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Automate marketing thanks to personas

If there's one thing customers don't like, it's spam, inappropriate advertising, and the feeling of being a faceless mass. The antidote: personalized targeting and relevant content thanks to marketing automation and personas.

Personalization thanks to personas

Addressing customers personally at the right time and on the right channels cannot be done "by hand"; it far exceeds the resources of companies. Marketing departments use marketing automation for this purpose: They automate marketing activities along the entire length of the customer journey with software tools. With their limited resources, they can thus serve even very large customer groups in a personalized manner from the first contact through to aftersales - in a needs-oriented, target-group-specific manner. Automated workflows simplify the work of marketing and sales teams and turn visitors into customers. To do this, repetitive processes such as emails, A/B tests, retargeting ads and others are defined in a tool such as Hubspot and linked to appropriate actions by the customers, on which the tool then automatically executes the action: If customer A clicks particularly often on topics from areas X, for example, he will be recommended further content.

In the meantime, it has become standard and accompanies us at every turn. During the boom in online purchases in the Corona pandemic, automated marketing also experienced an unprecedented boost, so that even people who have never heard of it now deal with it quite naturally: When making an online purchase, an automated payment and purchase confirmation reaches us after check-out, sometimes in one, sometimes as a separate message, whether via email, chat message, or on the site itself. The site of the company one has purchased from generates suggestions for future purchases based on the purchase and browsing behavior. One receives a personalized message that the goods are on their way and how to track them. After receiving the goods, the "friendly" marketing tool asks you to rate the product and customer experience, and the purchase is included in future advertising.

More relevant thanks to personas

All of this is now triggered automatically thanks to modern marketing automation tools, and is becoming more and more personalized. But: if all, or the majority of companies are now doing it this way, it is only a disadvantage not to do it. Going along no longer provides a significant advantage, as it did 20 years ago. Today, the only companies that can gain a competitive advantage from marketing automation are those that know exactly who their (potential) customers are and how to engage (or win) them. For example, they can tailor landing page content to customers or define specific customer actions that trigger a certain type of email. With this tactic, the (potential) customers receive less content, but it is better suited to them - more relevant. Result: customers are not bothered by generic spam, receive precisely appropriate information on the right channel at the right time, feel taken seriously and are more satisfied. This is how a company builds customer loyalty and long-term growth.

All this is achieved through a clever combination of marketing automation and the use of data-based personas: marketing automation tools are based on customer behavior. They also monitor the interaction with the customer and draw valuable insights and data from this. This data makes it possible to get to know customers better and use this insight in the form of personas. This in turn leads to more data input for the tool, which in turn leads to new insights and thus better personas, and so on... a cycle of success - in theory.

Personas and marketing automation

However, many find it very difficult to filter out the information that will help them from the wealth of data. Many marketing automation tools are based on the assumption that the company already knows its customers intimately. Therefore, due to incorrect or incomplete assumptions about the customers, messages may be played out, but at the wrong time, on the wrong channel, or in not quite the right tone. This leads to frustration for companies and customers alike. To gain value from marketing automation, companies need to identify customer demographics and psychographics, such as wants, needs, pain points, likes and dislikes, and segment customers accordingly.
data-driven personas are the solution here. With a data-based persona that is "fed" with the data from automated marketing and constantly developed, the company has its finger on the pulse of its customers. It can evolve with them and always send only the exact messages that customers want. An data-driven persona is not based on vague assumptions, but on real customers who leave their wants, needs and demographics with every online purchase, survey, response to social posts and physical purchase.
The key is proper data analysis and bringing in external data when necessary. Companies that fear they can't handle the analysis on their own can bring in data experts and in-house to do the analysis and then create their own personas based on that. Or they can send their data to persona experts, who then use it to create real, customer-focused, 100% data-driven personas personas that are a true-to-life representation of the customers. This applies to both B2B and B2C customers.

The success proves this model right:

  • 93% of companies that outperform the competition use personas for their database segmentation
  • Targeting cold leads with personas is 58% more effective than using warm leads without such content.
  • 90% of companies are able to use personas to create a better understanding of their customers.
  • Email open rates increase by 111% with personas, marketing-generated revenue by 171%, and website visit duration by as much as 900%.
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