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Who Is Your Audience? Use Big Data to Define Buyer Personas

September 30, 2013
By TowerData

big data define audienceIf you’re trying to develop personalized customer experiences, you need to know who your customers are. Real-time data can be the key. By enriching your customer records with everything from zip codes to occupations, you can learn incredible amounts of detail about the people on your email list.

But this information only gets you so far; you must also know how to interpret these details for maximum leverage. Here are four key stories behind your data that will help you better define your buyer personas and get better results from your marketing.

1. What types of customers do you attract? Sarah Goliger at HubSpot suggests you take a look at what your demographics are telling you. For example, a health clinic may find it attracts senior citizens as well as families with young children. In this case, the clinic might name their buyer personas “Retired Robert” and “Mary, the Busy Mom.” If you’re a B2B marketer, what do you know about the job level and seniority of your customers? Painting a clearer, more personal picture of your customer helps you target individual messages more effectively.

2. How do your customers find you? Did they look for your website directly? If so, this may signal they’ve heard about your company elsewhere – either from other brand advertising or through word of mouth. Or if they found you through the search engines, what search terms brought them to you? As Derek Edmund explained in Search Engine Land, this information will give you more insight into the path your customers take to come to you – which can either reinforce your current marketing strategy or prompt a change.

3. How do your customers interact with your emails? Do they read your emails on the train during their commute to work? During their lunch hour? Immediately upon receipt? Let your buyers’ habits dictate the tone and flow of your emails. Justin Gray at MarketingProfs reminds us someone who is slow and methodical will not appreciate being hurried along. And on the flip side, if your buyer only has a few minutes a day to skim emails, you need to hit hard and fast, giving him the minimal details needed to make a decision. This shows respect for your buyers’ time.

4. How do your customers interact with you online? Are your customers on social media? When they come to your website, how long do they stay? What content do they view? What forms do they fill out? What products do they buy? Adam Needles at Silverpop tells us the answers will not only tell what content your buyers want, but also where to promote it.

Ultimately, the goal of these questions is to develop a composite profile of the people who buy, or might buy, the products or services you sell. Rather than working with a large set of nameless, faceless data points, buyer personas help you narrow down your customer descriptions within each demographic category.

As Adele Revella describes in her eBook “The Buyer Persona Manifesto,” “If crafted with skill and insight, the person who emerges in this picture may become as real to you as anyone you can ever remember meeting.” Knowing this detail about your customers allows you to create truly personalized marketing experiences, so you can achieve the best results from your list.

Your first step should be learning as much as you can about your buyers and potential customers. To get your free trial of real-time data, click here!

Photo Credit: Maurice

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