In my last post, we looked at how personas are an essential part of knowing your customer, since personas, which are detailed descriptions that represent individual personality types within your audience, can help you truly visualize who makes up your client base.
It’s easy to think of a client base or readership in vague or general terms: my readers, my buyers. But many authors picture an ideal reader for their work – this can be a friend or someone they visualize who responds deeply to their writing. Businesses can do this not by picturing an ideal buyer for their product or service, but by coming up with stories for individuals who make up the core audience for that product or service.
That’s what we do as part of our uncovery work with clients. We create narratives for the personas who represent the people whom the clients are trying to engage with. And once the client – our client, that is – can see his clients as living, breathing individuals, rather than as mass of others out there whom he can’t connect with in a meaningful way, it’s easier for the businessperson to tailor a marketing message, and a product or service, to the end user.
To look at it again from the author’s point of view and an ideal reader – when an author writes to an ideal reader, the author is imagining how that reader will react to the narrative, the circumstances the characters are in and even how the nature of the prose.
For a business to think in terms of four or five “ideal” customers, this means that the entrepreneur will think more closely of how someone with, say, a competitive personality will respond to how a product or service is positioned, as opposed to how someone with a methodical personality will. The competitive personality will want to know how to use the service to get ahead, while the methodical personality will want to know what steps to take to put the product or service into use. By treating the customer as an individual, you create a stronger marketing message, and you build a better product.
We’ll continue to explore this in our next post.
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