If you’ve ever worked in any sort of marketing or sales capacity, you’ll have heard the term Buyer Persona thrown around like candy at Halloween. The buyer persona (also referred to as a marketing persona) has long since been part of the toolkit for many marketers and sales managers, but what exactly is it?
Hubspot describes a buyer persona as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about customers. Basically what this means is you take what you know about your customers, couple it with what you don’t know but wish was true of them, and create a character to represent them – as if you’re working at Disney Studios. What fun!
Many marketers go into extreme detail when creating their buyer personas, often giving them names, occupations, family histories; really getting into the nitty-gritty of what makes their customers tick. The value of creating these buyer personas is insight: if you truly understand what drives a customer to buy, you can sell them things they desire before they even know they want them! Buyer personas help you determine where to focus your marketing efforts and guide product development.
So how does one go about creating a buyer persona?
Since buyer personas are based on both existing customers and ideal future customers, the first step is to gain insight into the psyche of your buyer. This can be done by way of interviews, research or market surveys.
Interviews can be conducted face to face in your store or office, or over the phone – ask your customers what they like and don’t like about your products and services.
A clever way to conduct a market research survey is to combine it with a competition or giveaway, where you’re asking for a few customer details in exchange for a chance to win. This can be carried out online (on your website or social media pages) or as an in-store entry form.
It’s considered best practice for your sales team to keep a record of their top leads and what steered these customers to this point. It’s also worth keeping tabs on any patterns that emerge in the buying process to uncover trends that can be useful in attracting future business.
When creating your buyer personas, include customer demographics, their behaviours, motivations and goals.
Once you have all the above information about your customer, it’s time to plug it into a simple format that allows you to access it easily and share it with colleagues.
I’ve created my buyer personas, now what?
The big question: how do I use my buyer personas now I’ve got all the information? The answer to that is complex and requires you to really think about your customers and your marketing strategy.
Using the insight gained from your buyer personas, you should be able to target various marketing efforts to various types of customers. You shouldn’t have one single marketing message for your entire pool of customers; your marketing plan should be broken down into smaller chunks to reach each one of your buyer personas. People in different age groups, from different backgrounds and with different motivations buy differently. Your goal is to ensure that you are targeting the right marketing efforts to the right segment of your audience. And you do that using your buyer persona as the key.
Read the full article on Ignite Media.