We’re all guilty of focusing more on ourselves than others from time to time, and businesses are no different. Many companies get so caught up in WHAT they are selling that they pay little attention to WHO they are selling to. Taking that approach can be the kiss of death when it comes to your marketing strategy. You may have the greatest product or service in the world, but if you’re selling it to the wrong person, you’ll hit dead ends. This is why understanding who you are selling to is so important – and it’s not anyone with a pulse and a pocketbook. In this article, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide to how to discover your buyer persona so you can build a successful sales and marketing process around it.
What is Buyer Persona?
Buyer personas are customer avatars created through data and research that represent your ideal customers. They are developed to use as a guide to understanding the key characteristics that shape your target market. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and specific features and designs that meet the needs, behaviors, and concerns of your customers. For example, you may have determined that your target buyers are homeowners, but do you know their specific needs or interests? Do you know what moves them to make a purchase? Understanding what makes them tick is essential in developing buyer personas. As a result, you’ll be able to attract more high-quality leads and customers to your business.
While you’re at it, you’ll also want to understand your “negative” buyer persona. This is a representation of who you don’t want as a customer. As a business owner, wasting money trying to make a customer happy can be draining both mentally and physically. This is why it’s important to understand the kinds of people that would not be a good fit for your business. They could be customers that are too expensive to acquire or ones that simply aren’t a match for what you offer.
How To Use Buyer Personas in Marketing
Marketing is all about the right messaging mixed with the right targeting. The spark happens when your messaging creates interest and action with your potential customer. With buyer personas, you’re able to personalize content and tailor your messaging based on the different personas and their buying stage. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” process when it comes to what moves people to make a purchase. This is why it’s so critical to creating a variety of different marketing tactics. Let’s say, for example, you’re an HVAC company. Through your data analysis, you determined that some of your customer bases are homeowners with fixer-uppers. While other groups are busy working parents. You further determined that fixer-uppers do a heavy amount of research before making a purchase, while the working parents segment are impulse buyers. Instead of sending the same blanket email to all of your customers, your email messaging and content would have a better impact if you tailor it based on that group’s pain points, goals, and buying behavior.
How To Develop Buyer Personas
Buyer Personas are created through a mix of research, surveys, and interviews with current customers combined with a list of potential prospects that might align with your target market. Look through your current customer database and start to thread common characteristics on how customers find you and what leads them to make a decision to buy from you. You’ll also want to narrow in on details like age, location, spending power and patterns, interests, challenges, stage of life, and who is the decision maker in purchases. It’s also a good idea to determine which social media channels they use to better help you target marketing.
The best way to tackle any marketing campaign is to understand the customers’ goals and pain points. What motivates your customers? What is their end game? What barriers are they facing that your business can help solve? Once you have an understanding of their goals and struggles, you can identify how to better approach them with your messaging. Your customer research process should look something like this:
- Segment existing customers
- Run customer surveys, in-depth interviews, and focus groups
- Analyze feedback like reviews, customer service requests, and community groups
- Enlist your team’s first-hand knowledge of customer interactions
- Pull analytics from Google, Social Media, CRMs, and other tools
- Begin creating your different buyer personas
- Share your finding with your team and collect feedback
- Decide how to approach the different segments and personas you created
- Create your brand messaging, content, and appropriate mediums for your various segment
- Continue the process and make adjustments when needed
How to Create Your Buyer Personas
Once you’ve gathered all your research and discovered the common threads, it’s time to create your buyer personas. Think of these as your imaginary friends. Give them a name, a job title, an age, and other personality characteristics. For example, let’s say call our first buyer persona “Cautious Carrie.” Carrie is a homeowner and a small business owner. She and her husband have recently purchased a fixer-upper. They are both very careful with their finances and spending. She knows she needs help with her HVAC needs, but it’s important to her that she performs her due diligence when trying to find the most qualified HVAC to work with. Her buyer persona might look something like this:
Aim for the amount of information you would expect on a dating profile. As you flesh out your buyer personas, be sure to detail what matters to them. What impacts them in a buying decision? What matters to them in choosing a company to do business with? All these questions should be outlined in your surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions directly. The more you can narrow in on what your best customers look like; the more perfect your marketing strategy can be. Be sure to ask how they consume information. Do they turn to blogs, social media, or Google? This will give you an idea of exactly where to target your potential customers and prevent wasting your marketing dollars.
Regardless of what industry you are in, buyer personas should be a priority. Even businesses need to assess, review and reassess their target audience. When done correctly, buyer personas will provide you with a wealth of insight into your customers’ motivations, struggles, and goals. This will help you keep your brand messaging on track and create a product or service that truly appeals to your customers.
If you’re looking to improve your sales, increase your customer base, or just need a leg up on your marketing strategy, we’re here to help. Reach out to us directly to schedule a free 30-minute digital consultation.