We recently updated our client personas. Not that the old ones were bad, they just weren’t entirely accurate. Some vital concepts were missing. The personas weren’t … well … alive enough for us.
We don’t think we’re the only ones in the financial services industry who’ve dealt (or are dealing) with this issue. Firms across our industry are uncovering more and more meaningful insights about their clients and prospects.
In a sentence, our industry is changing and our clients are changing. If you haven’t revisited your client personas recently, we think now is the time. Changes demand it.
“Our industry is changing and our clients are changing. If you haven’t revisited your personas recently, we think now is the time.”
During our persona exercises, these tips helped guide our work. We believe they’ll apply to your work as well.
1. Hear “straight from the horse’s mouth”
Interview actual clients and prospects. You’ll be amazed at all the little things you pick up. These subtle details are often very important.
2. Create more than one … but not too many
It’d be easy to say that three is the perfect number. But two or four might be just right. Maybe one really is all you need. Just make sure you’ve clearly identified your primary targets. And in the age of micro-targeting, don’t be afraid to go a little deeper too, if your audience warrants.
3. Think hard about needs
What drives your persona to do what they do? Try and dig as deep as you can into their psyche. What makes them tick? Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? Hopefully, you solve one or more of their needs and challenges. If you don’t, they may not be an ideal client/prospect.
4. Always include info about content
Try to uncover where your persona finds the content they need … and what format they like it in. Your content team will be forever grateful if they can tailor their work to the right audience.
“Your content team will be forever grateful if they can tailor their work to the right audience.”
Bonus: Create a persona for your firm
Who are you? What are you all about? You might surprise yourself and find that all these honest answers reveal something you didn’t know was there.
There’s more to say, but we think this is a good start to get you thinking about whether your personas are as robust and up to date as they need to be.
Creating personas can take a lot of time. But what we have found, and what we know you’ll find as well, is that the up-front investment always pays off.