Brand Journalists’ President Talks Persona Marketing 101

What it is and what it isn’t

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about sales automation and how websites are a key component of the contemporary sales process. A website is supposed to take the place of that first, hour-long phone conversation.

One way websites are connecting with visitors is through a relatively new concept in advertising, persona marketing. Virtually every advertising agency will claim they’re using persona marketing of some kind. But ask them to explain it to you, and more times than not you’ll hear a lot of “ums,” if not outright silence.

different personas for marketing

That’s because persona marketing is quite misunderstood. So, I wanted to take just a couple minutes to share with you some insights on persona marketing, explain what persona marketing is and what it isn’t and highlight how effective persona marketing can help you convert visitors into leads and leads into sales.

It starts with a question

On its face, persona marketing seems quite simple. At the heart of this technique is a single, simple question: who is your product’s buyer?

One of the questions I ask in our franchise discovery process is “Who is your ideal franchisee?” I’m never surprised by the answers, and usually, the franchise management team has a pretty good idea of who they’re looking for.

A QSR restaurant says they’re looking for seasoned, multi-unit operators who are looking to add an exciting new brand to their portfolio. A home services company says they’re looking for a mid-career contractor who wants to grow his/her business even larger. But after I ask that question and get the answers, we go a step further.

We look at the brand’s most recent buyers, and I’m never surprised when I find that the buyers of the brand are quite frequently not who the brand managers are looking for—or at least not who they say they’re looking for.

 What persona marketing isn’t

Before we determine what persona marketing is, let’s take a look at what it isn’t, because what it isn’t is what most marketing and lead generation firms are selling.

The typical approach is to take the list of people who bought your product or who you want to buy your product and lump them together. So middle-aged males who work in construction become a “persona” called “middle-aged males.” Women who own juice bars become “Women who own juice bars.”

Then, with these “personas,” the agency builds AdWords profiles and PPC campaigns to target individuals in these two groups. Unfortunately, this approach takes you no closer to marketing to that group than does throwing darts into a crowd.

So how should persona marketing work? Thankfully, at Brand Journalists, we’re really good at identifying your personas, as you’ll see.

What is “Persona Marketing?”

Persona marketing is an approach to marketing in which you distill who your customers are or who you want as customers down to a set of identities. Most frequently, persona marketing focuses on pairs of personas or quads of personas.

Each persona is quite specific. Here is an example of an effective persona:

Steve, 45, is a mid-career construction superintendent with three kids and a stay-at-home wife who wants to open a yoga studio. Steve’s net worth is $500,000, but he has a hefty mortgage and two of the kids are about to go off to college. Steve is looking to take his career and his income to the next level to provide his family with the lifestyle they deserve.

Note how specific this is. We understand a lot about “Steve” and his goals and situation. More importantly, though, we all know Steve and we understand Steve. So, how does this impact a sales automation process? Here is an example of a blog headline and lead to grab Steve’s attention.

Build a legacy to be proud of with ConstructionX Brand

For more than twenty years, homeowners have trusted ConstructionX with their homes. For entrepreneurs, ConstructionX means doing a job you can be proud of and building the kind of lasting legacy your family will appreciate.

Automatically, we’re talking directly to Steve – and every other Steve out there. Because we’ve identified very specific details of the audience member, we are able to plug directly into powerfully persuasive sales while also tapping into the emotional states of potential franchise owners.

When a Brand Journalist writer is writing a piece targeted at Steve, they reach out to franchise owners like Steve for quotes or insights. They position the piece with the details that someone like Steve would appreciate.

Persona marketing is a powerful tool in your sales automation process

Persona marketing is a valuable tool, but it’s only as valuable as the team executing it. Brand Journalists can help you identify potential franchise owners and to connect with them through persona marketing.

To find out how our vertically integrated franchise lead generation program can benefit your franchise system, drop me an email today. I look forward to hearing from you.

– David Sparks

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