An excerpt from An Association Marketer’s Guide to Creating Personas
The term “persona” may sound like highfalutin jargon, but really it is just the latest term for what always has been Marketing 101: Know your audience, and deliver what is interesting and relevant to it. This is especially true for associations.
By understanding your members’ roles and responsibilities, motivations and drivers, you can create meaningful dialogue with them
. Here are four steps to developing member personas.
❖ Step One: Define Your Membership
Before taking on the task of creating a unique persona, you must define your association. Once this is established you can begin to segment your membership data
For example, if you are a ...
Trade Organization: demographic groupings can be built based on such things as the member organization’s revenue, number of employees or geographic business scope .
Professional Association or Society: you can begin to segment those members by such demographics as where they are in their career and by their specialization within the industry.
You can also use member scoring as a tool to group your members. Highly engaged members likely are further down the sales funnel as potential buyers of value-added member benefits.
In order to develop the right personas for your association, ask yourself these two questions..
● Is it meaningful?- Will this persona make sense to you and others? Will it be recognizable?
● Is it manageable? - Is my persona too specific? Is it too broad?
❖ Step Two: Uncover the Data
Where do you find the information you need to build out your personas?
Membership applications: Great place to start gathering the “who” and the “what”
Your AMS or CRM systems: Good sources to spot potential persona groups.
Rely on subject matter experts: Ask your colleagues for input from their respective areas
Go to the source: Ask the members themselves.
❖ Step Three: Document Your Personas
Keeping track of your personas could be as easy as creating a Word document, or an infographic that paints a picture of the types of members comprising that persona.
Don’t forget to ask yourself those two important questions: Is it meaningful? Is is manageable?
❖ Step Four: Put Your Personas to Work
Now that your member personas are developed, you can deliver more useful, relevant content to them. How?
Marketing automation enables you to take what you know about various personas, and customize your messages.
Two advantages to using marketing automation:
Dynamic content: This sophisticated tool enables you to create one campaign, but with sections of dynamically rendered content that target specific personas.
Segmentation: Marketing automation makes the job of segmenting your campaigns easier. It enables you to look at your audiences and customize your offers and segment to your various personas.
❖ Bottom Line
-keep personas simple and manageable
-refine and expand over time
To learn more about developing personas for your association, please download our paper
An Association Marketer’s Guide to Creating Personas or visit our website.