Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They’re based on real data about customer demographics and behavior, along with educated speculation about their histories, motivations, and concerns.
Why are Buyer Personas important?
Defining your buyer personas allows you to better segment your customers and prospects, giving you greater insight into buyer motivations and behaviors. With buyer personas, you can evolve your marketing strategy to align with buyer habits and identify buyer goals so you can better market to them, and in turn, increase revenue. If your sales and marketing teams don’t understand who they’re speaking to, it can be hard to craft a message that really resonates.
So, how do you create Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are created through research, surveys and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers – both “good” and “bad” – prospects, and those outside of your contact database who might align with your target audience. You’ll collect data that is both qualitative and quantitative to paint a picture of who your ideal customer is, what they value, and how your solution fits into their daily lives. Some key pieces of information to define when making a buyer person are:
- the buyer’s background
- how you help them
- real customer quotes
- common objections
Using these as a framework can help you create the right personas for your target audience.
I have defined my Buyer Personas, now what?
You’ve done the research, conducted the interviews, and finally figured out who your buyer persona is. Congratulations! But how do you communicate that new understanding of your target customer with your entire organization?
To make sure everyone in your organization is clear on your buyer personas, be sure you give your persona a name, such as Eddie the Engineer or Barbara the Buyer and include a real-life image so everyone can truly envision what he or she looks like.
Your buyer personas should motivate every piece of marketing material that comes into contact with your buyer such as website content, blogs, advertising campaigns, marketing messaging, elevator pitches, sales processes, and more depending on the type of industry.
The Buyers Journey
If you are a marketer, I’m sure you’ve heard of The Buyers Journey. The Buyers Journey consists of three stages: the Awareness Stage, the Consideration Stage, and the Decision Stage. These stages should directly impact the way you market to the buyer in each stage.
In the Awareness Stage, buyers don’t necessarily know that you exist yet. At this stage, the buyer is experiencing some symptoms of a problem or challenge and is looking for more information on their problem. In this stage, it’s best to offer educational pieces like free whitepapers, guides, eBooks, kits, etc.
In the Consideration Stage, the buyer has identified their problem. At this point, the buyer is researching to find the available solutions to their problem. It is best to offer informational pieces like free webinars, case studies, or sample product spec sheets/catalogs.
In the Decision Stage, the buyer has decided on their solution strategy and started comparing options. At this stage, it is beneficial to provide free trials, consultations, demos, and/or estimates. At this point, the buyer is ready to review the solution and will decide whether or not to move forward with their purchasing.
Wrapping it all up
Whenever we talk about a marketing initiative, we start by talking about personas. Whether a comprehensive marketing plan or just a campaign, we need to know who it is that we’re marketing to, and that’s the persona. Most companies will have more than one persona but don’t overcomplicate things by defining dozens. Start with just a few and understand their motivations and the messaging that will resonate with them in their unique circumstance. Then, armed with this new information, use your personas in all of your marketing initiatives.
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