Health and nutrition companies that want to connect with their target customers must stop generalizing about who their audience is and get real. Learning to define comprehensive Customer Personas is the first step.
Customer Personas are fictionalized characters that marketers use to bring audience segments to life. Personas dig deeper than traditional customer profiles, because they are based on research, industry insights and core customer values. For instance, rather than marketing to a woman in her 40’s, a health or nutrition brand that uses customer personas would market to Janelle, a 40-year-old office professional that works out 3 times a week, supports environmental causes and prefers cooking her own meals to dining out.
What’s the difference?
The first approach is so broad, it forces you to make completely unfounded assumptions about your audience before you can execute messaging.
The latter is so specific, you feel like you could sit down and have coffee with Janelle. That’s the right state of mind to be in if you want to craft marketing communications that resonate with your audience.
At Energize, we steer clients away from generalizing about consumer segments by sharing our proprietary set of Health and Nutrition Customer Personas. However, we prefer to craft hyper-specific marketing personas for them by starting with a specific list of questions. The answers enable us to sketch in details about our client’s ideal customer, which moves us from talking at an abstract target audience to engaging with real people.
Here are some of the questions we ask:
Is our target primarily a man or woman? NOTE: The majority of family health and wellness decisions are made by women: Nine times out of ten, “woman” will be the answer.
How passionate is he/she about fitness/nutrition?
How proactive is he/she about researching products and/or services?
What is his/her annual income?
Does she/he live in the city, suburbs or a more rural area.
What daily pressures does he/she face?
How much free time does he/she have?
What would his or her life easier?
Once we form a clearer picture of each Persona, we are better able to define the intersection between a product or service’s benefit and a potential customer’s needs.
If you decide to create Marketing Personas on your own, avoid imposing wants and needs on your audience to suit your product benefits. Instead, look for ways your health or nutrition product can truly benefit them.
Remember, it is impossible to go into too much detail when crafting a brand persona. You can conduct surveys or use public data to help fill in gaps or you can hire a marketing agency to help you dig deeper. Once you have done the hard work, you should condense your insights down to a one-page character sketch for each target. Those one-pagers will help you define your approach to messaging each customer type at every stage of your brand evolution. And they will be your secret weapons in the highly competitive health and wellness space.
Want to learn more about segmenting customers using personas? Check out my post, Marketing Health and Nutrition to Women: Using Customer Personas to Dig Deeper