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Understanding your businesses users will make you more money. That’s a fairly good reason to spend some time implementing personas into your marketing mix and working with your internal staff to get them right. Having currently spent the last month working on personas with a couple of recruitment businesses, I thought it worth sharing some of our findings, best practice and guidance to give you a competitive edge in a ultra competitive market.
This blog is aimed at very much an introduction to Personas and over the next few weeks I will be adding more examples, downloads and content into the site around this topic.
First things first.
Personas are a way of providing a stereotypical view of certain users/buyers/stakeholders that interact with your business. They are usually your dream (or nightmare) customers. They are representative (and high level) and draw some of the key traits that you see on a day to day basis when talking to people across all of your efforts.
They provide a target for marketing activities to engage with, to improve the effectiveness of your efforts in advertising and sales.
Personas should not represent every single candidate or client the business has, that would take forever and whilst being very interesting would probably leave you more confused than when you started thinking about marketing.
There are a few ways of building personas for your business. Different marketing agencies and PR companies will have their own techniques for persona profiling, hopefully none of which will be completely wrong.
Personally, I think in recruitment there are 2 core questions to ask before you start your profiling:
If you are targeting a large amount of recruitment specialities, creating lots of personas is hard work. If you don’t have a dedicated resource (Marketing team with access to staff for a week or 2) then going into a high level of detail will be difficult and resource heavy.
My advice for multi discipline recruitment is to build personas based on pain points. This will be around things like salary, family commitment, moral commitments etc. You will hopefully understand that these pain points are transferable across multiple job roles and industries, but will give your marketing the focus it needs to attract and engage with the right people.
If you only focus on one discipline e.g. IT recruiter, then you can be more defined with your persona efforts. In this instance, I would start to profile your users by typical people. The diagram below shows this, effectively though, its people within a type of job position, who share similar goals, concerns and needs.
Next week I will be uploading our Persona template, this will give you a good starting point to begin filling information in. I would always recommend giving your personas names and pictures. It may sound trivial, but it makes a big difference when creating content - I often picture my personas reading content and thinking of how they would react when consuming it.
Although personas are usually used for marketing purposes, I find that when they are used as part of the design and User Experience (UX) element of a website build, the overall product becomes far more engaging. Personas also take some subjectivity out of design as at regular intervals you can refer back to how 'Bob', 'Jane' or 'Project Manager Pete' would like to see the website!
If you would like to discuss personas which you are currently working on, or would like a discussion about how they could help your website and marketing efforts, get in touch and I would be more than happy to discuss with you.