A successful marketing strategy’s most important aspect is a buyer persona. You might be say, “Huh, Buyer what? I already know my clientele; I know my target audience’s characteristics and also have a CRM in place. I couldn’t possibly need anything more”. But all marketers need a buyer persona because it depicts your ideal customer. And how do you make a buyer persona?
It’s all entrenched in your market research and information about your existing clients. By defining your ideal customer you can understand who buys your product or services, if their geographic area, lifestyle trends, age gender and complementary interests play a defining role while making a purchase. It also helps you recognize how your business or product helps them. To understand all this, you need to dig deep into how your target customer lives, for instance: How does a typical day in your buyer or customer’s life look like? What role do they play in their business or family? Buyer persona is a written delineation of a potential buyer or customer who would be considered the ideal customer for your business. The character while being fictional still has to be realistic and representative of the sort of customers who are most expected to purchase your products or services. Your marketing strategy will have a stronger directive if you make use of the concept and planning that are part of forming a buyer persona, ensuring a profitable business.
Everyone has realised that a buyer persona in your kitty will make for a successful marketing strategy which in turn will make for a successful business, so the savvy marketer is ready with his buyer personas. Don’t brush this off as a fad that will go away in a few days, this trend is here to stay and the quicker you develop one, the better it is for your business.
The president of Biznet Digital, Kevin Krason defines buyer personas as – Potential customers at whom marketing companies target their personalized messaging with the aim to satisfy their needs and understand their purchase-readiness and convert it into sales at a much higher rate. Marketers can use marketing automation technology with the help of these predefined personas to scale up communications and make it more personalized.
So there you go, even the experts concur that a Buyer Persona is quite a useful thing to have. But before deciding your marketing strategy to aim for potential customers, you have to figure out who you’re marketing to, so make sure you take some time to understand that. We’ve already mentioned that defining your ideal customer is an important aspect of marketing that cannot be ignored; neglecting it can only take you down.
The significance of creating buyer personas
For any business understanding the target audience is the most important knowledge to have. Every marketer in the business takes the help of demographics to get to know the audience better, but demographics will only give you a macro-level, cumulative outlook wall personas provide the personal touch that is needed for an effective marketing strategy. It provides an extensive understanding of the real people who purchase and use your products or services.
The reason those personas are so indispensable in marketing is because:
- Personas give you a specific and reliable understanding of the diverse audience groups.
- You can compile the data about these groups in a proper context understand and retain the information as articulate stories through which you can come up with solutions to meet the needs of the individual users based on their personas.
- All the demographics that use compiled on these audience groups are very abstract, but buyer personas give these demographics a human face with human characteristics and mannerisms making targeted, personalised marketing that much easier.
Advantages of persona marketing
We’ve already covered that having a buyer persona is beneficial to your business, use it as a base to design your marketing strategy to suit your needs. And the less complicated a buyer persona is, the better it is for your company. All it needs is a few bullet points that describe your ideal, potential customer their wants and needs and any pain points which you feel they might experience. These few points which might seem simple are quite important and will help in marketing your products to the customer as if you’re selling it directly to that person, face to face.
1. Raj is the CEO and owner of a start-up in Delhi that sells engineering solutions, he has very little time to personally manage the marketing part of his business and he has no budget to hire staff to do it. So he would like some pointers to develop a strategy and measure the performance of his marketing efforts.
2. Linda has opened a new baking business. She is not very tech savvy and needs help to create a more customer centric site, learn about social media to get her business noticed and also needs help and how best to go about marketing her products and services.
Today’s marketing strategies are all about personalization which is why personas play such a significant role in strategizing. A business that relies on buyer personas and includes it in their marketing tactics will emerge the winner in the long run.
Creating a buyer persona
Any business’s objective is to gain customers and increase their sales, for this the products or services should be able to address the needs of the customer. The buyer Persona you created will tell you more about the needs of each of your customers and your marketing team should be able to produce content to put it across to those customers that your products will meet their needs.
All you need to do is know more about your existing customers and aim to find more customers like them. So you’ll have to contact the existing customers, get their feedback and opinion, fix any issues they might crop up and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly to get new customers.
Follow these 5 simple steps below to learn more about creating the perfect buyer persona for your business.
1. Segment the best of your customers
Have a look at your current database and find out who your best customers are based on the frequency of their purchases and how much they spent. Jot down the information and record it. It will give you valuable insights and act as a guide for any new customers that you want to attract.
2. Describe your customers
From the data you have collected on your existing customer try to draw a picture of your ideal customer based on characteristics they share with your existing ones. Use the following criteria to define these ideal customers.
- Categorise them based on characteristics like their age, gender, income etc.
- Delve further into their psychographics i.e. the preferences, type of personality and specific traits that they might have.
- Make a note of their behaviour; watch out for any likes or dislikes that are similar to existing customers, sports that they follow, hobbies, TV shows that they watch etc.
- Also make a note of the brands that they follow the geographical location and how much they spend on an average on products and what kind of products they buy.
- If you are a B2B company looking to work with other businesses note down key characteristics like their revenue, number of employees, products that they sell, decision making ability, available budget and geographical scope.
3. Once you build the profile you need to locate the customers
Now that you know what your customers look like you need to find them. Find out where they hang out, it maybe a physical place like a restaurant or cafe or virtual spaces like social media sites. Find out if the read on online or offline sources and find out what they look for when they search online.
4. Identify any new trends or change in patterns
Look into the life of your best customers and look for patterns on how they interact with your business and how they live their daily lives. Critically examine where your customers get information about your business that helps them make decisions about your products or services.
Know your customers purchasing process understand and review why the purchase your product or service and any benefits they get out of it.
Find out where they start their search, what their original problem or needs are and how you can benefit from finding a solution to their problem.
As a B2B company you should also take into consideration if they purchase your products on impulse, if they seek references and approval from a committee before buying the product.
Adjust your perspective
Put yourself in your customer’s shoe or think of your customer as your competitor and answer these questions:
- What is your motive behind choosing that product or company?
- Why are you picking that particular company over others?
- Were you influenced by any emotion or rationale to make that decision?
Once you get the answers to these questions you can have a conversation with the best of your existing customers and ask for their opinion.
Ask your customers why they chose you, how they found your company, why they bought your products and why they continue buying those products and ask them about particular things that you do and others don’t that they like.
Their answers will help you in altering your perception and guide you.
5. Name your buyer persona
By now you will have several personas in your kitty and you and your team will need to identify them easily. So give each of them a name, assign a gender and a background story; ensuring that relating to these customer segments is effortless.
Creating client profiles (buyer personas)
With all the information that you are compiled you can easily create profiles to depict your current customers specific characteristics, make sure they are tangible profiles through which you can imagine the person and what drives them to find your company.
So here or three things that you should pay attention to while creating your client profiles:
1. Write down your client’s description on paper.
2. For each identifiable group of clients create a persona specific to them and give it a name.
3. Add images to give a face to these ideal clients.
You see how in just 5 straightforward steps you will have a clear picture of the kind of customers you should target. Keeping these ideal customers in mind come up with a strategy that will save you valuable time and resources that you spend on your marketing efforts. Focus on making your marketing communications consistent and personalized and before long you will reach new customers and lead your business to the next level.
Most businesses and marketers have caught on to this idea and have started mastering and including buyer personas in their marketing strategy. There are a whole host of benefits to creating buyer personas for your business and it’s a good idea to introduce them into your marketing efforts as early as possible. Refine your marketing strategy to drive growth and get good returns on your investments.