Do You Love ME? Useful Marketing Persona Information for Designers
Think like a customer and you'll market like a genius.
Interior designers need a set of marketing persona so that they can better connect with prospective clients on a personal level. Content marketing necessitates an audience-directed strategy if you hope to increase lead generation and attract a better prospect. Developing a marketing persona makes crafting marketing tactics easier and helps increase their effectiveness. Take the time to create a written document that lists the attributes of the clients you hope to attract. Take that research, and post it over your desk so that you can review it when you're creating marketing materials. It helps eliminate personal bias and keeps you focused on the needs, wants and motivators of the audience you are trying to reach.
Marketing personas should not be confused with consumer demographics. Demographic information is made up of statistics that provide an outline of the persona, but they are one dimensional and only a part of your audience members make up. Interior design firms are dependent forming relationships with prospective customers on a personal level. To do this, you'll want dig deep into the Psychographics of your audience. Know who your customers are so that you can speak to their love's dreams, interests, goals, and most of all sense of style.
An effective lead generation strategy for an interior design firm means eliminating as many generalities as possible, devising an appropriate voice and using product and service examples your ideal buyer finds captivating.
Consider the following when developing a set of audience personas for your firm. Combined they help create the persona and once developed you will have an identity to point too when writing blogs, crafting social media posts and planning email marketing newsletters and workflows.
Demographics and Psychographics
Determining your ideal buyer's demographic and psychographic information is the starting point for an audience persona. A better understanding of the motivators will help you create all of your marketing deliverables starting with the keywords used in copy to the colors and fonts used in call-to-action buttons. The following is a list of questions you should consider.
Age - Marketing to millennials is a whole lot different than marketing to baby boomers. Look at your current customers and the audience you're trying to attract and be precise about the age of each. If they are the same, great but if not, consider creating two personas, one for current demographics and one for the audience you hope to target.
Location - Go deeper than region or state and find the towns and neighborhoods in which your present and prospective clients live.
Gender - Are your present or target clients male, female or LGBT? Voice and motivations will be different for each.
Education level - The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability Test is used to measure the readability of your written marketing content. Agencies typically use a 7th-grade reading level as the target for ad copy. Keep your website and marketing copywriting lower than the average age of your target audience.
Marital or family status - Married couples with school age children have different decision-making processes than single people or retirees. Spending time viewing posts on a Facebook feed will give you a quick insight into these differences.
Income level - You'll want to speak to high-net-worth prospects in a different voice than you would 1st time home, buyers and small businesses usually have a lower budget than mid-market companies. So, ask yourself are your prospects, South Hampton Art Fair, Brimfield Art Show or Etsy? It makes a difference how you talk to them.
Occupation and Career - What a person does for work often provides insight into who they are and how they research and come to a decision. The marketing copy for a litigator will be different than that for health professionals. Learning the average level of seniority that your buyers currently hold in their jobs helps you understand the decision-maker and the process used to secure your design services. Career demographics provides a better understanding of some of the challenges that they may face from day to day. Business-to-business marketers often consider career demographics to be the single most valuable appendix of their advertising strategy.
Ethnic background - Wealthy middle age African American business owners from greater Baltimore MD will have a different perspective on life than, white 20-somethings working in tech in Redwood City, CA. Being able to relate to your market will be reflected in the marketing copy you create. Know who you are speaking too and make an effort to understand better how their ethnic background shapes a belief system and decision making process.
Personal Life - Gather information about their life. Do they spend more time at home or the office? All things being equal, do they assign a higher value to work or time with their family? People often engage in regular activities. Determine their interests in food and wine, travel, sports, theater, or just watching television. Knowing what their activities are, provides you topics to connect on.
Get a Picture of Your Persona
Once you have an understanding of your audience, browse the web for a portrait that reflects what a visual approximation of the persona. A portrait forces you, and your colleagues, to visualize your clients and make decisions based on their needs and not your opinions. It eliminates some of the preconceived ideas regarding marketing if you can ask, "It's an excellent blog but will Suzanne (the persona) Like it?" This forces you to look at the appeal of your marketing and that is something a competitive interior designer should take very seriously.
What’s the Pain Point?
Yes, your target audience has a pain point. Your job is to identify that pain and to offer your services in its place. A pain could be something as simple as inadequate counter space. Your sales presentation should touch on something much deeper...how their pain makes them feel.
As an interior designer, you are an expert at formulating a design that will relieve your client of an emotional burden. Inadequate counter space may just result in unhappiness when preparing a meal. It may be common for your prospects to feel anger at a time they should be enjoying a family gathering. This will be your selling point. For all practical purposes, consumers could care less about what you can do to alleviate their counter space issues. They just don’t want to feel anxious, anymore. Addressing their anxiety and offering them a personalized solution will earn you more points in the long run.
Where Do Prospective Clients Go for Information?
The age-old ‘Spray and Pray’ method of posting general information to lots of people is often employed by marketers who feel that sheer exposure will turn a profit somehow. Consumers are savvy, and they have access to a world of information on the phone in their pocket. Sending lot's of low-value information repeatedly no longer works. Researching your audience persona should give you a clear understanding of your clients and their pain points. Once you identify the opportunity, market to them in a voice, they accept as a peer.
About Michael Conway
I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.