Increase Your Marketing Productivity in 2020 Using Buyer Personas
Do you really know who your customers are? Do you know why they purchase your product/service? Do you know how to reach new clients outside of your customer base?
If your answers to the questions above aren’t a confident yes, your next smart step is buyer personas.
So, what is a buyer persona and why does my business need to use them?
Simply, a buyer persona is a detailed description of your target customer. It’s a document which gives you a profile of a consumer segment by stereotyping and characterising information about them such as age, hobbies, demographics etc. This is because it’d be near enough impossible to get to know every customer individually so instead you can create customer personas to represent each general segment.
The idea is to create these different buyer personas as if they are real people, so that you can develop targeted marketing messages to these consumer segments. This is especially important as not every customer is the same and different groups of people may buy your product/service for different reasons.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a buyer persona for your business.
1. Research your target audience
It’s a good idea together all of the information you can about your current customer base. Some key information required is their age, gender, location, interests, career and life stage.
Social media analytics tools are an easy but effective way of gaining information on who interacts with your brand online.
Use what you can from current records and if needed, consider sourcing information through surveys, focus groups and customer interviews.
A useful question to explore is what similarities do your customers have? By discovering commonalities among your top purchasers, your persona will be more accurate and representative of your consumer segment.
2. Understand how your brand can help your customers and prospects
In this step it’s important to move beyond the features that your brand offers and dig deeper to analyse your brand’s benefits for customers.
It’s important to remember a feature is what your product is or does whereas a benefit is how your product or service improves an aspect of a buyer’s life.
3. Use this information to create separate personas
Group customers with the same challenges and goals into their own category so that each category represents a different persona.
For example, if you are a personal trainer, you may have clients who want to increase their muscles mass and gain weight whereas some of your other clients might want to maintain muscle mass and lose fat.
Once you’ve established the common characteristics, you can now take these and turn them into a persona which you can use to identify customers and speak to.
Your buyer persona should have a name, job title, location, hobbies and any other characteristics you have deemed useful.
For example, your group of clients focused on gaining muscle mass could be represented by the persona you name ‘Muscle Mass Mike’.
- He is 21 years old
- He lives in London
- He works in the construction industry
- He enjoys playing sport with friends and going to the pub at the weekend
- He’s not very tech-savvy
- He much prefers photos and videos to books or articles
In comparison, your clients who are using your service to maintain muscle mass and lose fat could be represented by the name ‘Fat Loss Finley’.
- He is 38 years old
- He lives in London
- He works in finance
- He spends his weekends with his wife and 2 children
- He’s extremely tech-savvy
- He reads a lot in his spare time
Sure, not all of the people in the customer group will match exactly to the buyer persona you create but it will allow you to think of the group in a human way instead of a collection of data points.
4. Integrate your buyer personas into your strategy
When creating content, try to evaluate it through the eyes of your buyer persona. Equally, when choosing what platforms to publish your content, your buyer persona will be useful to show you what platforms are mostly used by each consumer segment.
Thinking of ‘Mike’ and ‘Finley’ as a real person will help you to address their priorities for your product/service instead of addressing your own.
The buyer personas which you create will inform everything you do; from the content you send them via email, to the products/services you create for them.
Buyer personas are there to help you deliver the sales pitch which will be the most persuasive to a particular buyer’s personal situation.
5. Evaluate and update your personas
Throughout life, people’s interests and needs change, so it’s important to regularly evaluate your personas once or twice a year. This will make sure that they reflect your customers lifestyles and behaviours.
This evaluation can be as simple as updating your customer’s occupation all the way to recreating your persona. Either way, it’s important to keep your personas up to date so that you are sending out the most effective and persuasive marketing messages to your customers and prospects.
For more advice on creating buyer personas and how this exercise can help you market your business more effectively, get in touch for a free 30-minute Marketing Health Check today.