You’ll find out why soon. But first, a story:
Imagine yourself in this dreadful scenario for a second. You have been invited to a wedding– your wife’s cousin’s wedding to be precise. They live in Northern Minnesota and you’ve never met them before. You’ve flown all the way out there and the wedding is in a few hours. That’s when disaster strikes. Your wife tells you that she forgot to buy them a gift.
You left the checkbook at home and all of the good gifts have been plucked from the registry. In a moment of what could only be described as panic-induced-insanity, your wife sends you to the mall to pick out something nice for them. “Not just any something,” she implores, “Something meaningful that shows how much we care about them.” You’ve never even met them before! Where the heck do you start? You rack your brain trying to list out what you do know about them. This list is pretty much confined to their age (roughly), their pending marital status, and where they live. So now what do you get?
You take a cab to the mall, and an hour and a half later come back with a bread maker (and a very fancy one at that). It’s then that your wife informs you that her dear cousin and her fiancé both have Celiac Disease (they are allergic to gluten) and haven’t eaten bread for the last 10 years.
So really, you were toast all along (see what I did there?). There was just no way to find a meaningful, relevant gift with the limited information you had. The reason that it’s so much easier to buy a great gift for you best friend is because you know them on a much more granular level. You know their interests, preferences, quirks, and details of occasional importance (like their severe gluten allergies).
All of that said, the same is true with your business. As you begin to market your practice, you must have a deep understanding of your customers.
Not just their age, their gender, and their location; but the things that make them tick.
Without this, it’s very hard to provide a relevant message that resonates with your target audience. That is why you should never start marketing your practice without first creating customer personas.
Personas are fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your real and potential customers. Creating customer personas is an exercise that takes as much time as you feel is necessary (but do take your time) and one that will always yield a positive outcome. The goal is to create common ‘buckets’ that your patients fall into. With these buckets defined you unlock a much greater ability to provide relevant, targeted messaging when you do begin marketing your practice.
Customer personas allow you to understand your customers better. We’ll be uncovering more about persona creation in our blog next week, but if you’re anxious to get started on your own, here is a great in-depth article on personas in healthcare, or you could also click the button below to download our free persona generation template.
Do one or both– but make sure to come back next week for our own take on how to generate useful personas for your practice!