One of the first things most web designers (or any marketing professional) will ask you to do, is describe your customers.
If they don’t, head for the door… fast!
Our customers are why we’re in business. If we don’t have a clear understanding of who they are, what they read, where they read it, how they speak, what else interests them and how computer savvy they are – we’re sunk before we start.
Our customers affect every aspect of our marketing efforts. If we don’t know where they are – we’ll miss them.
If you want to attract teenagers, don’t use muted blues and greys with formal sentence structures. These choices are better suited for an audience of older CEOs. Even if your content is stellar, with critical information, no one will take it seriously if it’s on a background of swirly pink and purple hearts.
It might seem like common sense, but sometimes it’s easy for your customers to get lost during all the decisions that need to be made. The internet moves fast and new applications are always being developed. They may look impressive, but if they confuse your audience, they’ll do your company more harm than good.
The best advice I’ve ever been given for web development is create personas of at least three types of people you have, or hope to have as customers. Describe them as fully as you can. Go beyond just their ages, gender and education. If you’ve been in business for a while ask your customers for their input. Their answers might surprise you.
The more you get to know the people you want to do business with, the more you’ll be able to anticipate their wants and needs, and then you’ll be in a better position to be their provider.
It’s an easy, effective way to get a leg up on your competition.
Re-visit your personas at least once a year. As your company grows, your audience will grow too. Make sure you stay tuned to their needs or someone else will.