Inbound Marketing: How to Understand your Customer’s Needs
When it comes to inbound marketing and delivering quality content, no marketing team ever achieved much without first understanding their customers. The reason inbound marketing is so effective is due to the amount of research and knowledge the marketers have about their buyer demographic. The more one understands their market, the more effective inbound marketing will be.
Buyer personas are incredibly supportive for understanding your market better. Personas are a somewhat fictional representation of a business’s model customer, established through research and behavioral analysis. These personas are still based on real information, however, the people represented in the actual personas are fictional and created to showcase specific demographics.
82% of companies using personas improved their value proposition
What creating personas looks like
Buyer personas can be as detailed as necessary to understand the behaviors of your market. It starts with information based on the classic: Who? What? Why? How?
- Background – Job? Career Path? Family?
- Demographic – Age? Income? Location? Gender?
- Identifiers – Demeanor? Communication Preferences
- Goals – Primary and secondary goals for their business?
- Challenges – Primary and secondary challenges for their business?
- Assistance – How does your business help the persona reach their goals and overcome challenges?
- Quotes – About goals? Challenges?
- Objections – Why would this persona not purchase your product or service?
- Marketing messaging – How would you describe your solution to this persona?
- Elevator pitch – Sell your persona on your solution based on this information
Depending on how diverse your audience is, you can have several personas with different behaviors, backgrounds, goals and challenges. It’s important to cover all of the personas who are a good fit for your product or service. The personas should be unique to you and how your product or service helps them grow as a business.
How to research personas
There are several ways to gather information about your buyers. This research can be found in current customers and even prospects. Some of the top ways to get information about the previous persona questions include:
- Surveys – Incentivize your current customers with a gift card or free coffee in exchange for answering some questions. This may only require asking a handful of the questions from your persona template, but can give rich feedback in order to better understand the behavior and mentality of customers.
- Social Media Analytics – Diversify your content on social media and pay attention to the content people are interacting with the most. Utilize the theme of highly-engaged posts to understand more about what your customers and viewers are paying attention to and use lower-engaged posts to see what isn’t relevant to them.
- Sales feedback – Meet with your sales team and discuss the different questions. Let sales give ideas and feedback about their encounters with customers as they are the ones meeting and developing relationships with customers face-to-face.
- Adjust form fields – Let your form fields on your website capture information you might need regarding personas. This will even help in the lead qualification process, too.
*Our form fill includes a “How did you hear about us?” option, telling us where our potential customers are finding us or being inspired to book a demo. We mostly pay attention to the leads that become customers and see which content or platform they’re seeing us.*
When you’ve gathered all of your information, you will notice a good amount of information mimics each other. This is how you can better decide the amount of personas you need in order to accurately capture your potential customers.
Researching your customers isn’t going to happen overnight and as time goes on, you will have an ongoing understanding of behaviors and motivations regarding target customers. In fact, this is the foundation of inbound marketing and being able to tailor your content to the needs and desires of your market.
“When you serve the customer better, they always return on your investment.”
– Kara Parlin
When your content is attractive to your market and the prospect feels understood, they are more likely to convert into a long-time buyer and refer you to others. It’s all about nurturing the relationships with timely, helpful content. Happy researching
For a great Buyer Persona Template, check out Hubspot’s here.