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Event marketing | 18 September 2015

How to Use Marketing Personas To Increase Ticket Sales

Kathleen Smith

Marketing personas (sometimes referred to as buyer personas) are fictional representations of ideal customers from various demographic groups. Personas can help anyone in the areas of marketing, sales, production or customer service internalize the ideal customer and relate to and understand those customers as real human beings with distinct behaviors and preferences.

For event organizers, creating marketing personas can be a useful strategy that can be used to increase ticket sales. Marketing personas can help you and your team to craft an appropriate marketing plan that actually speaks to the desires of potential attendees.

1. Conduct Your Own Research Based On Available Analytics:

Nothing beats unique research conducted within your own client base.  

Adele Revella, author of The Buyer Persona Manifesto and founder/CEO of The Buyer Persona Institute recently noted, “too many people are simply recycling existing data or pushing out surveys, which virtually ensures that their buyer personas won’t tell them anything they didn’t already know.”

What’s the point of building a marketing persona, if it doesn’t provide enough new information to provoke real insights and innovative approaches?

When building your personas consider what triggers the buyer’s engagement, what are his or her barriers to purchase, and know which criteria the buyer uses to evaluate competing solutions.

2. Gather Basic Demographic Information:

Contacts represent some of the key customers event planners should understand and target. A great way to begin building your marketing personas is by looking through your event contact management platform to see if you can find demographic information about past attendees.

What industry are most attendees in, what is their job title, their age, where do they live? This is the kind of information that can be helpful for event marketers to understand when building their buyer personas. It can easily be pulled from an event CRM system, to learn more about how this can be done get in touch.

3. Monitor Your Event Website Visitors:

Once you have some basic demographic information about your attendees, it’s time to try to match that information to how people are using your event website.

A good way to do this is to try to focus on attendees behavior based on location. If you’re using a good event CRM platform, you should already know where your attendees are located. Now you can review visitors to your event website and filter their behavior based on location.

Here’s how to do it through Google Analytics:

1. Open Google Analytics. Select Reporting. In the right column click on Behavior, then select Behavior flow.

2. Click on the green box in the top left of the screen. Select Users. Select City

3. Now it’s time to inspect the traffic of visitors from specific cities. To do this, click a city name, and select “Highlight Traffic Through Here”

Google’s Behavior Flow tool allows event organizers to track how visitors to their event website move through the entire site. The grey lines you see represent the users who move from one page the next, while red lines represent users who left your website after visiting a specific page.

4. Add Detail To Your Marketing Personas

The point of marketing personas is that they are archetypes of actual customers. That means that they should actually seem to be real people. Each marketing persona should have a name, a social life of some kind, and a specific job. In short, you should be able to know what your persona reads to get his or her news, where they travel, and what they’re having for dinner (well maybe not the last one).

Knowing this sort of detailed information will make crafting an effective pitch much easier to do.

Having both qualitative and quantitative data about your marketing personas in hand will mean that you should understand what kind of language and approach will appeal to each persona?

Rigorously building accurate personas in order to better understand your customer’s needs, and speaking directly and precisely to potential new customers, is definitely worth the time invested.

4. Put Your Findings Into Action

Let’s imagine that most visitors to your website from New York City first go to your event website homepage and then go to your event ticketing page, then they go to your event networking community. This should indicate that this buying person is interested in attending your event, perhaps specifically because of the event networking opportunities that are available.

Now, when you are working on your event marketing strategy, you might want to keep in mind that attendees in the New York City area are most interested in attending your event because of networking opportunities. You can use this knowledge to create geo-targeted ads with copy the highlights your event’s networking aspects. This is just one small example of how marketing personas can be used to better inform what your marketing strategies should be.

Having detailed marketing personas means that event organizers can also send better event emails. As we’ve written about in other articles, organizers can segment their mailing list and tailor the message of each type of email to appeal to a specific marketing persona. Doing this has resulted in increased conversion rates for many companies, and if done correctly, it will surely improve your email marketing results as well.

What To Do Right Now To Improve Your Event Marketing

Don’t be intimidated by talk of email segmentation, Google Analytics and  event CRM platforms, you can create marketing personas that will revolutionize how you do event marketing.

1. Make sure you’re using an event CRM platform that works for you. If you aren’t consider giving Bizzabo’s a shot.

2. Connect Google Analytics to your event website if you haven’t done so already

3. Brainstorm 4 types of attendees that you’ve seen at past events. Try to describe attendees as best you can. Write about where they live, what their family life is like, what their jobs are and what their hobbies are.

4. Try to prove each fact you brainstormed in step 3 using the methods outlined in this article!

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