Your Customers: Who in the World Are They?

Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.
— Alice in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland"

In another post I told you that you should begin your digital marketing strategy by defining and knowing your goals and customers. There, we talked about your goals. Here, we'll talk about getting to know your customers.

The success of your digital marketing strategy will depend on how deeply you know your target customer and how well you wield that knowledge.  You need to know your customer so that you can communicate with them in the right way that helps you meet your marketing goals.

Obsess over knowing your customer.

Make studying and learning about your customers your number one passion.  If you don't feel like you're getting to know your customer at a near-creepy level of detail, you may not be going far enough in gathering information about them.

Most of my clients already hold a wealth of detailed information about their customers. But before we work together, many of my clients do not have a formal method of capturing and aggregating all this information. They have enough knowledge to write a novel about their customer, but they haven't taken the time to put it down on paper. They need to write a story about the customer as if that customer were a character in a novel; they need to create a customer persona.

A persona is the personification of your customer. One definition of personification is "the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form." When you create a customer persona, you're taking all the abstract knowledge you hold about your customers and building an imaginary person out of that. After you have created your personas, you use them to make decisions about your marketing strategy.

In some future posts, we'll talk in more detail about personas, including how you should gather information about your customers and how you should build them.  What questions do you have about personas?