Customer Personas Simplified

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[Ed. note: This post is the last in a series of guest-post exchanges between Fathom and Right On Interactive, a marketing automation company that emphasizes lifecycle marketing “that helps organizations win, keep and grow business.” Lauren Littlefield is Right On Interactive’s director of marketing.]

I think we are all on board with the notion that mass marketing is out and personalized communications are in. The Custom Content Council reports 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from a company that delivers custom content. Where most marketers disagree is in the approach to getting the right content to the right person at the right time. One way in which you can segment your database is by creating customer personas.

In an early 2013 Search Engine Watch article, author Adria Saracino offers a “quick guide to developing customer personas.” She suggests analyzing analytics, surveying your existing audience, interviewing key customers and recruiting additional research participants to gather the right information to then ask the right questions to develop the customer personas. I don’t know about you, but nothing about that process seems “quick.”

Instead of taking this “quick” approach why not utilize customer lifecycle marketing and base your customer personas on already identified lifecycle stages?

Customer lifecycle marketing uses existing data to segment contacts based upon a 3D scoring metric: Profile + Engagement + Lifecycle Stage. Each lifecycle stage is split into quadrants, meaning there are 4 customer personas in each stage ready to be segmented based upon attributes that are important to your business (e.g., gender, age, location, etc.). If you have 5 lifecycle stages, then you have 20 customer personas ready to communicate with and analyze results from.

Take for example the “Initiate” stage of your business. These are contacts who have yet to engage in a conversation with a member of your sales team. Within this stage, there are 4 customer personas, each based upon a contact’s profile score and engagement score:

  1. Not a profile match & not engaged
  2. Profile match & not engaged
  3. Not a profile match & engaged
  4. Profile match & engaged

At a glance, you can see the customer persona you want to reach with personalized content. For example, the contacts in the second quadrant (Profile match & not engaged) need some nurturing to increase their engagement with your brand. The contacts in the fourth quadrant (profile match & engaged) are most likely to advance to the next lifecycle stage and are ready to speak with a salesperson.

Customer lifecycle marketing takes on the time-consuming task of defining and identifying customer personas and allows marketers to focus on content creation, nurturing campaigns and other tactics which can increase engagement.

About Lauren Littlefield

Lauren is the director of marketing for Right On Interactive, a lifecycle marketing automation company that helps organizations win, keep and grow business. With over nine years of experience in technology, marketing, public relations and higher education, Lauren joined the Right On team in April 2013. She is a 2013 graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy (Ind.), a board member of Girls on the Run of Hamilton County and the president of Housing Corporation for Phi Mu Fraternity at Ball State University. She has previously served as the vice president, programming and the secretary of the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Lauren earned her BA in Communication from Hanover College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, IndyCar and the Indianapolis Colts.

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