How to Build a Customer Mind Map

by Mintent Staff on Jul 18, 17

Everyone wants to be heard, but how do you make people listen to you? That probably depends on who you’re talking to. You wouldn’t speak to your boss the same way you’d speak to your two-year-old nephew. It’s the same for any form of communication, you have to make it appropriate for the intended audience. In marketing, tailoring your content to your customer personas can be imperative to your whole content marketing strategy.

If you understand what your audience wants, then you can build and produce all of your content around those trigger points. That’s when you’ll start to see real content marketing ROI. In a 2016 benchmark study by Cintell, Marketing Profs and The Marketing Advisory Board found that  71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals use documented personas.

Customer Persona vs Data

Developing a customer persona is not just about demographic data. A persona helps you to unlock your audience’s desires, perceptions, biases, and behaviors. It gets into your customer’s head so that you can answer every question, concern, driver, and motivator across their entire customer journey.  Sounds pretty good right? Here are some questions to ask to get you started:

1.Where do I get the information?

Don’t trust your biases and perceptions. Actively gather info that can challenge or expand what you know about your market. Get it from as many sources as possible:

Internal meetings: Social listening: Customers:
Executives

Your managers may have read market data or industry reports

Influencers

Look at social media feeds of the people your customers follow.

Qualitative interviews

Talk to both customers and non-customers.

Sales Team

Get their anecdotes on client behavior and response to past campaigns

Trending topics

Find out what they’re talking about, and why they care.

Email surveys

Ask existing customers what they want and how you can serve them better.

Customer Service Team

Collate common questions and complaints

Competitor channels

Who are your competitors talking to, and what responses do they get?

Analytics tools

Track how they behave on your site or interact with your feed.

What pages and links do they visit most?

2.What information do I need?

Companies shape customer personas in different ways. If you’re a local business selling to a specific community, then it pays to understand the group’s culture and beliefs. If you’re in B2B and targeting a company decision-maker, focus your persona around that person’s role and business environment.

3.Mindmap your key questions

You have your sources and a general idea of what information to look for. Now, what questions should you ask?

Pick the aspects that are the most important to your business. With each bullet point, ask yourself: “In what way can it positively or negatively affect interaction with my brand?” 

For example, location can lead to questions like “How convenient is it for her to visit my store?” or “Which of my competitors are very visible in her area?”  Big questions, like pain points, could lead to even more questions. “What is the most stressful part of her day? What solutions has she tried before that didn’t work? How can my product be presented as a better solution?”

Background

  • Location
  • Family structure and dynamics
  • Education
  • Professional background
  • Cultural or religious beliefs
Motivations

  • Values
  • Aspirations
  • Responsibilities
  • Fears
  • Pain points
  • Influencers
  • Conflicts (internal and with others)
Online behavior

  • Online routine
  • Social media
  • Gadgets
  • Favorite websites
  • Most respected Information sources
  • Technical-savviness
Shopping behavior

  • Needs
  • Concerns/Obstacles
  • Budget
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Co-decision makers
  • Purchasing process
  • Stage in buyer cycle
Work Environment

  • Position
  • Job description
  • Daily routine
  • Company culture
  • Company structure
  • Team dynamics
  • Industry trends and Thought leaders
Quirks and preferences

  • Common lingo
  • Pet peeves
  • Biases
  • Visual preferences (color, font, design)
Personality type

  • Leader vs. follower
  • Logical vs. emotional
  • Cautious vs. spontaneous
  • Responsible vs. rebellious
  • Optimistic vs. skeptical

4.Document and share the information 

You have the questions, you have the sources, now all you have to do is gather the information, right? Nope. The next step is to document it and then make sure that it’s cascaded to your company’s different departments. This includes:

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing
  • Creative Teams

5. Use that information

Sounds obvious, but sadly, this is the step where most companies drop the ball. The Customer Persona should actually guide every decision your company makes, not just the messages that you send out. In many cases, this vital document is sent in one email blast and then forgotten.

Mintent’s content management workflow stores the Customer Persona so anyone can see it, anytime.  If you have different audiences, you can even tag assignments for specific personas. Then when you view your editorial calendar, you can filter results to see which articles are being produced for each target reader.

By making the Customer Persona a key feature in its content marketing workflow, Mintent helps you make sure that your messages are always on track. We hope that this article was helpful! If you want to get started and try building a customer persona right away, check out our free 2 week trial.

There are no strings attached or credit card required.