You’ve heard it before. To be successful with inbound marketing, your content must be catered to the customer. The content must also be ruthlessly consistent with what your company is trying to achieve. More specifically, content should speak to customer pain points and challenges throughout the buyer’s journey.

In a recent webinar from the American Marketing Association called “The Power of Persona-based Marketing,” Alice Palmer, Director of Product Marketing at Monotype, demonstrates of the importance of speaking directly to your buyer personas. According to Palmer, companies that use persona-based marketing will see a 25% increase in marketing revenue over organizations that don’t use buyer personas.

The Power of Persona Based Marketing

Simply making a list of your types of customers isn’t enough. How do you integrate personas into your marketing strategy with simplicity, clarity and alignment? It’s all about knowing your customers as actual people and understanding how they interact with your brand, based on both real-life experience and real-time data.

To get started with buyer personas, make sure you’re following these helpful DOs and DON’Ts of persona-based marketing.

DO get to know your target buyers as people.

Make sure your buyer personas reflect your real customers. Interview real people, including your customers, your marketing team, and your sales people who interact with your customers every day. Use this information to make your personas feel as real as possible by giving them a name and a face. Instead of “Persona #1,” you should have “Non-Profit Nancy.”

DON’T create your personas without qualitative research to back it up.

Just because people at your company think that “Non-Profit Nancy” is your ideal customer, your data might tell you something else. Make sure doing your research before investing in marketing to personas who might not be the most profitable target.

DO develop detailed journey maps for each persona.

When you’re ready to develop your personas, brainstorm some characteristics of your customers, but remember to not be too limited when making your selections. Always consider how each persona completes his or her buyer journey. Where does she search for your product and why does she buy it? Here are some things to consider when choosing your personas:

  • Responsibilities. Are they a parent, etc?
  • Attitudes
  • Fears and Anxieties. What are their life stresses?
  • Motivations when shopping. Are they just out to find the best price?
  • Goals/Needs
  • Title/Job. Who are they? What do they do?

DO focus, but DON’T force it.

Be sure to learn the voice of the customer persona. Is it casual, professional, corporate? How will they best understand what you’re trying to say? How will they best going to react to your marketing? Understand and get into the mind of your persona. At the same time, be honest and realistic about who your actual buyers are. Don’t force your buyer personas to fit your products.

DO educate and embrace your personas throughout the organization.

Once your personas are created, be sure to communicate with other departments so that everyone is on the same page. Buyer personas put a face to your customer. This holds valuable beyond just the marketing department. Set up a lunch and learn session to go over your personas, and distribute buyer persona playbooks for quick reference.

DO continually optimize them.

Your personas will change over time. It’s important that you’re regularly analyzing, testing and updating your buyer personas. Are your customers responding to your marketing efforts? Has your target customer’s hobbies, attitude, and income level changed? Are you laser-focused on the highest profitable persona?

Marketers that use persona-based marketing are more successful and achieve better results in their inbound marketing techniques. It’s crucial for companies to identify real, research-driven personas in order to develop simple, aligned marketing strategies. I’ve seen, time and time again, that when you truly understand the customer’s wants and needs, you can better meet their expectations through brand engagement.

What other key tactics are missing from your marketing strategy?