shutterstock_325598399.jpgWhile we don’t necessarily recommend the 1976 psychological thriller Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro unless you enjoy films about scary, messed-up, violent psychopaths, it’s interesting to note that there’s a one-minute and 20-second scene in the movie that nearly everyone old enough to remember will remember. It’s the oft-repeated line, “You talkin’ to me?” According to IGN, a leading movie review site, this scene is the 4th top moment in movie history. In fact, even those unfamiliar with the film are likely familiar with this small bit of dialogue.

You Talkin’ To Me?

In the world of inbound marketing, knowing who you’re talking to (or more precisely, to whom you’re talking) is of critical importance in developing an effective campaign. By first identifying your target market, you’ll then be able to tailor your marketing efforts specifically for those particular buying personas. Embracing our prime directive, “strategy before tactics,” creating the perfect inbound marketing personas and understanding their pains is an initial step that must be completed before anything else can logically follow. In other words, you have to know who you’re talking to before you can decide on what to say.

Inbound Marketing Personas

Creating accurate inbound marketing personas involves developing a clear idea of your ideal customer types. There will generally be more than one. Some of the more basic data you’ll want to consider include:

  • Age, gender and marital status
  • Income level, job type and seniority level
  • Interests, hobbies and special skills
  • Goals, challenges and pain points
  • Clubs, associations and social networks
  • Methods for discovering, consuming and searching for information
  • Favored publications or blogs
  • Shopping preferences

These are some of the many individual factors that go into making up a buying persona. In addition to mere demographics, you want to consider their motivations and behavior patterns. The more detailed you get when determining your buying personas the better you’ll be able to align your marketing tactics to attract qualified visitors who will then become valuable leads and eventually paying customers.

Your Blueprint to Success Starts with the Basics

Just as an engineer or architect understands the value of starting a job with a strategic plan by way of blueprints and/or schematics, developing an effective inbound marketing campaign requires a similar type of foundational plan before the many tactical pieces can begin to be put into place. Clarifying your inbound marketing personas so you know who you’re talking to in your marketing is part of that foundational plan that has to be handled early on in your campaign. And, as things move along with your inbound program, these personas need to be revisited to ensure that they’re still accurate and best represent your target audience.

Knowing what your prospects are thinking at each different stage of their buyer’s journey is also important to consider. All this, together, will help keep your sales, marketing and customer service people focused on what strategies are best used when, what content needs to be developed, what calls-to-action and offers to make, etc.

Bob Lange

Written by Bob Lange