How to Build a Customer Mind Map

By: Chris Thompson on August 24, 2020 Categories: Content Marketing, Content Strategy
Customer Mind Map

Every brand wants to be heard, but how do you entice people to listen? How do you capture your customer in their journey and address the problem your organization can help them solve?

Well, it depends on who you’re talking to. We speak differently to a boss than to a two-year-old nephew. It’s the same for any form of communication, make it appropriate for the intended audience. In marketing, tailoring content to your customer personas is imperative to the entire organizational content marketing strategy.

Only once your audience’s motivation is understood can create and distribute content around those trigger points. That’s when you’ll start to see real content marketing ROI. In a 2016 benchmark study by Cintell, Marketing Profs and The Marketing Advisory Board found that  71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals use documented personas.

Customer Persona versus Data

Developing a customer persona is not just about demographic data. A customer persona helps unlock your audience’s desires, perceptions, biases, and behaviors at each step of the customer journey. It gets into your customer’s head and answers every question, concern, driver, and motivator across their entire customer journey. This is the Customer Mind Map.

Here are some questions to ask to get you started:

1. Where Go I Gather The Information From?

Relying entirely on your biases and perceptions is only scratching the service on your customer mind map. Actively gather information to challenge or expand what you know about your target customer. Gather information from as many sources as possible:

Internal meetings: Social listening: Customer feedback:
Executives (current and past)

Your managers may have read market data or industry reports

Influencers

Look at social media feeds of the people your customers follow.

Qualitative interviews

Talk to both customers and non-customers.

Sales Team

Get their anecdotes on client behavior and response to past campaigns

Trending topics

Find out what they’re talking about, and why they care.

Email surveys

Ask existing customers what they want and how you can serve them better.

Customer Service Team

Collate common questions and complaints

Competitor channels

Who are your competitors talking to, and what responses do they get?

Analytics tools

Track how they behave on your site or interact with your feed.

What pages and links do they visit most?


2. What Information do I need?

Marketers shape customer personas in different ways. If you’re a local business selling to a specific community, then it makes sense to understand the group’s culture and beliefs. If you’re in B2B and targeting a company decision-maker, focus your persona around the person’s role and business environment.

3. Mindmap your Key Questions

Identify your information sources and have a general idea of what information to look for. Now, what questions should you ask?

Pick the aspects most important to your business. With each bullet point, ask yourself: “In what way can it positively or negatively affect interaction with my brand?” 

For example, location can lead to questions like “How convenient is it for her to visit my store?” or “Which of my competitors are very visible in her area?”  Big questions, like pain points, could lead to even more questions. “What is the most stressful part of her day? What solutions has she tried before that didn’t work? How can my product be presented as a better solution?”

Background
  • Location
  • Family structure and dynamics
  • Education
  • Professional background
  • Cultural or religious beliefs
Motivations
  • Values
  • Aspirations
  • Responsibilities
  • Fears
  • Pain points
  • Influencers
  • Conflicts (internal and with others)
Online behavior
  • Online routine
  • Social media
  • Gadgets
  • Favorite websites
  • Most respected Information sources
  • Technical-savviness
Shopping behavior
  • Needs
  • Concerns/Obstacles
  • Budget
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Co-decision makers
  • Purchasing process
  • Stage in buyer cycle
Work Environment
  • Position
  • Job description
  • Daily routine
  • Company culture
  • Company structure
  • Team dynamics
  • Industry trends and Thought leaders
Quirks and preferences
  • Common lingo
  • Pet peeves
  • Biases
  • Visual preferences (color, font, design)
Personality type
  • Leader vs. follower
  • Logical vs. emotional
  • Cautious vs. spontaneous
  • Responsible vs. rebellious
  • Optimistic vs. skeptical


4. Document and Share the Information 

You have the questions, you have the sources, now all you have to do is gather the information, right? Nope. The next step is to document it and then make sure that it’s cascaded to your company’s different departments. This includes:

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing
  • Creative Teams


5. Use the Information

Sounds obvious, but sadly, this is the step where most companies drop the ball. The Customer Persona should actually guide every decision your company makes, not just the messages that you send out. In many cases, this vital document is sent in one email blast and then forgotten.

Mintent’s content management workflow stores the Customer Persona so anyone can see it, anytime.  If you have different audiences, you can even tag assignments for specific personas. Then when you view your editorial calendar, you can filter results to see which articles are being produced for each target reader.

By making the Customer Persona a key feature in its content marketing workflow, Mintent helps you make sure that your messages are always on track. Mintent also enables teams to plan, create, publish, measure & optimize content campaigns in one place. To find out more about Mintent book a demo with us today.