TIGER Talk Recap: Know Thine Customer: How to Build Personas that Help You Reach Your Ideal Buyer | Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio
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TIGER Talk Recap: Know Thine Customer: How to Build Personas that Help You Reach Your Ideal Buyer

To reach the right customers, we need to understand who they are and what they need—so we can reach them at the right time and with the right messaging. 

Creating customer personas and understanding why and how to use them is the key to getting that done.  There is a method to that madness, and Heather Harmon, director of marketing and community outreach for Rev1 Ventures, knows it well. 

Heather was Innovate New Albany’s TIGER Talk speaker on September 27, presenting, “Know Thine Customer: How to Build Personas that Help You Reach Your Ideal Buyer” to a room full of business professionals. 

A customer persona is different from a generic profile that gives basic demographics like gender, age, education and marital status. A persona is about the person, his or her story and pain points, and what they need to solve a problem.

A persona should answer the following five questions:

  • What are the problems that your buyer dedicates time and budget to?
  • What are the metrics your buyer associates with success? 
  • What factors could prompt the buyer to question whether your company and its solution can help?
  • What process does this buyer follow in exploring and selecting a solution? 
  • What aspects of each product will the buyer assess in evaluating the alternative solutions available?

Heather said personas can be created for each type of customer by conducting extensive interviews with your current customers, studying your website analytics, using your social media profiles to listen to your customers, and practicing progressive profiling. Progressive profiling is the process of asking your customers only the most important questions when they first visit your website, then slowly collecting additional information about that customer as your relationship develops.

Once you’ve created your customer personas, you can better target and promote your content. Because you understand their story and are “speaking their language,” you can tailor your sales pitches to be more effective and gain better quality leads. 

Heather shared customer persona best practices:

  • Start with one persona, then expand to three or four
  • Conduct 50 interviews—don’t rely on just a few to create the persona
  • Build buyer scenarios, map to the buying process, and determine messages that resonate with those buyers
  • Identify insights and create concise statements
  • Personas should be short—only a 1-page document

Heather stressed the importance of listening to your customers. They will tell you what they need if you ask the right questions and actively listen, use and respond to their answers.

If you’d like more information on customer personas, Heather recommended researching on Hubspot, Content Marketing Institute, The Marketing Advisory Network, Buyer Persona Institute, and trends.google.com. For additional questions, you can reach out to Heather at heather@rev1ventures.com.

Innovate New Albany, the city’s incubator for technology startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses, features 16,000 square feet of space within the New Albany Business Park’s Signature Office Building, 8000 Walton Parkway.

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