Buyer personas, customers avatars. Whatever you want to call them, they aren’t just a meaningless marketing buzzword. Buyer personas are the foundation of your entire marketing and sales strategy, yet many businesses don’t take the time to create them.
This is a contributed post. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.
What are buyer personas?
A buyer persona is a detailed profile of your ideal customer. A semi-fictional representation that is based upon both desk-based market research and professional experience.
Its primary purpose is to know how your audience thinks, what they want, and where they are. You then use this knowledge to target your marketing and sales strategies to their needs and pain points.
Your buyer personas will inform every other aspect of your marketing, from your LinkedIn lead generation strategy to the company blog.
Why do you need them?
Before you create any marketing message, blog post, or any other element of the inbound process, you need to tailor it to your buyer persona. By identifying their pain points and providing them with good quality content that addresses this, you begin to create trust and credibility.
How to create a buyer persona
There’s no way around it, producing a detailed, effective buyer persona does take a lot of research. First, you have to work out who your ideal customer is. Most companies fall into the trap of thinking their ideal customer is whoever will by their product. They then try to give a wide focus to their marketing, trying to encompass everyone. In reality, by trying to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
When you have decided on an ideal buyer, then it’s time to start getting some information about them.
- What is their job title
- What industry are they in and how long have they been in it
- Their qualifications
- Where they live
- Their home background (do they have kids?)
- What their daily challenges are at work
- What are their typical objections to using your product/service
Once you have the basics, you can then dig a little deeper.
- How old are they
- What do they like to do in their spare time
- Their career aspirations
- What they read
- Where they get their news and information
If you’re looking for a good buyer persona tool, Hubspot has a great tool which you can use to create yours.
Depending on your product range, you could end up with a few different personas to accommodate. For each of them, you’ll need to think about how you can target your marketing to their unique set of needs and challenges.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you will probably have a lot of experience you can rely on to help you flesh out your personas. If you’re a startup or moving into a new sector, you’re going to have to rely on other data until you can start collecting your own anecdotal feedback.
Once you’ve completed your personas, you can still continue to update them on a regular basis to refine your marketing content.