Strategic Marketing Plan Element #5: The Power of Personas

Traditionally, a table has four legs. From some viewpoints, however, only two or three are visible. Like table legs, important personas for your marketing plan might prove similarly invisible if you don’t do the groundwork. Make sure you see “all four legs” of possible persona profiles, whether that turns out to be two or 22 different profiles, for your particular product.

Ask yourself the right questions about who your customers are. Doing so will help shape marketing decisions that have impact and power. Answering important questions using existing data is good. Mixing in some social media response is better. Enriching the data with information from real-life conversations is as good as it gets.

How do you create pinpoint personas? Ask yourself these questions:

Here are the personas Big Wood Ski is using to guide its strategic marketing decisions. Bex and Caleb have collected good information from direct interaction with their customers, combined with data gleaned from formal market research resources. They have collected data from SnowSports Industries America and the ISSA (International Ski and Snowboard Association), among others, to help them figure out their market. Consulting similar agencies appropriate for your product or industry is smart, and helpful. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

After you’ve had a look at the Big Wood Ski examples below, grab a template and fill in your own. As you begin to think it through, you may be surprised. Your target market may be a little different than you thought, and you may discover a few untapped consumer groups that earn you additional business.

If you’ve got questions or comments, let’s talk. Do you have stories of what has worked, or not worked, for you in the past? Feel free to post on my Adobe blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook pages. I’d like this marketing plan to be as helpful and useful as possible. Your input is key. Thanks for reading, and get ready for next week: The Buyer’s Journey.