Identify your exact marketing persona in 3 minutes: Part 1

marketing personaCan you describe your most valuable customer? Is it a 36 year old female from California who loves movies and buys apparel and accessories online? Or is it a 54 year old male from Florida who is a cooking enthusiast and searches for real estate investing opportunities? This is where your marketing persona comes in.

If you are a small business owner, I bet you’ve wondered how to identify your most profitable or best converting customer. But what you might not know is that you can do it yourself… in about 3 minutes… without an IT guy or an analyst.

And it all starts by connecting your website to Google Analytics.

Then after reading this guided post, you’ll be able to dig out the most valuable data about your business and transform it into a super BI tool that will help you focus on the right customers.

Install Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On

You need to install Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on to your Google docs. Check out instructions here. It’s pretty simple – you can trust me on this, I’m a non-techy guy. 

Create a New Report

Create a report with these metrics and dimensions. And since I love learning with visuals, here’s a step-by-step with pictures:

Metrics and Dimensions

The metrics tab is where you choose what kind of data you’d like to see for the selected dimensions. I wanted to see the number of sessions, transactions, and revenue. The transaction and revenue data are generated through the eCommerce feature of Google Analytics.

The dimensions are the slices by which you’d like the data to be presented to you. The max is 7 dimensions with the add-on, while on Google Analytic’s interface you can only use 2. What I wanted to get with the report here was: country of the user, region of the user (state in US), age of the user, gender of the user, and the In-market segment of the user: 

Right now you might be asking yourself… “What is he talking about with that In-market segment?” Let’s take a look at the definition of In-market segment audience:

Users in these segments are more likely to be ready to purchase products or services in the specified category. These are users lower in the purchase funnel, near the end of the process. – Google Analytics

In other words, Google is able to define whether a user is interested in purchasing a product of a specific market, so that he is in this market.

This gives you an idea of your customers’ interests and what they are into in terms of buying or researching online. Another major fact is that this is the same In-market designation that AdWords uses.

This means that you can create an AdWords display campaign that will target only the In-market segments that you see a good enough on-site performance from.

There are two other user segment categories: Affinity & Other

Here is how they are defined by Google Analytics:

  • Affinity Category: Users in these segments are more likely to be ready to purchase products or services in the specified category. These are users lower in the purchase funnel, near the end of the process.
  • Other Category: These are more granular categories than Affinity or In-market, and let you identify users who are not in those other categories.

Those two dimensions are meant to describe “who your audience is interested in online” (Affinity + Other) versus “what your audience is searching to buy online” (In-market).

marketing personaAll categories are eligible to target with AdWords display campaigns, including the new Gmail Ads. 

As the Google Analytics spreadsheet add-on allows you to run up to 7 metrics, you should decide what other metrics are relevant for you and prioritize the ones that you enter.

I’d try to include the In-market segment with at least one of the Affinity or Other categories to get a better description of the audience. A small/medium business will get a lot of valuable information from these 7 metrics. For example, “Mobile device branding” is a dimension you can add to differentiate Apple and Non-Apple users.  

After creating the report, there are 3 more things you should add to the report before you generate it:

  1. The max results this query can generate is 10,000 rows of data. But the default max is 1,000. So, set the Max Result line to 10,000 like I showed in the “metrics and dimensions” screenshot above.
  2. This query will also report to you about all the sessions that ended with zero conversions (or transactions, in my case). This is something you won’t need in that kind of analysis. So set the Filters to [your metric]>1. 
  3. Another default this report has is the Last N Days, which is set to 7; update it with the number of days you’d wish to analyze your data. The max is 180.

Set? Good. Now run!

Now you’ll get what might be the most valuable data about your business that you’ve ever received. And that all builds your marketing persona. But the real magic is still a few steps away… Stay tuned for part 2!

Yuri Shub

Yuri Shub is an awesome user acquisition and PPC specialist from Topanda (topanda.co). He also runs a PPC blog on medium.com and loves to tweet about online advertising!