Validated Personas are The Key to Getting the Most out of Your Marketing Automation Software

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August 5, 2015

Validated Personas are The Key to Getting the Most out of Your Marketing Automation Software

Alix Parker develops digital strategies for global clients and is passionate about connecting clients with the right audiences in order to maximize their online marketing efforts.

Can you imagine buying a beautiful new Ferrari and having no gas for it? It would be a shame if a pretty car like that just sat there on your driveway even though it might impress your neighbors. Unfortunately, there are millions of shiny objects in the world of digital marketing and without a solid plan these tools will not perform. One of our favorite marketing automation tools is Hubspot, and the gas needed to make it work well is validated personas.

As marketers, sales reps, or business executives, we have access to more data thanwe know what to do with. Utilizing various tools to keep us organized is helpful, but the output from these tools is only as good as the data you put into them. More people are using CRMs like Hubspot, an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract and convert customers, to help manage this data. Since so many companies are now using CRMs to maintain their customer database and engagement activity there is a need to make sure that the data put in is accurate, reliable, and easy to manage.

We recently helped our client Endless Entertainment, a leading event production company in Arizona, validate their personas (fictional representations of your ideal buyer) and optimize their information in Hubspot. Will Curran, the Founder & CEO, is a huge Hubspot advocate and user, but even he struggled with getting the most use out of the system. To better identify their target market, they attempted to create their own personas with the use of Hubspot’s resource content. However, they created their personas based on their assumptions and without any real data, so they found that they were still struggling to organize their leads by persona and create personalized content for their different audience types. They realized that if they expected to get good data out of their marketing automation software, they needed to start by putting good data into the system. Because of this, they realized they needed validated personas.

Endless Entertainment reached out to StringCan Interactive for help to see if we could solve this problem. We took them through our persona development process to help them validate their target audience and invited them to an interactive workshop to identify new strategic marketing opportunities to engage with this target audience. Hear from Will Curran and Chris Converse on their experience with us.

 

 

As mentioned by Will and Chris in our video, there are several benefits to creating validated personas with CRMs. Here are a few tips of what to focus on when you are creating your personas:

1. Don’t assume what your audience wants; ASK them!

Making sure your assumptions about your target market are right! It would be a big disappointment if you spent all of your time developing marketing and sales strategies around what you THINK your target audience cares about, and finding out later that you were wrong. Take the time to really investigate who your target market is and continue to dig deeper and as you learn more continue to adjust your buyer personas.

2. Focus on the psychographics.

It’s important to understand the needs, desires, and pain points of your current audience. When thinking about your target market, many marketers and business owners make the mistake of focusing mostly on the demographics of the audience.

Knowing your target audience’s average age, income, and gender may help you understand them and target them with advertisements, but what will really help you is understanding the psychographics. Marketers and sales team members need to know what makes their audience tick and what is going to trigger them to research a product or service or be in a position to buy.

3. Plan for the future.

Finding a potential new target market and understanding how to best target and engage with them as you expand generates exciting opportunity to grow your business. During the research phase of persona development, don’t forget to think about who you want your future audience to be or to see if there is a new market that your company wants to move into. Conducting secondary research to find market sizes, trends, and industry information can be a great way to uncover new opportunities.

Following the above 3 strategic steps will help you ensure your marketing automation tool has the gas is needs to be fully leveraged.

Does your company need help better understanding your target market and how to engage with them online? Contact us today to hear about our process and how we can help you or ask your questions below.

 

Image by Pixabay



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