2020 has surely challenged the global norm as we know it. From government curfews and lock downs to social distancing and quarantines, our daily lives have been transformed. The impact of COVID-19 has brought about global uncertainty that has consumers and business leaders/owners pulling back their spend in some sectors and expanding in others.
Industries such as travel and tourism have been hard-hit as a result of movement restrictions and travel bans. Meanwhile, e-marketplaces, some food production and logistics sectors have experienced surges in demand. Whichever industry or sector your business belongs, change is upon us.
In order for your business to survive this pandemic and generate revenue, or go back to a semblance of 'normalcy', you need to understand your buyer - your 'new' buyer and how their current needs and priorities have changed. Knowing your audiences' core values will guide you in the direction you need to pivot your business.
While sitting at your work station between the hours of the national curfew, or working from your home office, it is very easy to assume what you think your customers need. That can lead you into making rush or unsubstantiated decisions on the direction to take your business. As a rule, data should always be your guide and lead your way.
It begins with gathering insights and consolidating them into a buyer persona.
1. Gather insights
a. Talk to your customers
With all the changes happening, this is the time to talk to your customers. Conversations with them will help you understand the challenges and concerns they are currently facing, as well as what excites them and what scares them. You can also find out where and how they are staying connected to the world around them? The questions you as ask should help you shed light on what they are currently prioritising in their lives and where your product or service offering fits in.
b. Social media monitoring
Through digital consumer intelligence data derived from search and social listening, you can get unbiased information from across the internet about different topics that your audience may be talking about online. Find out what's trending, brand sentiments, how your audience is speaking, what the competition is doing and how your audience is responding to all this. You can monitor blogs, wikis, news sites, micro-blogs like Twitter and other social networking sites, websites, forms and much more.
c. Monitor you customer feedback
Read and understand the feedback shared to you by your customers across all the engagement touch-points. This will give you first hand information on your product or service and how they interact with it.
d. Conduct surveys
With digital connectivity, conducting surveys is easier than ever. Take advantage of all the open source tools in the market and create a robust questionnaires that can provide you with all the insights you need to help you make sound business decisions. Share them with your audience via social media, email, text message or any other engagement channel that your business uses.
2. Create a customer persona
The next step is to turn the insights into a marketing persona.
The customer persona, sometimes referred to as buyer persona or marketing persona, is a tool that helps you conceptualise and humanise your target buyer or demographic. Creating this fictional character allows you to shape your target customer with information like their age, gender, family life, career, challenges, personality traits etc, summarising all the insights you have collected from the various avenues.
Based on overlapping insights, you can make some generalisations over your audience, using the same to understand their preferences, habits, demographics, lifestyle and behaviours to help you craft a robust strategy that can positively impact your bottomline. The marketing persona will guide you on how best your product and service can be of value to your audience, where and how you will communicate your value proposition to them and whether they will accept it.
Download your Buyer Persona Template now and build your target customer profile.
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