Customer profiling and web personas Digital Bootcamp May 2013
Who are my customersand how dothey behave online?
Why is it important to understand the profileof your website’s target audience?The more specific you can be about your targetaudiences and markets the more effective yourwebsite will be:Creation of interesting and engaging contentBetter messaging and calls to actionBuild better and more meaningfulrelationships with customersMore likely to attract new customers who willcare about products and servicesWhat does ‘targetaudience’ mean?A way of defining thegroup of people thatbuy your productsand services via yourwebsiteIt’s a segmentationof all potentialconsumers –grouping them bycharacteristics thatidentify them asbeing potentialcustomers
Profiling your customers requires a gooddatabaseCustomersConsumersEmployeesWho and where Response andpurchaseValues and motivationsBehavioural dataDemographic dataAttitudinal dataWebographic data – web experience, usage location, platform,frequency, social media useB2CAge, gender, where theylive, occupation, incomelevelsB2BPosition in business,location, size, range ofproducts and services,tenureInterests, lifestyles,goals and needsProduct/service type,channel, value,frequency, marketingresponse
Establish what customer data youalready haveContextual data- Accounts - Transactions - Customer Feedback - Newsletter Sign-up- Web Analytics - Social MediaDemographicSales data – data you’ve captured atpoint of saleGoogle Analytics – localisation andlanguage and audience profileFacebook insights – details onpeople that click on the LikeFacebook button. Age, gender,location, marital status, interestsEmail service provider – add fieldsinto newsletter sign up or Mail ChimpSocialPro feature offersdemographics about your visitorsautomaticallyGoogle Webmasters Audience Report
Establish what customer data youalready haveContextual dataDemographicLinkedIn provides demographics for individuals including Occupation, Industry, Skills and Expertise andfor businesses the available insight includes Region, Industry, Company Size and Products & Services- Accounts - Transactions - Customer Feedback - Newsletter Sign-up- Web Analytics - Social Media
Establish what customer data youalready haveContextual dataBehaviourAttitudinalWebographicSurveysOngoing customer feedbackSales – online and offline viawhich channelEmail – open and click throughGoogle AnalyticsSocial Media insightsSurveysGoogle Analytics Dashboard- Accounts - Transactions - Customer Feedback - Newsletter Sign-up- Web Analytics - Social Media
Build your database including key variablesYour database should contain: name, address, email and telephone number togetherwith purchase history. It should also contain the contact names of people involved in thedecision making
Create web personas to complete thepicture of your target audiencesA web persona is a summaryof the characteristics, needs,motivations and environmentof a key type of website userCreating web personas is aprocess which adds to theexisting data you have onyour customers – Attitudinaland WebographicThey enable you to designthe best user experience forits website customers
Creating website personasFirst stage – collecting dataComplete the picture of your website users through a simple staff surveybased on their experience and knowledge of customers• Demographics – age, gender, type of business and size• Web technical knowledge/ability, usage location, platform, frequency, socialmedia site etc• Motivations to use your website, how did they find it?• Values and goals for your website, what they want to use it for, where do they gofor information?• Obstructions/frustrations – what stops them choosing a service/product?Your staff should think of two or three customers that they have workedwith/on behalf of in the last two years and answer the questions with thatperson in mindExample questions:The questionnaire can be carried out face to face, via telephone, using asimple Word document or a more complex online survey….
Creating website personasSecond stage – grouping customersCross tabulation of the data on key criteria allow you to identify groups ofcustomers with similar profilesThese groups of customers with similar profiles become your segments
Creating website personasThird stage – creating fictional charactersStart-up Sally – owner of an independent business in the artsCorporate Christopher – CEO of financial sector companyFamily Firm Frank – Manager at a family firm in manufacturing industrySally is has a solid business idea that is well researched and thought out. Sheneeds a marketing partner over the long term but branding and a website toget her started. She needs to spend her budget wisely. She found the Mackmanwebsite through a recommendation. She is concerned about price and thepossibility that her business is too trivial compared with Mackman’s larger clients.Christopher is looking for a reliable marketing research company who will helphim gain knowledge and solve a very specific problem that he needs to illuminate.He is quite ruthless and is careful to choose an agency that he can keep comingback to if the job is done well. He references newspapers, friends and colleaguesfor information and found Mackman through recommendation.Frank has inherited a family business and needs help to bring it up to date. He isunder pressure to turn the business around and prove he is worthy of leading theorganisation. He has little experience of marketing so will initially need help withhis marketing strategy. He is well informed in his sector frequently readingindustry magazines. He wants to team up with ‘real people’ who share his valuesand have a knowledge of his sector
Creating website personasFourth stage – applying personas to website contentStart-up Sally Case studies and examples of work for smallerclients and indication of price are crucial
Creating website personasFourth stage – applying personas to website contentCorporate Christopher Simple browsing menus, plain speakinginformation and easy to contact function are essential as he is notproficient with the internet
Creating website personasFourth stage – applying personas to website contentFamily Firm Frank Information showing the knowledge of staff andquality of work is important. He is looking for a demonstration ofmulti media content as he is aspirational about making his businessappear more forward thinking
Web persona summary guidelines1. Build a number of personal attributes into personas• Demographic• Behaviour• Attitudes• Webographic2. Remember personas are only models of characteristics andenvironment• 3 or 4 usually suffice to improve general usability• Establish a primary persona3. Involve all stakeholders in your business to create and sign offpersonas• Ensure they are accurate representations4. Ensure your personas become the language of your business• Bring them to life with pen portraits and display them
Creating website personasFifth stage – measurementBy understanding what proportion of visits belong to which personas you canunderstand how well your website is catering for them1. Keywords – identify personas by the key word they use to find your sitee.g. for the Mackman website we could separate out who found us on asearch for PR vs. Market Research2. Landing pages – if someone lands on one of our ‘Marketing’ pages, theymust be interested in one of our marketing services. We could separateout visitors who landed on ‘Marketing’, ‘Design’ vs. ‘Staff’ pages3. Referring sites – may indicate a persona from the site they came from e.g.Twitter vs. Yell.comYou can build persona based segments using these dimensions and analysethem using Google Analytics Advanced Segments
Creating website personasFifth stage – measurementAdvanced Segments letyou isolate and analysesubsets of trafficThese can be applied tocurrent and historicaldata - giving you greaterinsight into your dataYou can use pre-definedsegments such as ‘NewVisitors’, or ‘Mobile’, orcreate your own. Our‘East Anglia’ segmentallows us to monitortraffic levels fromChelmsford, Colchester,Ipswich and Bury StEdmundsGoogle Advanced Segments Overview Report
Using your web personas to improve therelevance of your customer communication1.Make your website more relevant e.g. make sure that there is at least onecase study on your site that will appeal to each web persona2.Make your emails more relevant e.g. consider your web personas whendevising your email content. Is there something of interest for your key webpersonas?3.Make sure you are using the right social media platforms e.g. LinkedInfor B2B4.Use your web personas to help identify priority prospects when enquiriesare madeOver to you – what are your ideas?