Are you planning on creating buyer personas for your business?
Today every smart marketer knows how clearly defining a business’s ideal customer can become the key to high conversions.
All successful marketers use buyer personas. Does your business?
What Is A Buyer’s Persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional person. It is created for channelizing the marketing efforts of a business. It represents a business’s ideal customer. It documents everything, including demographic information, hobbies, career history, family size, etc. Basically, it is created as if it’s a real person, not just a persona.
The primary need for creating buyer personas is to get lucid about the people your business is marketing to. And until this is crystal clear, it is difficult to say that your marketing campaign is successful and capable of generating results.
It is vital that buyer personas are based on real customers, and are created very thoughtfully after extensive research.
Why Is Creating Buyer Personas Important?
Creating a persona seems like a lot of work, and business may wonder if doing so much hard work is worth it?
The answer to this doubt is YES, it is worth every penny! With an ideal buyer persona, a business has a clearly defined target customer.
For any marketing campaign, persona development is definitely a crucial first step, no matter how big or small the company is.
Buyer personas symbolize the maximum revenue giving customers of your business. Unless your business has a clear idea of this, it would not be able to determine the factors about your business/ product that have a positive effect on new lead attraction and conversion.
Creating buyer personas helps your business all through your marketing campaign. Knowing your customers inside and out — including what motivates them and what struggles they face — allows the business to tailor marketing messages that are directed to prospective buyers. A buyer persona can also help you decide the tone of voice and style to be used in the marketing strategy. Even the blogs and white papers your business creates can be done better when they are created with a buyer persona in mind.
For a successful marketing campaign, it is crucial to test different messages for different audiences to be effective to increase sales. A marketer cannot take a stab in the dark and assume it understands the audience it is aiming to attract. To have the best chance to grab the attention of prospective customers in this ad-heavy world, and then be able to convince them to buy your product/ service — your business definitely needs to creating buyer personas!
Use Of Personas In Marketing
When your business has a buyer persona, it becomes easier for crafting marketing messages. This is so because your messages can be crafted with real people in mind. Without a clear picture of a target buyer, business messages can become plain corporate-speak and buzz words. And these words often don’t have much effect on an average simple buyer.
A business persona can be treated like a person – A person with questions, needs, problems, etc. So, when you know such things about your prospective customers, you know how to craft your marketing messages that are answers to the persona’s questions. You know what kind of language should be used to target them. This way your business can address the priorities and requirements of a buyer instead of your own.
Single Or Multiple Personas
So, you might ask, does every product have a single specific ideal buyer persona? The answer to this is a straight NO. Most products are likely to have more than one buyer persona.
Generally, products or services are often a good fit for several different categories of people. Therefore businesses need to creating buyer personas separately for each category. So most businesses have numerous buyer personas they target selling to. And when a business assures that its marking strategy takes care of each of the buyer personas, it is sure to enjoy much higher conversion rates.
But a business must not go overboard in developing dozens of personas. A business should first start small. It can then gradually expand as it starts to differentiate amongst various customer types. It is ideal that a business begins with 1 to 5 persons, not more than that.
With a list of a few buyer personas, your business now has the answer to how it can help its customers. With this understanding, you can create a marketing message with how you can solve problems of a customer and help them achieve their goals.
Each time a business needs to make a decision about your marketing strategy or any other major business-related decisions; it should be done with one of your buyer personas in mind. When you do this, you know you are doing right by the customers, and this is sure to ultimately lead to boosting sales. And it also contributes to creating brand loyalty and trust.
Now that you understand what a buyer persona is and the benefit it can get to your business, let me drive you through the process of creating buyer personas for your business.
Building a Buyer Persona
For a business to be able to build their own buyer persona’s they need to paint a complete picture of who its customers are. Things they need to take into account include –
- Demographics like gender, age, annual income, educational qualification
- Psychographics like personality type believes, attitudes
- Their primary reason for buying your product
- Source of buying your product- in a retail store, at a discount sale, online
- The most important use of your product to them
- The solution your product provides to enhance their life
- Average frequency of their purchase
- Objections that some customers may have from your product and the reasons why they would not be willing to buy it
- Means of communication preferred by your customer – mail, post, text, email, telephone, etc.
All this information when culminated helps the business to get a picture of its ideal customers. This way the business’s marketing strategy can create content that has the power to be directly communicated to customers, about their wants and needs, and explain how its product is the impeccable choice for them.
Personas help the business better understand what its customers are:
- Concerned about
- Expecting and
This information helps a business to craft different marketing campaigns which facilitates them to speak directly to the customer base.
Steps For Creating Buyer Personas
Does your business know who its customers are? Also, does it have a clear understanding of what they want or need from the business?
It is difficult to create content for someone you don’t understand or know much about. And this is where a creating buyer personas come to the rescue. Such buyer personas must be based on real information, not just gut instincts. They should be created with people who actually buy from your business.
Therefore creating buyer persona calls for a lot of in-depth research.
Research about your existing customer base – You need to collect key data parameters like age, location, income, language, buying behavior, activities, interests, and life stage- implying new parenthood/ midlife/ retirement, etc. from your client database. Such facts needed to be confirmed and supplemented through online surveys, email surveys, and customer interviews.
Social analytics tools – Such tools help to provide information about anyone who interacts with your business online, customers, or not.
Competition – Now that you know about your end, you need to move a step ahead and research your competitors, their target groups, and how you can differentiate from them!
Ascertain buyer’s pain points
Set up search sources to keep an open ear on what is being told about your business, its brand image, and its products in comparison to your competitors. This can help you understand what part of your product and your marketing campaign is working and the parts that are not.
You also need to find out the type of queries your customer service team gets. You could determine if any particular group of customers face any particular kind of challenges. Customers truly are the best source to help you in creating buyer personas.
Ascertain buyer’s goals
Goals are the other part of pain points.
They are solutions customers are looking for. Goals are affirmative outcomes they wish to achieve.
A business needs to understand its potential customers. And social listening is the best means to assimilate this information.
Like the customer service team is a perfect source for insight for pain points, a business’s sales team is the perfect source for insight on customer goals.
Sales representatives of your business are the people who interact with people who are actually using the products your business produces or are considering using them. They have a profound knowledge of what a probable customer is looking for in your product or service. They also have an idea of buyer concerns, doubts, and objections.
Comprehend how your brand can help
By now, you have an understanding of your customers’ goals and pain points. Now all you need to do is express how your product can help. It’s not about the features of your product. It’s about the benefits it gives to customers.
Creating buyer personas is really important as it allows the business to do flip side thinking, from a customer’s point of sight. A business needs to understand how your offering can make a customer’s life better.
Creating buyer personas
Now you have quite a bit of research results handy. With all these in mind, you need to try and figure out the common characteristics. Combining all these lead your business to its distinctive buyer personas.
This is how it would look in practice-
You have narrowed a core client group of men in their 30s who reside in big cities, are fitness freaks and own dogs. This abstract collection of physiognomies should now be turned into a persona.
You need to attribute your buyer persona a
- Distinct name,
- A work designation,
- A home,
- Other definite characteristics.
Like Fitness Frank is 35 years old. Lives in Mumbai and owns a Dalmatian. He works for Proctor and Gamble in the higher management levels. He lives in a 3BHK in a posh gated society in Mumbai. He likes to make friends and work out. He believes in staying fit and encourages others to do so.
All these ensure it feels like it is a realistic person. Yet it isn’t too specific but has considered all characteristics of this client group. Such personas can be called good buyer persona examples.
Some other buyer persona examples
You are a travel organizing company:
You have a product- an adventure travel package.
So your business can create the following different personas based on the kinds of buyers
- Adult adventurers– They are well settled and are in higher roles in their respective organizations. For them, this holiday tour is a leisure holiday.
- Group of students– They have just graduated and are looking to take a trip with buddies before they part ways for their higher education. They intend to sponsor the trip with their piggy bank saving.
- Adeline junkies– Looking for adventure sports.
So this example shows the same product- an adventure travel package can have a minimum of 3 different types of buyer personas for a business to cater to.
Five Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs
Marketing can benefit tremendously from buyer personas. But this is as long as the profile creation process was carried out properly.
Without high experience in the persona creating process, there are chances it could go wrong, terribly wrong. This could not only have zero positive effects but on the contrary, leave your business with damaging and negative effects.
Your business by having incorrect buyer personas would address the wrong group and also in the process repel potential customers. Let’s understand what should not be done in the persona creation process-
One-sided research and data collection
Data collection is the first step of persona creation. This should be done by multiple channels like web data collection, direct contact with buyers, etc. Next, the business needs to ensure the sample considered is not very small and limited and generated by not a very extensive interview with a handful of people.
The strong influence of statistical surveys
Extensive data collection is good, but the outcome received should not be blindly followed. Buyer personas need to be created on the basis of real people and not on average people. Data collection from existing customers and then averaging out the data is easy and work saving. But this would mean behind the alleged buyer persona, are the average values of only a target group.
High creative embellishment
While creating personas the key is neither to let creativity run free nor to orientate too much on average values. Sometimes in the persona creation process, it is a possibility to get lost as the process calls for the creation of stories of a fictitious person. What should not be missed is the research information collected. If there is no proper balance between the two, you end up creating an interesting and descriptive persona, but it lacks the authentic data. And in the worst-case scenario, such buyer personas lead your marketing efforts in a completely wrong direction!
Superficially designed sample profiles
A buyer persona is a beneficial tool only when the profile created contains extensive information. At times it gets difficult for a business house to deal intensively with the process of creating buyer personas and it could end up creating profiles that can be quickly finished. Such profiles are sure to not have much informational value and are superficial. Adapting your marketing plan to such a persona would be a gamble!
Too many or too few
Too many- The belief that creating lots of persona’s means you are not missing out on any customer type can backfire and lead you to a scenario of a profile-less campaign. Such a strategy leads you to a situation where the personas don’t fit anybody and therefore no one feels addressed.
Too few- By creating only 1 or 2 profiles, your business ends up with the risk of not reaching many probable buyers. This leads to the creation of a very specific marketing strategy that addresses only a limited customer base, where more could have been possible!
Buyer personas form the foundations for higher Return on Investment (ROI) and targeted marketing. It is a process that lets a business understand its customer and more importantly, how it can offer its product/ services to suit their requirements.
The ultimate goal of creating a buyer’s persona is to humanize the sales content and marketing messages of your business. After you are successful in creating buyer personas, the next step is to integrate them with your marketing team.
The plain truth is – persona development is not an easy task. It calls for extensive research and spending time, efforts, and resources on interviewing the right people, to create an apt buyer persona. But once this process is done effectively, it is sure to pay off your company with multi-fold benefits.
With access to correct buyer personas, your business has a better understanding of your target audience. This ensures you can create the right content for every stage and develop better marketing strategies.
So, is your business ready to take advantage of buyer personas? Do you wish to drive in higher sales through your marketing campaigns?
We at Towards 90 understand the importance of creating buyer personas. Come, contact our qualified and experienced team to take care of it, so that your business can reap the benefits of the right marketing strategies and ultimately better sales!