The key to unlocking better marketing

Do you want to reach the right people with the right message at the right time? Buyer personas might be the answer.

A buyer persona is an in-depth, semi-fictional profile of a person (or people) who represents your target audience. These personas should focus on customers who can generate the most revenue for your business while providing the least opposition.

A buyer persona typically includes:

  • Name and demographic information
  • Short biography
  • Pain points
  • Objectives or expectations with respect to the service or product
  • Factors Influencing Buying Decisions
  • Most used channels

The ultimate goal of buyer personas is to better understand your customers. Because if you don’t understand who your customers are, how can you market to them effectively?

With an advanced understanding of your audience, you can make messages more relevant and personal, meet customers on the channels they prefer, and identify prospects most likely to convert. The result is streamlined marketing and sales processes that fuel your bottom line.

Here are five simple steps to getting started with buyer personas:

Step 1: Look (and talk) to existing customers

The first action to take? Keep a close eye (and ear) on your current customers – something you should do regularly, according to Hans Kullberg, vice president of product at Pathfinder Health.

“Get inside their head, know what motivates them, what excites them, what will get them used to your product,” Hans said.

Some questions you will want to answer include:

  • Who buys from you?
  • What does this person’s job look like?
  • Does this person have the final say in decisions?
  • What problems does this person want to solve?
  • What is this person’s home life like?
  • How old is this person?
  • Do they have hobbies?
  • Are they married or single, do they have children?

Hans said that in his company, they collect this information through generative interviews, surveys, focus groups and by interacting with users in the target demographic, even in an unofficial capacity. They also use customer behavior tools to understand how users interact with the brand app.

Organizations may also collect data from website analytics, social media advertising, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Related Article: A Step-by-Step Guide to Navigating Customer Reviews

Step 2: Talk to customer-facing employees

Then it’s time to talk to employees, because no one knows your customers better than the people who work directly with them.

These employees will have an idea of ​​who your customers are, what they like, common issues or concerns they might have, and the best ways to assuage those concerns.

“When it comes to creating buyer personas, I like to do my homework,” said Toby Dao, marketing specialist at Tigren. “I start by talking to sales and customer service reps to get a sense of the types of questions our prospects are asking and the problems they’re trying to solve.”

Hans supported this idea, adding, “Customer-facing employees are key to developing an understanding of what our customers want and need.

In addition to sitting down and chatting one-on-one with employees, organizations can also send out surveys and questionnaires to take the pulse of customers.

Step 3: Consider your ideal client

You spoke to real customers and your customer-facing employees. But now it’s time to ask yourself: who would you like to be your customers?

Is there an ideal prospect that your marketing team is failing to convert? Perhaps a competitor has successfully broken into a certain segment of the market, and you would like to break into that as well.

This is the perfect time to look at your competition. Scroll through their website. Browse their social media channels. Subscribe to their mailing list for a week. This step allows you to get an idea of ​​your ideal client outside of what is already happening in your organization.

While your ideal customers may not always match your real customers, you may be overlooking areas where you can potentially branch out.

Related article: Personas and Analytics: Unlocking What Motivates Your Customers

Step 4: Separate your buyers

Once you’ve gathered your data, it’s time to analyze it and see what patterns emerge, Dao said. “What do the people in your target audience have in common? »

Look for similarities in clients’ goals and challenges; commonalities in what people expect from your company or product. You can also segment your target audience by industry, job title, and authority to make decisions.

Keep in mind that many companies have multiple personas. Now is the time to figure out how many you might need. (Don’t worry, you can always go back and add more later.)

“Don’t have a single character unless you have a niche product,” Hans said. “Many users may use your product for various reasons. Ultimately, understand why – why is your character going to use/buy your product? »

Pathfinder Health uses six different characters, each unique.

“Each character has different goals, frustrations and needs,” he said. “By building features that address those needs and answering their ultimate question – why use this app? — in a scalable way, we’re able to meet the needs of a wide audience.“

William Chan, technical director of Market equityadded that this can be useful for businesses that start out by creating one or two personas and then gradually add more as they learn more about their customers.

“The process of creating and using buyer personas isn’t static,” Chan said, “and it’s important to update and refine them constantly.”

Step 5: Bring Your Buyer Personas to Life

You have separated your target audience into different groups or segments. Now is the time to breathe some life into your personas.

“You’ll want to write a biography for each character that outlines their interests and needs,” Dao said. “Our personal biography is usually a summary of all the data we collected throughout the process. The depth with which we do this totally depends on the similarity of our ideal clients in all areas. »

Don’t be afraid to get creative. Many brands even go so far as to add a face (file photo) to their characters.

Here is an example of what a finalized buyer persona for an online video streaming service might look like:

@wocintechchat on Unsplash

Last name: Jenna Jenkins

Age: 25

Location: New York City

Education: Licence

Job title: Marketing Associate

Organic : Jenna is a single, career-minded professional who works in digital marketing. She doesn’t have cable and prefers to watch streaming content online. She enjoys watching documentaries and keeping up to date with current events.

Pain points: Not finding the types of content she is looking for. Not having access to newly published content. Watch commercials during TV shows and movies. Apps difficult to navigate or use.

Expectations: Regular content updates available so there is always something new to watch. No ads. Easy to search and save content to watch later.

Factors influencing buying decisions: Online reviews, cost, content available, streaming apps used by your friends and colleagues.

Most commonly used channels: Social networks and e-mail.

Related Article: How to Customize Your CXM Strategy

Buyer Personas: a tool for any business

Don’t let your marketing efforts – and your dollars – go to waste. With buyer personas, you can be sure to have the biggest impact with the right people.

Plus, you don’t have to be a business to participate. “Overall, using buyer personas can be a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.” Chan said.