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SURE! Blog


Sep, 2014

Building Customer Persona – My Sticky Note Recipe

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My 6 year old came to me today and asked me that he would like to have a PS2 for his birthday that is due in a month. I said none of my friends’ kids’ had it till they turned 9. He said, “Dad, But I would like to have it now and I feel I am different from them and smarter than them. Please do not compare me with them.” I was surprised that he could not only think through such a lengthy logic but also articulate it. I was pondering over the statement for long time and it made sense not only in his case but in many different ones.

The modern marketing executive is the aggregator of all things ‘customer’. It’s not just understanding the customer persona, but understanding how they progress through a company’s buying journey from beginning to end. Marketing leaders must focus on driving this customer obsession across the company. What does it take to be customer-obsessed? You need to enable your employees to understand your customers as people with individual stories. Customers actually do not bother about being served by the “right” department as long as their problem is solved in line with their expectations. It is your duty to provide the consistent customer experience across, therefore, employees must be empowered to practically own any customer interaction.

Forward thinking CMOs are evolving from simple data capture and batch & blast marketing tactics to develop customer intimacy, driving contextual conversations, deeper and lasting consumer engagement.

My Sticky Notes Recipe

For this recipe, you just need a couple of sticky notes (preferably different colored ones)

On one sticky note, give a brief account of the typical profile of your target customer just like the one below. It should not be more than 3-5 points. Brevity is the key here. It forces you to think and write only the most important ones.

Use the smaller sticky notes to write some interesting things about him. Just like this.

Monologue Vs Interactive Marketing

You not only build stories but act based on them. You make the customer part of the story building. You take feedback, frequent feedback if necessary and refine your understanding of your customer, trash the old sticky notes and build new ones. That is when you become a winner, a winner in the true sense where your activity, communication and interaction is not only contextual but also relevant.

Now, imagine doing it for a larger set of target customers each having a different story of theirs. Imagine automating this and monitoring on a more frequent basis. This could take time but will yield the best results, as you become the internal ambassador of your customer.

As discussed in my previous post, the new role of the Chief Marketing Officer is emerging around the customer. Whether the new position wears the title of Chief Experience Officer, Chief Customer Officer or Chief Client Officer, it has one clear focus – customer engagement.

I am sure that you would agree with me that marketing has moved from a transaction based effort to a conversation and it is a natural progression. You assume some things and build the brand and product communication. Are you not curious how successful you are in striking the right chord? The data can be locked in the depths of your CRM system, can be available with different departments. Aggregating this data that lies in siloes, weaving a story that your customer would love to listen to and is personalized to him/her is what makes it more beautiful.

A free flow of information and collaborative knowledge is essential to eliminate traditional silos. The CXOs of Service Providers that we work with often say that they need a single view of the customer, whether it is an existing customer or a new customer, to bring together global / local or both teams irrespective of the touch point to deliver a consistent brand proposition.

Lo and Behold! Now you know what to do and how to win your customer’s heart! These short exercises not only give you the way you need to position yourselves but also tactical things like where to be present, who are your influencers and what should your next marketing investment go into?

Marketing’s influence and leadership is growing inside businesses today, but under a new job description. Customer-focused CMOs who leverage innovative methods, technologies and data will be positioned to drive the most value for their customers and the organizations they lead.

I know that you are already weaving a similar solution to make your work easy and interesting. I will leave you here to ponder over what we discussed. Adieus till next time!

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