Do you have a buyer persona? Are you using it effectively?
The very point of departure in any company’s marketing strategy is developing the profile of the buyer persona. That is to say, getting a clearer picture in your mind of your typical customer or client. Gaining insight to who they are, how they think and how they spend their time and money will deepen your level of engagement with them. It will also help you determine where to focus your time, guide product development, and allow for alignment across the organization. As a result, you will be able to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business.
Let’s define ‘Buyer Persona’
It is more than old school demographic profiling, it’s portraying an actual person who we might talk to. In this way it’s a lot more personal. We give the persona a name and an image which most represents all demographics within that particular persona and then we flesh out all related details from there. It is based on a fictional representation of your ideal customer which in turn is based on market research such as surveys and real data possibly extracted from automation tools about existing customers. In broad strokes, this information is centred around customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more your buyer persona profile is coloured in, the better.
Here are some of the criteria that you will need information on in order to create a good buyer persona profile.
- Gender. Not always relevant, depending on your business, but can be if targeting a specific gender.
- Age. Determines level of maturity.
- Financial situation. This will determine how much they’re willing to pay. And how easily they make the decision to buy; and it tells you how important your products are for them.
- Purpose. Why do they buy your products? The purpose of your product is the core of your marketing. If you don’t know what your customers use your product for, you can’t market or sell it effectively.
- Education. The educational background makes the profile deeper. It can help you figure out how they process information. Do they understand graphs, statistics, and study results, or are they more concerned with customer testimonials and simplified features.
- Free time. Common hobbies, interests, TV shows, even eating habits can get you closer to them. You cannot know your buyer persona too well, so even these small details can prove to be valuable.
- Buying decision. Which factors they take into account when they make the decision to buy? Price, features, ease of use, customer service, and resell value, can all play a part in the decision. If you don’t understand this part of your customers, your marketing can only work if you get lucky.
- Shopping habits. This is important when you start creating your business network. What else can you offer to them, and what else are they looking for?
Once these criteria have taken shape and you have a clearer idea of who your buyer is it will help you determine what kind of content you need to create to engage with your audience; what tone, style, and delivery strategies (and more) you need to employ; and what topics and targets you should focus on to grow your business.
Don’t allow your profiles to become stale
Creating a buyer persona is not a once-off project. It has to remain relevant, keeping in mind that as people change (their habits and lifestyle) so too the profile of your buyer persona will evolve. For this reason it is important to regularly update your personas to reflect shifting audience trends, while also remembering adjustments you are making to your overall business goals and strategies.
To prevent falling into the trap of setting your buyer persona in stone, carefully consider how a persona’s needs could have changed, and how you may want to adjust your messaging, content formats, and content delivery strategies, as a result. Find answers to these questions:
- What content do I have that could help quell their growing concerns?
- Is now really the right time to send that white paper, or is another form of outreach more appropriate?
- Should I shift my content plan to include messaging that addresses those new stressors?
Now the whole company can get aligned behind messaging these personas. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you’ve done this process already how it went!