To make the most of your marketing efforts for 2016, you'll want to focus your efforts on your very best prospects - the ones who are most likely to do business with you and keep buying from you well into the future. To help with this, we at KAYAK Online Marketing have developed a new tool to gain insights into what your prospects are looking for.
Who are your ideal customers?
We believe it isn't enough in today's competitive business world to simply know what you have to sell. Instead, the smartest companies build their online marketing plans around specific insights. They want to know as much as possible about their most important customers, and what their products or services represent to those buyers.
That's why we've created this Self-guiding Persona Creation Tool. It helps you better understand your prospects as real people with concrete buying motivations. In other words, well developed personas hold the key to personalized marketing and make it possible to craft offers and messages that your buyers will respond to.
If there are major differences between one group of customers and another, each should probably have its own persona with a specific focus of your attention (and content) toward.
From working with hundreds of companies in our many years in business, we've learned that your persona never works alone. While the majority of the world focuses on the Decision Maker, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they have influencers.
"Influence is a complex and misused term in our world today. At it's core, influence is a force created by one person or entity that causes a reaction in or by another" - Influence Marketing, Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella
Everybody has influencers, and I'm not talking about the internet famous, movie stars, gurus or Klout-sters
I'm talking about your colleagues, employees, friends, and especially your spouse. Even your competitors. These are the people you trust, or the people that motivate you. Is there any reason your Decision Maker wouldn't be influenced by these people in their lives?
Persona 1: The Decision-Maker
The decision-maker is the person who ultimately has to sign on the dotted line, sign the cheque, and/or approve the budget before you can get your sale. The more you can picture an individual rather than a demographic when you are thinking about your audience, the easier it will be to know how to create content and messages that apply directly to them.
If your business has multiple decision makers for a single product or service, or if you offer multiple products and services that will be directed towards different decision makers, you should create different personas for each one.
Persona 2: The Influencer
Often disguised as gatekeepers, spouses, colleagues or executive assistants, influencers can become your most important allies. They come in many forms, and have many different titles, but never underestimate the power of their opinions and input. They are often the ones who will research your solutions and offer a recommendation on the buying decision that carries a lot of weight.
"Value, or rather our sense of it, is what makes society work, it's what makes businesses succeed and what creates interaction at a personal as well as a social media level." - David Amerland
Market only to decision-makers is a terrible oversight
In many cases, the influencer may actually have more sway than the person who actually signs the purchase order. If you think your business has multiple influencers for a single product or service or if your website offers multiple products and services that will be directed towards different influencers, you should create different personas for each one.
A trip down memory lane... I recall a day back in 1996, when my team and I cut a figure of a soccer mom out of cardboard and sat her in a chair. We spent the rest of that day creating content for her. Check the tool out now. There's a pretty cool mashup in the tool completion email we think you'll love.
This post originally appeared on the KAYAK Online Marketing blog