Personas and Content Personalization

Personas and Content PersonalizationAs Chris and Gail approached our table by the window he
was saying,” So I need to better understand how to get to personas that sell.”

Rick looked up and said, “Ask.”

Gail scolded him, “You’re a big help!”

Rick replied, “That is the way you build a
persona. Talk to someone in the target audience and listen to how they describe
themselves, the problems they are trying to solve and how they see your product
or service. Find out what objections they had ot it initially and most
importantly why they bought.”

Y’all gonna have to parse that posie to find out how to
be convincing though,” said Rob.

“Rob,” I asked, “ By ‘parse that posie’ do you mean
figure out the differences between the problem, their objections and the reason
they bought?”

“Sho nuff, Fletch. The best brands all know what those
differences are. They may not be able to state them as clearly as I like but they
. Mo’ importantly, they never stop asking and listening.”

“For example,” said Chris.

“I saw one the other day that is right up your alley,
Sgt. Friday,” Rob said with a wink. These good ‘ol boys were introducing a new
on-line meeting product. The intro was doing well, making them six figure
income overnight. They looked at the results and realized they were selling
almost 5% of the folks they connected with via e-mail.

Yeah, I thought that would impress you. But they looked
at that success and asked themselves why they didn’t get more of the folks that
had clicked through. So they did a survey. They asked suspects that had made
contact why they didn’t buy. Twarn’t fancy. Just a single open ended question.

What they found was that the suspects that had become
contacts couldn’t be prospects because they only met two of Fletch’s criteria
for a prospect:

          They had a
problem that the product could solve.

          They were
the ones that could authorize the purchase

          But they
didn’t want a single lump sum payment

Over a third of the survey respondents told them that.
Many of them suggested keeping the same price but allowing payment in three

Kate said, “Don’t tell me. From that survey they figured
out the additional potential prospects, even thought they were successful had
tight cash flow and were really concerned how quickly the ROI would kick in.”

“Give that chile a kewpie doll,” Rob said. “Those good
ol’ boys went back to that bunch and increased their sales by 30%!

Chris said, so the best way to build personas that buy is
to listen to what they have to say and that includes doing surveys?”

“Right” I said. “And like Bubba said, ‘Parse them
Posies’. I’ll bet the test he was talking about uncovered some other things as

“And that is the posie,” said Rob. As much as we talk
about being singular it is just as important to understand that people’s
opinions about our products and services are just not a single blossom but
rather more like a bouquet. If they are early on in the romance the bouquet has
multiple flowers but as they become brand advocates the bouquet becomes one
variety or one color or a single dominant bloom.”

Can you describe the differences between your suspects,
contacts, prospects and clients? How do you “parse the posies”?

Beginning Marketing Automation for Little Guys

Marketing AutomationRick sat down shaking his head muttering “Marketing

“What’s the problem?“ 
Kathy asked.

“Marketing automation for clients with small budgets,” Rick

“Not easy,” Gail said. “I’m one of those little guys and
between being told why I can’t do something and that it is going to cost me a
bunch more every time I want to do something has made me come to the conclusion that it is not possible on a tight

That’s when I jumped in. ”Guys,” I said, “Let’s sort out what
is wanted, what’s needed and what can be done for what sized budget.”

Gail said, “That’s easy for you to say, you understand this

Rob drawled, “I’m with Gail on this one. I feel like that
cartoon cat starin’ through knothole in a fence one moment and bein’ pulled
through it the next!”

Kathy said, “That smarts just thinking about it! “

“Tha’s why I want Fletch to explain himself,“ said Rob.

I responded, “Let’s make this simple. For starters you have
to have a web site that establishes credibility and makes it easy for folks to
understand what you do. And includes some easy way to contact you.

Next you need to have some sort of contact management system
so you can keep track of clients/customers, prospects, connections and

Without any other stuff you can automate your marketing.

First you have to figure out how you get the business.

Every small business has two
sources of additional revenue: Current clients and new customers. Current
clients can be as much as 60% of revenues. New customers get more attention and
they can come from two sources, referrals and new business development.

The simplest automation is you.
Here’s how:

1. Split
your contact records into three lists:

  • Clients/Customers
  • Clients/Customers
    & Referral sources

  • Prospects

2. Plan
and implement regular contacts with each based on where they are in your sales

3. Upgrade
the status as needed based on their latest actions

The first level of digital
automation you may want to add is an ability to do e-mail marketing which
allows you to send out individual e-mails that are personalized with the
person’s name to a list of folks. You can prepare it in advance and schedule to
go out when you want. Some contact managers (Big Contacts) include this
capability. Most low cost ones do not.  You can get it for free (Mail Chimp) or for
relatively low cost (Constant Contact). But if it is not part of your system
you will have to handle all the synchronization of names and e-mails.

The next level requires a layer of
sophistication that most folks are uncomfortable with. You need a way for folks
to make choices and based on those choices to receive different information or

That requires landing pages with
capture forms and auto responders. The landing pages provide a way for people
first to give you their name and e-mail. In some systems the addition of that data
to your contact database can be automatic. But, depending on what you use, you
may have to enter the data manually.

If people are subscribing to a
newsletter or briefing or any kind of report that goes out regularly they can
be put on the list for that specific publication or subject area or however you
have defined it. At this point, you can handle that manually. (But it can be

Landing pages can also be the
indicators as to what the prospect is interested in. Let’s say you responded to
an offer in my blog. The link takes you to a landing page with a form to fill
out if you want to get the item I offered. When you click submit, the auto
responder sends you a link to the requested item. (A Weber is one of the best
known providers of auto responders and an e-mail marketing capability.)

The sophistication of CRM systems
and synchronization between the various parts gets better every day
. Prices are
coming down. The top of the line can be subscribed to for under $250 a month
these days.

I’m currently testing a solution
that will cost me under thirty bucks a month and do just about everything I
want. E-mail me and ask for a copy of my Contact Relationship Magic review.

What products have you found that
can help automate marketing for the little guy?

The marketing lunch bunch will be
back next week
. Pull up a place, order a beer (we’re Portland based) and learn
about Marketing Without Money TM.

Jerry Fletcher works with
solopreneurs, small businesses and professional service organizations to bring
Contact Relationship Magic TM to their business development. Learn more at

Jerry speaks professionally on three continents
(he is just waiting for an offer from Australia) on the power of Trust to build
your business. See videos of signature stories at

Self-Selecting Personalization

Irish Today sign“Today is special for us Irish,“ said Chris.

Kate gave him her patented over the glasses freeze frame look and said, “You looked in the mirror lately? I’m pretty sure there’s no way a guy named Peng is Irish.”

“Once a year I’m Irish and today is the day and it is a beautiful thing,” he responded.

“All of us are Irish today,“ I said. “It’s the same as celebrating Chinese New Year with Chris or Halloween with Bubba.”

“Don’t y’all get started with Halloween not being a real holiday,” Rob said. “Theahs a real spiritual thing in Punkin’ Chunkin’. You don’t have to come from Georgia like me for the thrill of it to give you goose bumps.”

Rick guffawed. “Bubba,“ he said, you may be a verified brand guru but calling Pumpkin Chucking spiritual is a bit much.”

“Whoa!” I said. “Before everybody gets too uptight be aware that I’ve ordered green beer all around. I want to make a point. Look around the table. We’ve got men and women. We’ve got three ethnicities and at least four religions as best I can figure. We’ve lived in big cities and back waters. We’ve worked on Madison Avenue and Main Street. We’re just about as homogeneous as the rest of the USA.”

Gail said, “And your point is…”

“Holidays are for those that want to celebrate them,” I said.

“I see what you mean,” Rick said thoughtfully. Every holiday there are people that think it is for them alone, but that’s not entirely true. I have to admit that when Rob dragged me along to a Pumpkin Chuckin’ event it got to me. As the day wore on it got under my skin. It was thrilling in a way.”

Chris said, “You don’t have to be Bubba to feel it just like you don’t have to be Irish to want to be…once a year.”

Rick said, “That’s why the sign at the door says If you can only be Irish for one day, this is the day and here is the place.

Kate sniffed and said, “that sign has been there since we’ve been coming into this brew pub.”

“True,” I agreed. “It’s what I call self-selective personalization.”

Have a self-selective personalization trick up your sleeve? Care to share. Please comment.

Next week the group will revert to their drinks of choice and continue their discussion of business development topics. Join us then.

Jerry Fletcher weaves signature stories Like Margie the Galactic Commander into his presentations that are aimed at making it easier for the “little guy” to win. Learn more at

Jerry’s consulting web site is undergoing a face lift. Take a look at it on your phone, tablet or computer next week and tell us what you think.


Personalization in Automated Marketing

Personalizaton in Automated marketing“It can be
done,” I said.

“Not easily,”
said Gail. “It takes to much technology if you ask me!”

somebody please send a cab to 1980, pick up Gail and bring her here?” asked

Chris came
to her defense saying, “Hold on. I do more on line work than most of you and I
have to say that it’s difficult to keep up to date.”

Rob said, “I’m
with you theah partner. I got one of those new tablets and my pointin’ finger
is fagged out.

Kathy leaned
in and said, ”So what is this personalization stuff?”

“We were
talking about digital body language and how folks think the way to respond to
it and max out sales. You guys weren’t here and…”

Kathy cut me
off mid-sentence saying, “I know about that fantasy and Gail is right. It takes
too much technology or too much time for small operators!”

Rob handed
her one of his home made pralines and said, “Munch on that while I redirect
your insensitivity.”

She snorted,
looked over her glasses at him and bit into the goodie.

continued, “That will slow y’all down. You’ve got to remember that if you have
the right tools and the sense that the good lord gave a goose you can make it
work for you.

The most basic
personalization is to use somebody’s name. I don’t mean their formal name but the
one they respond to—like Fletch calls me Bubba and a couple of you are
pickin’ that up.

Y’all have
to remember that it is context based. I was over at Kathy’s home for dinner
once and the phone rang as we were opening some wine in the kitchen and she was
nervously checking the oven. She hit speaker cause her hands were full. It was
some telephone sales type that asked her for her first name. She slammed the
oven door and said, ‘Missus.’ Then she hung up on him.

So use their
name, the first if it makes sense, a pet name if they are okay with you doin’
that and Mister or Missus with their last name if that is appropriate.

It’s like
one of my darlins use to say, ‘Don’t y’all go gettin’ familiar until we are!’ Y’all
might want to think of that as Bubba’s personalization rule.”

Chris said, “there’s
a lot more data commonly used but most of it is really subject to Bubba’s rule.

What cautions
would you add?

Bubba, and
the rest of the Marketing lunch bunch are reported on weekly when Fletch can find
the time. Sign up now so you don’t miss an episode.

Fletcher is a Trust-based Marketing Consultant that knows how to build
businesses. He specializes in Professional Practices, Solopreneurs and
Start-ups. You can learn more at:

Fletch is an
international professional speaker. His best known keynote is The
Trust Goldmine
. Learn more at


Digital Body Language Versus the Tell

“Wheahs the rest of the Wild Bunch?” Rob drawled.

Digital Body Language“Both the ladies called to say they couldn’t make it,
today so it’s just you and me and Chris to solve the world’s marketing
problems,” I answered.

Chris said, “I talked to Rick earlier and he suggested a

“What’s that?“ I asked.

Digital Body Language” he said. “It used to be that
salespeople could read body language because they were right there in the same
room but today sales has shifted to the telephone and the only cues come from
the digital engagement of the prospect. Companies that can afford the services
are looking at data that tells them where people are in the buying process and increases
the probability of landing a sale. They look at all kinds of things but the
most common are:


Drip e-mails opened

Forms they filled out,
frequency and data requested

Web site behavior (Visits,
pages and downloads)

Social media interactions

What is happening is a shift from Brand Centric to
Visitor needs

“Hold it right there, boy! Thems fightin’ words,” Rob
growled. Thas the trouble with you on-line types you don’t really understand what
brand is so you think your bright shiny objects can replace it. You ever play
any poker?”

Chris, taken aback said,” Sure, mostly back in college.”

“Were y’all any good at it?” Rob said. Doesn’t matter. Do
you know what a tell is? It’s a kind of body language thing that lets you
understand what an opponent is thinking based on his or her actions. All the
young geniuses get their clocks cleaned by players that can read tells.

But the really good players will explain to you that a
tell is situational. In one situation it means one thing but in another it can
be the complete opposite. So you need at least two data points to know what it
means. And the good players may look as deep as three or more conditions that
control the situation.

Branding is not one dimensional. Done right it is full of
depth. The beauty of branding when it is done right is that it doesn’t require
arduous personalization. It is a way of positioning your product or service in
a unique way for a specific kind of person with a specific need use or
occasion. A brand doesn’t try to be all things to everybody. The homework is
done before the web site gets built. The target is identified before any sale
is attempted. And the trigger is known before the prospect hooks into it.”

I said, “I’m with Bubba on this one Chris. He knows
branding and I have feeling he’s played a little big league poker. I know the
argument from the on-line service guys is personalization but the reality is
that you have to do the work of finding out the objections before you begin to
build the content. I know because I get paid to build it. You can’t make this
stuff up as you go along and be successful. The hard part for most companies,
especially the little guys is focus. They always feel they are losing something
until they settle in on the primary reasons people buy from them and stick to

Chris asked, “what do your readers think about this issue?”

Readers, what do you think?

With luck the entire crew of marketing mercenaries will
be at lunch next week. Why don’t you and a friend join us.

Jerry Fletcher brings his strategic marketing consulting viewpoint
to these gatherings and provides a glimpse of his capabilities at

Jerry speaks about
practical solutions to marketing problems to associations and companies across
the Americas and Europe. (He says he will make someone a great deal to appear
in Australia or South Africa) More at: