A buyer persona is a fictional character which some may see as an amusing waste of time. However, the creation of a buyer persona is based on hard data and the demographic information of your target audience or customers. The most effective method to understanding what someone wants is to know who they are. Doesn’t it make sense to know your customers?
The idea of using a buyer persona to target customers is very apparent with big businesses and organizations, even political campaigns. They use Big Data to create multiple personas, helping reveal a target audience’s wants, needs, and motivators. The buyer personas are then used to create specific products, services, marketing, and messaging. However, you don’t have to spend millions of dollars, or have access to Big Data, to create a buyer persona. This is something even a small, local business can accomplish.
Something every small, local business owner knows is that the big box stores and the internet are making it difficult to survive. It does not matter if you own a swimming pool store, flower shop, or pizzeria—big business is coming for your customers, and they are doing it by getting knowing your customers better then they know themselves. The buyer persona is one of the tools in their toolbox that they use to ensure they are providing quality and value, plus effective messaging. Your small business should be creating buyer personas as well, don’t you agree?
Creating buyer personas is a way of knowing your customers. They provides insights that are actionable. When building or maintaining your business, it is important to know your target customers and clients. Buyer personas are a way to make certain your products, services, and marketing strategies are connecting.
Creating a Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of an ideal or target customer, and should be constructed from actual data you have collected. Keep in mind, not all those who visit your small business, or website, are buyers. The buyer personas created should be based only on buying customers. Also, you will most likely have more than one buyer persona. Try to create as many as you can think of.
- Name (give your persona a name)
- Age Range
- Marital Status
- Familial Status (number of children in household under 18)
- Home Ownership
- Profession (important if B2B)
- Income Level
- Education Level
- Interests (Technology, Physical Fitness, Reading, et al)
- Buying Style (Premium Brands, Quick & Easy, Value Conscious, et al)
You should attempt to collect as much data as possible, for the many types of customers and clients you serve. Then use this information to create a buyer persona for each. One persona could be Susan—a single mother of two, who makes $40,000 a year, rents, and is a value conscious shopper who also looks for quick & easy. Another could be James—a married man with no children, making over $100,000 per year, and is a premium brand shopper who is health conscious. See, it is easy.
Learn What Motivates the Persona?
When you have detailed buyer personas, we then need to use them to customize products, services, and marketing. Using demographics you’ve gathered from business interactions. insights into your clients, interviews and surveys, you can are now able to develop your buyer personas. Really analyze the information you have collected.
Answer the following sample questions for each personal:
- What conditions will trigger this buyer persona to look for the product or service that you offer?
- What results or outcome does this buyer persona expect from the product or service?
- What attitudes or concerns prevent this buyer persona from purchasing? Also, why wouldn’t they buy from you?
- Which features does this buyer evaluate when comparing alternatives?
- What is the persona’s role in the decision? Who else will impact their choice? What resources will they trust to help make their decision?
How to Use Your Your Buyer Persona
Your buyer personas will allow you place your customers and clients into communities, helping you better understand their wants, needs, and motivations. You are then able to better tailor your products, services, and marketing to their specific needs, behaviors, and concerns. By creating a persona, your are putting a face on data, and this will make it easier to understand real customers. Is this making sense to you?
Depending on your business, you may only have one or two personas, but you could have 10, 20, or more. I suggest starting with building just one or two, and build from there as needed. You can then use the personas in the following ways.
- Identify Prospects—Quickly evaluate the level of potential for each lead.
- Different Marketing Tracks—be able to use the correct sales pitch and marketing materials for the type of prospect.
- Follow Personas Efforts—track how successful efforts are that are targeted to each persona.