Customer personas are a great way to analyse your target audience, allowing you to create content and communications that will be relevant to their needs and desires. In this guide we will cover exactly what personas are and why they are necessary for success in your marketing efforts. We will also show you how you can go about identifying them, with a free template to help you work this out.

What is a customer persona?

Each persona should be a profile of the ‘ideal’ person you want to appeal to with your marketing. The profile should include the person’s demographic, interests, goals and any challenges they face. Within the current climate it’s also worth considering how different families are responding to the coronavirus, what their expectations are and how your school can accommodate them.

Here are some good places to start when building your persona:

  • Current pupils and families
  • Prospective pupils and families
  • Applicants for vacancies at your school

Since the needs of each group vary, creating unique and specific messages for each of these groups is essential.

How do I find out the key attributes of my target audience?

You probably already have an idea of what types of families are already at your school, so this is a good place to start when completing personal work. Look at the data you have and analyse it for any key trends such as household income, careers, interests and more. You can also gain insights into your target audience by:

  • Creating forms (on your website and on your application process) to capture this important persona information. You can even ask questions like ‘ what social platforms do you frequent most?’
  • Creating surveys to try and identify the key challenges and considerations prospective and current parents have when looking for a school for their child. For example ‘what’s more important to you – location or extra-curricular offerings?’ You should also ask about their preferences for learning during the coronavirus. For example, ‘would this family be more comfortable with classroom teaching or online lessons?’
  • Making educated guesses as to the kind of families that would be interested in what your school has to offer. 

Personas have many benefits and are a real asset to any school marketer. They can:

  • Help you understand what platforms are best for delivering your message to different groups
  • Guide you on what kind of language you should use
  • Clarify what content your personas are interested in receiving
  • Simply put, personas are the foundation of effective school marketing. Without them, you may struggle to get your message across and attract quality leads and prospects to your school.

Due to the COVID19 crisis, you may need to update existing personas or create ‘temporary’ ones to match the current concerns that your prospects may have during this time. For instance, current challenges your prospects may face could be paying school fees, or objections to online learning.