By John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

You’ve heard a lot about marketing personas, but how well do you understand their power and potential? Simply put, personas are fictional representations, or proxies, of your customers. By humanizing your audience and zeroing in on their particular interests, personas can be helpful marketing tools for creating more relevant and engaging content.

In healthcare marketing, with its multiple decision-makers, personas are useful in developing content that nurtures the relationship with those key individuals who will carry your solution over a long sales cycle.

Because good content is about helping your audience, not hyping your solution, listening to your customers’ concerns comes first. Active listening results in a more accurate, representative and helpful persona.

On the path to creating better healthcare-related personas, consider posing these four questions to your healthcare customers and prospects. Listening closely to the answers will set a good starting point for delivering superior content:

  1. What’s your job title and role in purchase decision-making? In healthcare, as in other businesses, we think about personas primarily by job title. Research tells us that the key decision-makers in one organization may have different titles than the key decision-makers in another—but the buying group may look the same. That’s why it’s important to understand the concerns by role.
  2. What are your pain points? Another way to think about it: What questions do your customers often type into Google for help? Since much of the early part of the sales cycle is spent researching and looking for helpful information, what is searched for reveals those pain points.
  3. What motivates you? What goals do you want to achieve? This question targets what success looks like to your prospect. Does it mean a successful implementation? A few hundred thousand dollars in savings? A key career achievement? When it comes to content that nurtures a long sales cycle, find out what your customers care about most.
  4. What are your objections to our product or service? What someone doesn’t like about you may be more helpful than knowing what they like. When customers and prospects talk about their concerns, they offer insight into what they truly value. Their objections might range from “You aren’t serving someone who looks exactly like me” to “You don’t offer a comprehensive solution” or “You’re too big, and you won’t offer me enough attention.”

Personas aren’t perfect, but they can provide a better picture of your audience and help content creators see issues from the customers’ perspective. Listen and learn.

Photo: Getty Images

About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.