their ideal customers based on market research. However, they might not realize the value in also developing marketing personas, which are not exactly the same as buyer personas. Creating marketing personas can contribute to understanding your target audience and the success of marketing your business.

Let’s dive into how to create marketing personas for your business. 

Quick takeaways: 

  • A marketing persona represents the ideal user of your products or services
  • Use qualitative market research to generate hypotheses about the attitudes and beliefs that your customers have
  • Use quantitative market research to collect data, test these hypotheses, and validate your marketing personas

What Is a Marketing Persona?

A marketing persona is a character with distinct demographic and psychographic attributes who has a problem your product or service can solve. Each persona can be combined with market segmentation to represent specific customers. 

You can use marketing personas to consider your ideal customers’ goals, desires, and limitations. You can also apply marketing personas to your marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Personas can be used to guide decisions about products, services, interactions, features, website design, and other marketing strategies.

Benefits of Marketing Personas

Creating marketing personas for your business will provide a number of key benefits:

  • Create consistency in your marketing messages
  • Develop a better understanding of your customers’ wants and needs
  • Improve targeting of content and marketing opportunities
  • Focus on higher quality sales leads and lead nurturing programs
  • Make better use of analytics to identify personas that  better fit your customer model

Qualitative Market Research

The purpose of qualitative market research is to understand different buyer attitudes and beliefs. It is not intended to measure data or forecast results. Qualitative market research methods are exploratory, as they do not typically provide measurable data or support data-based forecasting. To conduct qualitative market research, you must talk to a group of people within your target audience. 

Methods

Use the following methods to perform qualitative market research:

  • Focus groups
  • Customer interviews
  • Conversations with stakeholders

Once you have gathered this information, you can generate hypotheses about your marketing personas.

Asking Questions

When conducting focus groups or interviews, consider asking the following questions as part of collecting qualitative information about your target audience:

  • Briefly describe your business (e.g., size, primary expertise, location)
  • What is your role within your company?
  • What are your main goals and KPIs?
  • What are the major issues or obstacles in your role?
  • What do you use our product or service to achieve?
  • What were you doing to achieve this goal before using our product or service? 
  • Why did you change to using our product or service?
  • What is the main benefit of using our product or service?

Quantitative Market Research

The purpose of quantitative market research is to test the findings from exploratory qualitative research. Quantitative market research methods are validating, as you can organize, tabulate, and analyze the data with statistical models. To conduct quantitative research, you must collect data from a variety of sources.

Methods

Use the following quantitative market research methods to gather and analyze data:

  • Primary research (e.g., exclusive, targeted research of your customer base using formal survey design)
  • Secondary research (e.g., pulling data from government and industry reports)

You can then use this information to test the hypotheses you created with your qualitative marketing research.

Statistical Analysis

Use the following types of statistical analyses to evaluate your marketing data:

  • Market segmentation: Use cluster analysis or discriminate analysis to divide the market into like-minded groups so you can market to all customers in a segment as if they were one person
  • Multivariate model: Identify the relationship between a group of explanatory variables (e.g., product design) and a specific variable (e.g., profitability by customer segment)
  • Structural-equation model: Combine factor analysis and regression to study relationships between variables (e.g., customer characteristics and their perceptions of the value of the supplier relationship)
  • Time-series forecasting: Identify data trends or patterns over time to predict or forecast future values (e.g., predict higher demand for a new technology based on industry growth rates)
  • Conjoint and discrete-choice model: Model behavior or trade-offs that customers will make for different product features (e.g., fast food menu offerings)

Creating a Marketing Persona for Your Business

Creating marketing personas will help you to understand your ideal customers’ wants and needs. This strategy will guide your decision-making when creating and marketing your products and services, ensuring that you target your approaches to the right audience. It will also help you to improve lead generation and lead scoring, and create consistency in your marketing across the organization.

Need help creating a marketing persona for your business? Sellerant can guide the way.