Why persona development is just as important as impressing a date

Dating — as whimsical as it might seem — pretty much makes the world go round. Dating, and our fascination with it, springs from a need for companionship as much as from the need to guarantee the survival of our species.

You know what we’re talking about. Laugh as you may, persona development is to inbound marketing what dating is to relationships. You need that preamble before the main event starts.

So, what’s persona development anyway? Persona development lets you get under the skin and into the minds of your customers, allowing you to form solid relationships with them and create products that they actually want. Read on to find out why you need to put as much effort into your persona strategy as you do into your dating game.

If you want a long-term relationship with someone, you need to put effort into getting to know them.

As we mentioned in the introduction, persona development helps you get to know your target market. Personas are fictional representations of each segment of your target audience: the people you want to buy and love your products. Creating a persona involves asking all kinds of questions about your ideal customer’s personal and professional life, and combining it with real data and market research. Even details like their marital status, how many employees they manage and where they go for information — among many others — help you paint a detailed and meaningful picture of the people who you’re (hopefully) going to foster long-term relationships with.

So you get what a persona is. Now how does this tie into dating?

Back in the 1950s, the man was usually the one who wore the pants in the relationship. He paid for dinner, picked his date up from her house and chose which movie they saw. The woman simply went along and looked pretty. That’s kind of how brands worked too: they controlled what their customers got, with little effort spent on thinking about what their customers actually wanted. Today, things are different. Like women, customers hold way more power than they did. They’re empowered and educated, brands, like men, have cottoned onto this. In the inbound marketing world (as much as in the dating world), brands are taking the time to really understand and please their customers. After all, the health of their business depends on it.

The better you know your customers through personas, the easier it is to please them.

If you understand your customers through personas, you can form better relationships with them and give them products that not only serve them better, but delight them. You’ll be able to tailor your messages and content to be more valuable and relevant to them, rather than creating the type of messages and content that consumers are becoming more and more annoyed by and immune to. The more you know about someone (a friend, a date, a girlfriend or boyfriend), the easier it is to buy them that birthday present they’ll love — in theory! The same applies to your customers: the better you know them — through the creation of personas — the easier it is to give them what they want.

Come to the next HubSpot User Group (HUG) event to meet the guru of personas.

If you’re keen to start developing personas, check out the blog written by our Travel and Lifestyle team leader on why your buyer personas needs to keep evolving. The next logical step is to sign up for the HUG event, taking place in Cape Town on 17th March and Joburg on 16th March. You’ll have a chance to mingle with other marketing industry thought leaders, as well as hear HubSpot’s very own persona guru Romain Goday discuss the importance of persona strategy and how you can create the perfect personas. Much easier than dating, wouldn’t you agree?

Click here to sign up for the March HUG event nearest to you — we’ll see you at the bar.