How much do you know about buyer personas?
If you've spent time around a marketing professional, then there's a good chance you've heard of them. Understanding what a buyer persona is and why they matter, is not something to be taken for granted. To ensure your advertising and marketing efforts are not only seen, but have real impact, you can't afford to ignore their importance. Ultimately, buyer personas should be a major part of any effective inbound marketing strategy.
Let’s start from the beginning...
What is a buyer persona? And why they are so important?
A buyer persona depicts a semi-fictional representation of your ideal target customer, based on deep research and data. They help businesses understand who their ideal customers are. From demographic information, behaviour patterns, interests, goals, pain points, to the challenges they face. The process of creating a buyer persona, involves going back over your CRM data to gain a better understanding of what type of customer uses your services or buys your products. By keeping your buyer personas in mind, you will have a better vision of what type of marketing messages are successful and which ones are not. This will help you ensure that all the activities involved in acquiring and serving your customers are tailored to the targeted buyer’s needs. While buyer personas represent your ideal customers, the traits of a negative or exclusionary persona helps you identify the customers that may not be a good fit for your business.
How to define your buyer personas
By taking advantage of buyer personas you can start reaching more of the right customer and prevent your marketing campaigns from disappearing into oblivion.
Here's how you can create your own buyer personas:
1. Gathering data
The research step is where you will spend most of your time. By putting qualitative and quantitative questions to your existing and potential customers, you can identify important pain points and trends. This will help you to better understand their buying behaviour and provide you with insights into the challenges they face. Knowing your main competitors and their behaviour will also give you more insight into industries or sectors you would like to work in.
2. Segment and build profiles
By gathering this information, you will be able to see similarities in the data you produce and break regular instances down into common attributes. By comparing the demographic data and behavioural traits together, you will be better able to visualise the goals and challenges of your customers. You can then use this information to create a fictional character of your ideal target customer. This is your buyer or customer persona.
3. Create your strategies
Using the profiles you have created, you can now quickly identify and target a more relevant audience, helping tailor better sales and marketing communication, KPI’s and goals.
Always remember that you don't have to complete your buyer persona exercise in one go: we all know the feeling of getting started on something and then realising that you have more to explore. If this happens, don’t fear. Just go back through steps 1-3 again until every buyer persona has been fully developed for your new venture.