Target Your SaaS Marketing with Audience Personas
27th July 2022
When’s the last time you felt like a brand truly understood you? If you want the businesses you buy from to anticipate your needs, you’re not alone. A Salesforce report found that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their requirements.
This growing expectation is no different for B2B marketing, with 77% of B2B marketers believing that personalised marketing experiences create better customer relationships. After all, why should a business trust your SaaS product if you don’t show an in-depth understanding of their industry?
But how can you speak on a personal level to thousands of customers at once? Audience personas are a foundation for customer-centric strategy, informing all areas of your business from marketing to site design.
However, many marketers settle for surface-level demographic sketches of their customers, which fail to connect on any meaningful level.
Read on to discover how to get ahead of the competition and exceed customer expectations with fully-realised audience personas that go beyond the basics.
What is an Audience Persona?
Audience personas are composite sketches of segments of your audience. These concepts can be given names, personal details, and even faces, but they are always representative of a diverse range of people who fall into a particular segment.
Your audience personas can be as general or as specific as you need. You could create a persona to represent “developers” as a target market, or you could break this down further and create multiple personas based on industry, location, seniority, and more.
A well-researched audience persona should become a multi-dimensional character who you can talk about as if they were a real person. The main purpose of audience personas is to humanise your audience, making them more than just statistics on your dashboard, and allowing you to visualise their requirements and relationships with your brand.
The Benefits of Audience Personas
Keeping audience personas in mind can make it easier to address customer priorities ahead of your own. When it comes to making a business decision, you can ask yourself how each option would affect each of your personas, and strive to find a solution that aligns with their goals as well as yours.
Personas can also elevate your marketing efforts, helping you craft messages that are specifically targeted to a segment’s particular pain points. Want more CEOs to read your blog? Work out what they need to know and personalise your posts!
When it comes to creating social ads, you will find that your audience personas are a solid basis for your target audiences, helping you get the right messages in front of the right people.
Most importantly, you can start to create trusting relationships with the real people who your personas represent. The more heard and seen customers feel, the more likely they are to invest in and remain loyal to your brand.
How to Research Your SaaS Audience Personas
Start by sorting your existing customers by demographic information. Personal information such as age, location, and gender can add flavour and insight, but primarily you should be focusing on information about their work, such as their industry, job title, and seniority.
Next, categorise your data according to revenue. Note which customers have the highest average spend per transaction and the average lifetime value. Keep an eye on who your most recent new customers are, as well as your longest-standing loyal customers.
Dig deeper by learning how commonly customers engage with your product, noting the average logins per month and the amount of output each customer creates.
From this, you will start to see patterns emerging. Use your amassed data to answer questions such as which industries are your biggest profit drivers, and who within these industries is making purchasing decisions. You may discover whole new audience segments, or gain deeper insight into your existing ones.
Quantitative data can offer unrivalled understanding when it comes to who your audience is, but to learn what they need you’ll have to go straight to the source.
Use a SaaS review service like Capterra to see what customers are saying about your product and those of your competitors. Make note of any common driving factors or pain points mentioned in the reviews.
For a truly personal touch, reach out to your existing customers directly via email, and invite them to share their experience via phone, email, or an online survey. You could consider offering an incentive to drive engagement, ensuring that you get a representative range of views.
Ask each customer to describe their business and its goals, as well as the major pain points affecting their role. Learn more about how they use your product, and how it has benefitted them. Ask what solution they used before your product, and what factors led them to switch.
How to Build Your Audience Personas
Now you have a rich collection of data, you can start to look for similarities between qualitative answers from customers within quantitative segments.
For example, you may see that a significant number of marketing executives are millennials. You may also find that this segment commonly considers customer service to be a deciding factor in choosing your product.
From these similarities, you can see personas start to form. You may choose to name your millennial marketing executive something like “Mark from Marketing” to make them easier to remember.
Once you’ve drawn out a few key personas, start filling out profiles for them, using qualitative information from your surveys, reviews, and interviews to answer questions such as:
- What is their use case?
- How does your product benefit them?
- What pain points led them to your product?
- What was the buying trigger for them?
- How did they become aware of your product?
- What did their customer journey look like?
If you have a designer on your team, you could ask them to create illustrations for each profile. This visual reminder will help humanise your personas, and keep them in mind as you make decisions.
How to Use Your Audience Personas
Now you have distinct and multi-dimensional profiles to represent each of your audience segments. Present these to your team to keep messaging and marketing aligned with customer goals.
Consider creating posters to hang in the office and keep your audience at the forefront of everyone’s mind. “Pitch” new ideas for campaigns or products to these characters, ensuring that your decisions speak directly to the market segments they represent.
Try to involve them in every aspect of your marketing, running your messaging by each character before publishing it, and imagining how each character would respond. Ensure that none of your personas are being left out of your marketing strategy – if a lot of blogs have been written for Developer Dan recently, it might be time to reconnect with Search Engine Sam.
Update your personas regularly based on new data to keep in sync with an evolving market. Your audience and their expectations will organically change over time, so your personas need to keep up with current trends.
Understand Your Audience with Xander Marketing
Setting up a suite of audience personas from scratch can be a big research project, but rest assured that these handy profiles will save you time when it comes to crafting campaigns that convert.
Xander Marketing is a full-service outsourced marketing partner to SaaS businesses across the globe. From customer insight to delivery, evaluation, and support, we have the experience to implement strategic SaaS marketing plans.
Are you looking for powerful audience insight that drives conversions? Book your free 30-minute consultation now.