Published: January 19, 2016
‘You’ve got to know your customer.’ It’s an all too familiar business mantra. And though we hear it over an over, the truth is that knowing who your customer is, what they value, what they need, and what it takes to motivate them is so critical that it still bears repeating.
In an effort to get to know their customer better, many leading businesses have turned to creating buyer personas. A persona is a composite sketch of a segment of your target market designed to help brands align with buyer’s needs and priorities to build engagement that results in a profitable relationship.
Before developing content, it is crucial to understand your target persona. Personas are meant to put human attributes to an abstract marketing description or goal, while helping to group customers with similar personalities, motivators, pain points, wants, goals and habits.
Persona development allows us to:
- Create a buyer journey and follow it all the way through by providing relevant information that customers find valuable and gives them what they need to know to make a purchase decision.
- Build a character that encompasses as many of the commonalities as possible among your buyers, so you can work on becoming more relevant.
- Get to know them as individuals, call them by name, talk about them, and understand them so you can effectively communicate with them through content.
Customer Journey Mapping Plan
Once personas are developed you must know the step-by-step path they take when making purchase decisions and interacting with your brand.
“When you are mapping a route to your intended destination, you have to know your starting point. Otherwise, there’s no clear path.”
Customer Journey Mapping helps inform an overarching customer experience strategy as it maps the end-to-end the customer journey, emotional journey, and brand communication journey.
Customer journey maps allow you to walk in your customers’ shoes by traveling with them as they interact with your company. When based on sound research, they provide an accurate outside-in view, focusing on desired outcomes from the customer’s perspective. You’ll see what customer needs are at each interaction, how well you meet them, and where opportunities for improvement lay.
Digital Brand Experience Mapping
The last critical component of beginning with the audience in mind is the creation of a digital brand experience map. A digital brand experience map summarizes the main audience types, current branded and non-branded channels and traffic flows between them. It helps to take a macro look at where the business currently stands with online channels compared to where their target personas are interacting and spending the most time. It also helps keep the entire team aligned with current promotions and interactive efforts.
If the customer journey map takes a look at the customer’s path, the digital brand experience map is focused primarily on what the business currently looks like online.