Build Rapport with Readers Using Concrete Customer Personas
What is the value of print in an increasingly paperless world?
An international 2017 study revealed print brought readers greater enjoyment, deeper understanding of a product, and more willing engagement.
- 68% of people say they do not pay attention to online ads
- 57% do their best to avoid them.
- Conversely, 52% prefer to read product catalogs in print
- 45% of consumers said they like receiving personally addressed advertising or leaflets
- 46% said they would be more likely to respond after seeing a newspaper or magazine ad (versus viewing the same copy online).
As you craft print messages, how can you build rapport with readers?
A 2014 Edelman Brandshare survey found that the majority of consumers are suspicious of brands’ intentions (only 30% believed companies had a sincere commitment to customers). With this in mind, your marketing should focus less on giving information and more on building trust.
Make Your Marketing All About Your Customers
To create the best possible experience so your prospects are ready to buy, begin with a deliberate focus on the audience (not the company) and invest intentional energy to discover who you are actually talking to.
How do you do this?
By detailing exactly who your target markets are: chronicling their pain points, struggles, or aspirations, and articulating how you can provide a delightful solution or experience for them.
3 Steps for Building Customer Personas
Here are three steps for building customer personas:
1. Ask the Right Questions
Building accurate personas means identifying what your ideal customers have in common, how you can address their desires, and how your products or content can solve their problems.
Ask questions like:
- What do my ideal customers desire? What do they need help with?
- What is our target demographic? What are their hobbies or interests? What risks or decisions are they navigating?
- What professional, personal, or family challenges are they facing? What stirs their emotions (like fear, excitement, or pride)?
Focusing on identity keys makes it easier to develop high-level content that set a relevant tone and cuts to the heart.
2. Talk to People
Once you craft sample personas, go directly to current clients (via calls, e-mail, online chats, or through your sales reps) and find out as much as you can.
Test your assumptions, look for common threads, and write down individual phrases or stories people share. Fill in the gaps and gather as much information as possible.
3. Condense and Consolidate
Once you’ve gathered data, comb through and collate.
Look for common themes like concerns, hopes, desires, challenges. At this stage, craft a rough draft of several marketing personas (at least three to start with).
Brainstorm attributes for each persona, make a succinct list of identity keys, and list connection points your brand can make with these people. Name each persona (i.e. Sarah Student, Soccer Mom Sally, Broker Bill) or add images to make them come alive.
Finding Common Ground
Ultimately, humanized marketing is about delivering the type of messages your audience wants to engage with in mediums they trust the most.
Personas also give you a launchpad for asking the right questions and giving them the power to “win” as they choose for themselves.
In the words of Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible:
“People don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy.”