If there’s one thing that every marketer knows, it’s how important a buyer persona is to effective marketing. But what is a buyer persona, exactly?
A buyer persona is an idealized customer profile that captures your target audience’s demographic, psychographic and behavioural characteristics. It helps marketers better understand their customers so they can tailor their messaging more effectively.
Let’s look at how you can create and use buyer persona in your own business:
Understand your business.
The first step in creating a buyer persona is to understand your business. This means knowing your goals, understanding the market you are in and what makes a good customer for you.
- Understand your business goals: What do you want to achieve? When someone buys from you, what do they get out of it? How are they going to use the product or service that they buy from you? This information will help create an accurate buyer persona.
- Understand the market: Who are the people who buy from you, why do they buy from you, and how can other potential customers find them (or vice versa)
Example: A Real Estate Marketing Company
Starting a real estate marketing company will require that one has clear goals.
- What are your marketing goals?
- How many properties does your company intend to sell in a year?
- Divide these number of properties to sell to monthly goals
- What do people benefit from buying these properties from you?
- Who are your competitors and what are their strategies?
Identify your customer.
In order to create a buyer persona, you need to understand your customers. Who are they? Where do they live? What are their behaviours and attitudes? How old are they, and what is their level of education? What kind of income do they earn?
The first step in creating a buyer persona is identifying who your customer really is. This may sound simple, but it’s often overlooked by many businesses when creating their marketing strategies.
When deciding how much money to spend on advertising or how many people should be hired for the sales team, it’s easy to lose sight of who exactly these decisions affect and why.
One way to identify your ideal customer is by conducting market research. Look at data such as demographic information (age range), psychographics (lifestyle choices), behavioural data (shopping habits) and attitudinal data (opinions).
Read why customers engagement matters so much now
How to identify your customers
Just as explained above, you need to build a clear avatar for your customer. Know who they are, their need, demography and economic status. Use the following questions as a guide to creating your customer avatar:
- Name your customer avatar (e.g. Smith)
- What age group? (e.g. 25 -40 years)
- What is your target audience’s gender? (e.g. male)
- What country are they located in? (e.g. South East, London)
- Education level? (e.g. Minimum Diploma Certification)
- What is your target audience’s income level? (e.g. £30,000p.a)
Identify their decision-makers.
One of the most important things to consider when creating buyer personas is identifying who the decision-maker is. This is typically a person who has influence over a buying decision, whether it’s making an actual purchase or choosing between two options.
You can identify this person by asking questions about their role in the organization and how they make decisions for the company, as well as by looking at organizational charts and job descriptions. Once you have identified your target audience’s decision-makers, it will be easier to develop content that resonates with them because you will understand their underlying motivations and concerns.
When deciding if you’ve identified the right person as being responsible for influencing buying decisions within your target audience, ask yourself: Does this potential customer (or potential client) have control over what gets done within their organization? Are they accountable for getting results? If so, and only if so you have found your ideal candidate.
Develop the right question for your buyer persona.
- Make sure the questions are relevant to the buyer persona:
- For example, if this is a persona of a tech-savvy millennial who does not have kids but would like to in the future, asking about their children’s education and extracurricular activities may not be relevant. These kinds of questions can be better used as follow-up questions once you have gained some rapport with them.
- Make sure they are easy to answer:
- It doesn’t matter how well your questions are written if they are too hard for your potential customers to answer! Don’t use words that aren’t common in everyday language or references that aren’t common knowledge. Also, make sure your writing style is simple and engaging; people won’t want to take the time out of their day if it feels like work just reading through what you’ve written!
Understand their goals and challenges.
Understanding your customers’ goals and challenges is an important step in creating a buyer persona. You can do this in a few different ways:
- A customer’s website may have information on their business objectives and challenges you can use to help you create a solution that meets those needs.
- In some cases, you may be able to directly talk to the people who make decisions about purchasing your product or service. In these situations, ask them what they’re trying to accomplish with it, and then figure out how your product or service will help them get there.
Gain insight about their business.
To begin, you should gain insight into their business. What industry is it in? What kind of business model do they use? What are their goals and challenges, both short-term and long-term? How much money do they have to spend on your product or service and how do they make decisions within the company?
These are all important questions that will help you create a buyer persona.
Focus on their pain points, needs and budgets.
The next step is to focus on the pain points, needs and budgets of your buyer persona.
Once you know who your buyer personas are, it’s time to move on to the next step: understanding how they perceive themselves and their role in relation to the product or service that you provide. This will help you understand why they might want (or not want) your product or service and how much they’re willing to spend on it if they decide that your offering meets their needs.
Apply new insights to your buyer personas.
Once you have a draft persona, review it and update it as necessary.
- Does the persona accurately reflect the buyer? If not, what does?
- Are there any gaps in the information that is missing from this persona? If so, what are they?
- Do you want to add or change anything else about your buyer personas?
It is important to have a clear picture of who your ideal customer is so you can market to them effectively.
This will help you tailor your products and services, as well as marketing materials, such as emails and ads.
A buyer persona describes the demographics of your target customers: what they do for a living, how old they are, where they live and more. It also includes their interests, goals and pain points (what keeps them up at night).
Once you have your buyer personas in place, you can start marketing to them with confidence. You know who they are and what they want, so now all you need to do is tell them.
Make sure that your content is tailored toward each persona, and always ask yourself whether or not the message will resonate with them.