Short ethnography studies can help to create personas and improve your website user experience and usability

Anyone who reads my Smart Insights blog posts will probably know by now that I try to achieve two things: Show marketers that research isn't too difficult, time-consuming or expensive (ok that's actually three things there) Show marketers the benefit of research and why it's worth the effort The next method I want to talk to you about is a particularly time-consuming type of research: ethnography, which are long-term observational type studies, however, I also believe that a simple short-term ethnography study can also yield fantastic benefits for user research and building personas. Ethnography doesn't need to be time-consuming and there are ways of using this research method on a short-term basis to help increase your conversions and focus your marketing by helping you to understand your audience.

[si_guide_block id="83545" title="Access our Persona Research Guide" description="This guide…

Dave Chaffey talks with Grant LeBoff about how to correctly use Marketing Personas

Personas are a term that you often hear marketers discussing, but don't always completely understand. In this video, Dave Chaffey, our CEO and  author of Digital Marketing, explains to Grant Leboff what personas are and how they can be useful when they have the details needed to show customer journey maps and content needs. No headphones? - You can always read the transcript below instead. [si_guide_block id="18795" title="Download resources – Persona Examples Toolkit" description="Includes many recent examples of Personas, Customer Journey Maps for B2C and B2B audiences and defines best practice techniques to help you define better customer personas.  We also have a companion persona research guide with a downloadable template for creating persona journey maps."/] Grant Leboff: Dave, one of the things that I think people hear about in marketing and don't always completely understand what they…

I'm sorry to break it to you, but building personas will probably take twice as long as you think it will. Now's the time to create accurate personas to reap the rewards from doing so.

When thinking about personas, what comes to mind? It's likely you'll think of persona cards like the one below. But there is a lot of work involved to get to that stage - there's no point simply creating persona cards based on who you think your customers are. Many may think it's a good idea to have a quick look at data or produce them on the assumptions of every time they've dealt with customers, but by conducting persona research you can truly understand who your customers are. Personalization is also becoming more important, personas help you to deliver content, services and products to relevant and targeted customers and prospects. Here's why it's worth the time and the effort. …

Improve audience understanding for more persuasive marketing campaigns in four steps

Gone are the days of randomly placing keywords and ranking for any term we liked. Today’s savvy marketer recognizes that in order to succeed in the Google search results, and more widely online, we need to forget old-school techniques of trying to appeal to the search giants and focus instead on our end user. Customer personas are a powerful marketing tool which enables us to better articulate our audience’s needs and complexities in a usable manner. Here, I’ll explain how to create useful marketing personas to guide your marketing strategy.

[si_guide_block id="83545" title="Download Expert Member resource – Persona research guide" description="This guide will help you build personas using the most appropriate research techniques. The research doesn't need to be lengthy or costly, as this guide explains."/]

Back to basics: audience demographics

Use your customer data to find and target your most valuable customers

As every savvy marketer knows, using buyer personas is a time-honored technique that helps ensure messaging stays focused on the customer — nearly 60 percent of B2B marketers currently use them. The problem is that the results are mixed. Only a little more than a third of those marketers describe personas as being "very" or "extremely" effective, and 16 percent say they are “not at all” or “not very” effective.  So why aren't these marketers having better luck with what should be a surefire tactic? The truth is that no matter how hard you work to market your product, you're not going to see success selling to the wrong persona. You wouldn’t target young professional men when the customers who really want what you’re offering are middle-aged moms. You probably can't sell baby strollers to singles, for example. No matter how powerful your…

Analysing your customers behaviour using buyer personas to improve your B2B E-commerce strategy

Is your B2B e-commerce strategy stagnating? If so, your buyer personas may be the weak link. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer that’s created by studying demographics, attitudes and buying patterns. Detailed buyer personas guide everything from product development to marketing decisions, improving your business’s ability to identify, cultivate and convert the best leads into loyal customers. However, companies often get lazy about their buyer personas. When demographics steal the spotlight, businesses overlook the complex motivators, attitudes and behaviors that influence how individuals shop online.  The result: Your business wastes valuable resources investing in leads with a low probability for conversion, while missing out on higher utility leads. The solution: build a smarter e-commerce strategy through an in-depth understanding of how buyer personas influence B2B…

Which Key Features Must Your Persona Include?

Personas are a well-established marketing technique to help produce more customer-focused communications. They can be applied to both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. However taking a look at how marketers search for information about personas in Google Trends shows that there are a relatively low volume of searches. trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"buyer personas","geo":"","time":"all"},{"keyword":"marketing personas","geo":"","time":"all"},{"keyword":"design personas","geo":"","time":"all"}],"category":0,"property":""}, {"exploreQuery":"date=all&q=buyer%20personas,marketing%20personas,design%20personas&hl=en-US"}); You can see there is a clear up-tick in interest in personas over the last few years which I think is related to interest in content marketing for which personas are often recommended to generate relevant personas for different audiences. In this article I will introduce the value of using personas which we’re big fans of using to create more personalised email and web-based conversations with prospects as part of marketing automation.

The benefits of buyer personas for content marketing

To support content marketing initiatives, personas are valuable…

Chart of the day: Qualitative research dominates persona research and such research leads to revenue success

Most businesses are using qualitative research techniques such as interviews to create their personas, according to research by Cintell. Quantitative techniques such as surveys were found to be the least used whilst conducting qualitative interviews with customers and non-customers was found to be most popular, with more than 8 in 10 using such techniques. Interviewing overall dominated the highest results of the survey, which suggested that qualitative methods exceeded persona research goals. The research also found that 7 in 10 companies who missed revenue or lead goals did not conduct qualitative persona research. High performing companies were also more than two times likely to research the motivations of their customers. Source: Cintell Sample: 137 respondents. Popular job titles represented were Director, VP of Marketing, Chief Marketing…

An introduction to best practices for using buyer personas to create more customer-centric websites

Creating personas of website visitors is a powerful technique for helping increase the usability and customer centricity of a web site as part of a user-centred design (UCD) process. I've been a big fan of using personas since around 2003 I was introduced to it by Matt Dooley, a customer experience manager in the HSBC Global E-business team.  At the time, they were following reports by Forrester on creating personas. This shows that they're certainly not new, indeed their equivalent of using customer thumbnails for customer segmentation or ad campaigns has existed for decades. However, I find they're still not so widely-used when giving examples on training courses.

What is a website design persona for marketing?

A simple definition of a web persona is: "a summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations and environment of a key type of web site…

Chart of the Day: A conversion funnel example from the loans sector

A different format of chart for today, showing analysis and modelling for digital marketing rather than statistics on adoption or benchmarks. The recommended Smart Insights approach for creating achievable marketing plans is centred on creating realistic forecasts of leads, sales and revenue in the year ahead based on conversion-funnel model spreadsheets with the contribution of different channels shown in this digital marketing planning spreadsheet. This example shows how in some types of business, like the financial services sector, it's important to take into account multichannel behaviour as the decision will be influenced by different channels such as web-phone-branch and the customer journey will involve switching between them. This is a useful visualisation that adds more detail to a ROPO analysis by breaking out different channels in each vertical bar and…

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our Free membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Digital Marketing?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our Free membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments