How to Get in Your Customers ‘Personal Space’

The importance of creating marketing profiles and personas.

I created Flat Out of Heels in 2011 to solve a problem that almost every woman faces…the burning pain in her feet after wearing heels for hours. This was a problem that myself, and my friends have experienced countless times and before Flat Out of Heels there was not a shoe product on the market that met our needs — — one that was rollable, foldable, durable and machine washable. I imagined that once I created the product and made it available for sale women would immediately identify with the problem and purchase.

My philosophy was ‘ if I build it, they will come’…and I was right….to a degree

When I first launched my target customers were my friends, family and social media followers. I shared the link to purchase Flat Outs, along with my story, by email, text and Facebook and it was not hard to get early support from my immediate network. In the beginning there was no exact strategy or marketing plan, I was literally sending the link to EVERYONE I knew, male and female, to spread the word and get my first customers and get feedback on the product.

After a few months of spreading the word and building a buzz around Flat Outs, I had sold several hundred pairs, but quickly exhausted my warm market. I realized it was time to launch a marketing campaign to attract new customers. The first thing I had to do determine 1) Who exactly are they? 2) Where do I find them?

Flat Outs were created for the 60% of women who wear heels. Of those, 90% have suffered problems from ill fitting shoes and 78% of women have walked barefoot due to the pain of wearing heels. YIKES! That’s approximately 40 million women who NEED Flat Out of Heels. I realistically could not afford to continuously target that many women online at once, so in order to launch an effective marketing campaign I had to narrow down my audience.

As a child we are taught to stay out of people’s ‘personal space’ but in the case of digital marketing, jumping in to your customers personal space as much as possible is what it takes to connect with them. Because I was not able to physically be in the faces of all of my target customers, I created a marketing profile and persona that was much less invasive. A profile is a high level description of the customer, where a persona is like an imaginary person with a name, history, and story who has a way of doing things. A persona should have enough detail to allow you to conveniently step over to the persona’s view and see your products and services from her perspective. To create these I started with the following questions.

  1. Who is my customer?
  2. How old are the customer in this segment who are most likely to use Flat Outs at least once a week?
  3. What do they do for a living?
  4. What are their interests/hobbies?
  5. What are their major life events where Flat Outs would be needed?

Using these questions to narrow down my target customer helped me to create three unique customer profiles that I can create targeted advertisements to attract.

SAMPLE PROFILE 1:

SAMPLE PROFILE 2:

After creating three high level profiles, I created three personas, I gave them each a name and mapped out details of their lives. I figured out everything from what time they get up in the morning to what programs they watch on T.V.

My buyer personas helped me understand my customers (and prospective customers) better. It made it easier for me to tailor content, messaging, product development, and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.

Creating the personas enabled me to to personalize my digital marketing efforts for different segments of my audience. For example, instead of sending the same emails to everyone in my database, I segment them by buyer persona and tailor the messaging according to what I know about those different personas (i.e. interests, what time of day they are get up, what they eat, their hobbies, etc.). What we post on social media is determined by which persona is most likely to view it based on the time of day.

Learning these personas also helped me to understand their specific needs and interests which led to the creation of a new revenue stream for Flat Out. Last week we launched the Flat Out of Heels Lifestyle Shop that will feature curated products by female entrepreneurs that align with the Flat Out brand. Our first featured product is Amazing Arches by Footpetas, because one of my personas have high arches and she needs more support. We are introducing several more products over the next month and I am on the lookout for more unique products that we can feature.

Flat Out of Heels Lifestyle Shop

I am always working to meet the needs of my customers and referring to my personas for direction. I recommend that all business owners create similar personas to really get to know your customers inside and out. Feel free to reach to me for advice and resources in this area, I am always happy to help!