As leaders, we do a lot of work to understand our audience. We talk to customers, we survey buyers, we watch and interpret traffic patterns. All of this research gives us insights into what messages and offers are most likely to resonate for a given audience segment.
However, the knowledge is only valuable if we can activate it. One way we leverage these insights is to create personas – documented summaries that explore what will motivate a particular audience. We even go as far as training our teams on these personas. However, many organizations fail to map these important learnings into their database. Without adding a persona field in your marketing automation and CRM systems there is no way for a salesperson to leverage the training to make an outbound voice mail script that’s going to “wow”. Or, for marketers to segment nurture lists by persona.
As a result, we default to segmenting based on job function, geography or some other profile criteria. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Using simple techniques you can map contacts to a persona and fully activate the research you’ve worked so hard to develop.
(1) Use forms to collect insights not simply for routing. Most forms are used for lead routing. We ask a lot of questions that don’t provide insight into buyer motivations. The good news is you have complete control over what you ask. Don’t be afraid to drop some geographic fields and focus on motivators.
(2) Map content to persona attributes. Not every piece of content is going to give you a persona signal. However, if you are smart about your editorial calendar, you can derive a hypothesis about someone’s persona from the content they consume. Be careful not to use web traffic patterns as a proxy, as that can be very misleading. It may take a visitor a long time to navigate your site to the content that is of real interest to them.
(3) Build nurture streams to uncover preferences. Don’t worry if the first content download doesn’t give you sufficient insight to make a determination. Use nurture streams with a variety of offerings to detect patterns.
(4) Leverage your sales & customer support team to correct the hypothesis data analysis automated by making the persona field something that can be edited, and teach the team how to make an assessment.
Don’t have personas yet, don’t worry. Our resource library is filled with everything you need to get started. Scroll towards the bottom of the list to find all things persona.
And of course, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about how to apply this advice to your own organization.