As B2C marketers continue to gain experience engaging with customers in digital channels, a growing number of practitioners are striving to become more adept at segmenting customers by psychographics and demographics as part of their efforts to deliver relevant content, messaging, and experiences for specific target audiences. Some marketers are taking this a step further by creating buyer personas that represent the different customer types that are represented within a targeted demographic, psychographic profile (lifestyle, interests, and preferences), behavioral makeup, or a blend of the three.As Peppers & Rogers Group founding partner Don Peppers has frequently noted, each customer has their own unique interests, preferences, and needs, which is why it's important for companies to treat different customers differently. Still, it's not always cost-effective for companies to target individual customers. This becomes particularly obvious when a company has thousands if not millions of customers it's trying to cater to.
This is where the development of buyer personas can be useful. Marketers can strengthen their development of customer personas by developing a deep understanding of the customer journey for the target customer they're designing. Customer journey mapping can help here. Knowing what your target customers are trying to accomplish at different points in their journeys can be used to better understand how customers are interacting with your company. These insights can then be used to gain a clearer picture of the attributes that should be included in the customer personas being created.
As SDL Chief Marketing Officer Paige O'Neill recently shared with me, the development of customer personas should not be approached as a one-size-fits-all type exercise. Well-conceived personas should be mapped back to the full range of the touchpoints and digital activities that customers are using to interact with a company. Plus, for enterprise companies with diverse customer sets, a single persona won't accurately represent the needs, interests, and behaviors of different types of customers you're trying to reach.