Brands use segmentation to understand and further target an audience. For this, they take into consideration general details about the normal customer, including their demographics, gender, socio-economic status, psychographics and so on. However, creating customer personas, also know as buyer persona, is not so common a practice.
As far as best practices are concerned, it is recommended that personas can be one of the most effective ways of bringing customer segmentation to life.
Whereas segmentation allows a brand to understand different sets of customers such as where a specific group lives, their age range, and some of their typical buying behaviours, a customer persona, allows a better understanding of these homogenous groups, and to recognize the key traits that they possess. This is the basic difference between customer segments and personas.
It takes analysis and research of real customers to create a representative sample of personas. This contributes to building a much more detailed picture of the (hypothetical) customer, including emotive information such as their personal motivations, the values they recognize in a brand, their preferred means of communication, etc. This allows brands to use this insight to deliver a much more relevant experience.
Why it is important to develop customer personas?
Customer personas help to frame and target marketing and communications for your audience for the best outcomes.
1. For targeting: Personas will help to identify those who will receive the most benefits from your services, and single out those who are most apt to buy.
2. For pitching: Personas help to identify the goals and problems of each of your “best buyers” and this can help you to learn how to pitch your services to them. They encourage you to produce the most relevant simultaneously attractive content that meets their lifestyle and requirements.
3. For creating focus: Creating personas can help you narrow down your focus on a single group of likely buyers than trying to reach out to all the leads. You will be able to nurture leads that have a higher chance to convert.
4. For lead nurturing: You can segment marketing communications so that you can strategically devote your effort, time, and money to leads based on where they are currently located in the sales cycle.
In this article, I will discuss about creating customer personas for a real estate investor who wants to invest in fractional real estate, in this case it would be investor persona. For the newbies, fractional real estate refers to any real estate that has multiple owners.
AssetMonk is perhaps the best example of a fractional real estate model. However, fractional real estate is not limited only to AssetMonk, but could even be a part of an expensive real-estate project like a high-rise condo or a retirement home. They will enjoy cash flow from the investment if it grows. Otherwise, the investor may lose money.
How to Create a Consumer Persona?
Conduct Customer Surveys or interviews to learn more about your audience on below aspects, I am discussing these aspects based on real estate investor persona:
1: Research and gather data and information
You require a variety of data and information input ranging from what kind of investments your buyers may be looking at: whether they are long-or short-term investors, whether they are looking to diversify their income streams, or whether they planning a source of passive income and looking for properties into which they can invest money.
Demographic and socioeconomic data regarding their age, gender, occupation, job title, and income ranges can be collected from customer surveys/interviews, government data, or trend reports from companies.
Collecting the potential buyers’ psychographic data such as their values, habits, and hobbies can tell you how these qualities directly influence their behavior. This data can be collected via one-on-one interviews, customer surveys, social media platforms, buying platforms, blogs, forums, media kits, etc.
Relevant questions to the customer and their pain points and challenges can be collected with help of your internal customer support departments, blog and social comments, and from the sales team and other internal departments. External platforms such as Quora, Yahoo Answers, Investment audience forums, etc., may also be able to provide relevant information.
The fractional investors’ financial goals and motivations may be collected via customer surveys or interviews, forums, social media platforms, magazines they read, Quora, etc. You have to obtain an insight into how and from where they source their information and their investment patterns.
2: Organize the collected data into personas
Once you have collected the data, you can decipher the types of customer personas by answering the following questions for the representative data that you have collected.
Questions for the sample group:
- Online source of getting info:
- Family Status:
- How much income do they make?
- What type of investment are they looking for?
- Are they experienced in real estate?
- What type of content should be served to them?
- Why are the different assets they have invested in?
- What kind of returns they are looking at?
- Portfolio structure?
Some of the persona categories you can end up for real estate investor marketing are:
1. Passive investor
Those who believe in the buy-and-hold strategy or those buying a property to own it long-term are passive investors. These individuals may be looking for passive income and may be looking at fractional investment as one section of their real-estate portfolio. Typically, the younger people interested in building solid real estate investments are likely to fall into this category.
2. Investors who want tax benefits
Buying real estate property, fractional investments or otherwise, allows the investors to get tax benefits. So, high-income investors can benefit from this option.
A real estate investor can also keep the money in a capital gain account for up to three years and avoid paying income tax once they sell out the property. So you may have those investors just looking to buy and sell the property and enjoy tax benefits.
3. Safety seeker
Being more accessible than traditional real estate markets, you are likely to have a class of people who want to take less risk and start by investing modest amounts. You may have aspiring real estate enthusiasts and young professionals in this category. For such investors, fractional real estate investments may offer the first step into the real estate world.
4. Risk taker
You are likely to encounter the ultimate risk takers for whom fractional real estate investment is only one investment class as they are safely lodged in other investment classes right now. These middle-aged, experienced real estate types will be ready to take risks.
5. Contrarian investor
Contrarian investors are those that believe that fractional investments will be the best way to move when real estate investments are down. This optimistic class will contain full-time investors who are interested in buying out property that generally disinterests other real estate investors.
6. Long-term investor
Long-term investors hold their assets for over five years and usually distribute their money across a range of assets to build diversified investment portfolios. Fractional real estate investment would be one class of investments in their portfolio.
Investor Persona Example
How to use customer Personas in Digital Marketing Strategy?
Based on the needs of the personas you created, you can create your digital marketing strategy.
1. Personalize communication-based on their needs
Each of the customer persona segments would have a different requirement. You can empower each of these categories by personally communicating with them and sharing relevant information about the group.
As an example, you can work out the profits for a long-term investor based on fractional real-estate investment growth projections for the next 10 years. For a newbie investor, you can send out information about the ins and outs of fractional investing and fractional investing opportunities that are currently available.
2. Leverage the audience list of each segment and use lookalikes to find similar segment audience
The lookalike audience feature available on digital advertising platforms can help you to target people having similar characteristics to your existing users. Therefore, using the information of those who have already interacted with you for fractional real estate investing, you can find others with the same needs as your existing investors. You could do this for each segment and end up with numerous leads.
3. Create long-form content based on segments
Producing and providing long-form content is perhaps the best way to engage with your audience and offer them genuine value as well as a rewarding experience. Articles of 1800 words are considered long-form content and typically increase user engagement.
By taking the reader from each segment through the valuable information that you provide in the blogs, you can find out the serious buyers. Providing how-to invest in fractional real estate guidebooks can help your audience to get through the hassles of real estate purchases in a simple fashion.
You can even present a cost-benefit ratio plan (in detail) for long-term investors in your audience. This would tell your audience how much profit they can make over a long-term period.
Creating buyer personas will help you to eliminate a lot of the guesswork and help you to steer your business growth along with the right clients.
Check our our Real Estate Investor marketing Case Study for Assetmonk