What are buyer personas?
Do you know who your business is targeting? I am not talking about core groups or millennials versus baby boomers, I am talking about getting really personal. In order to be sure that you are targeting the right people you must personalize your targeting efforts. I am talking about creating buyer personas. So, why do you care about this, well a well-crafted buyer persona allows you to personalize your marketing messages down to the customer’s behaviour patterns, motivations and goals.
An April 2018 survey found that more than half of consumers expect companies’ offers to always be personalized. Buyer personas allow your business to use your customer data to target the potential customers who have the most to gain from your product or service offering. Don’t you want the ability to spend your marketing dollars on campaigns that bring valuable leads to your business? The ability to focus your time, guide product development and align your organization?
Once you have created your buyer personas, we will talk about how to create buyer personas for your business.
What makes up a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Using your knowledge of your customer base and the data you have, you are building your ideal customer. All buyer personas are the same in that they often include much of the same data
Let’s break this down and take a closer look at each one of these characteristics.
Demographic data refers to socio-economic information expressed statistically, also including employment, education, income, ethnicity and more. This gives a look into the life of the customer and allows us to understand what their current situation might be. For some demographic information, it will be better to use aa ideal range.
For example, when using age ranges can work better to capture your target audience, while other information can be very specific such an education level. Take a look at what our persona after using demographic statistics
- Between the ages of 25 – 35
- Earns $80,000 a year or more
As you can see we are already on the right track in creating our buyer personas. But, we have to make it more personal and really start to understand what our customers are interested in and for that, we look at behaviours.
We need to know how your ideal customers behave and in order to understand that we will need to leverage your business’s analytical data. What conversion paths do your ideal customers take? How and where do they interact with your marketing materials in the funnel? You can also use predictive analysis tools to identify potential paths to conversion.
Whatever behaviours you use in your buyer personas it is essential that you base it on real data from your conversion paths. Take a look at the various journey’s that your customers take from the first time they interact with your product or service to when they make a purchasing decision. How much information do they need to make a decision? How many times do they interact with your brand before they ask for more information? We live in a time when it is easy to research competitors and compare products so it’s important to understand potential customer lifecycles.
Is your business doing enough to educate them to make a purchase?
This part can be a little more time consuming as we are trying to understand why someone purchases your product or service. Using research based on customer feedback surveys or questionnaires is a great way to understand your customer’s motivations.
Finally, it is important to know what your customers are trying to achieve by buying your product or service. Whether someone is calling your contact number or filling out your website contact form they have a goal in mind. There are lots of possibilities:
- Price comparison
- Quality comparison
- More information
- Direct purchase
It’s important to assign goals to your buyer personas so when they start converting you know where and how far into the sales funnel they might be.
What are negative personas?
Negative personas are customer profiles of people that you don’t want to purchase from you. You want to identify all the people that don’t apply to your business. It’s really easy to identify all the people who definitely don’t fit into your customer base. But, be sure not to be too broad in defining your negative personas as this could lead to some being left out as an ideal customer when they could become one in the future.
For example, if you were a real estate agent looking to sell a home these could be some negative personas.
- Someone who wants to rent their home, not own it
- Income less than $30,000
Create your buyer personas
Now that you understand what a buyer persona is, take what you’ve learned and create your buyer personas to understand your target customers on a deeper level. It might be difficult to get started in the beginning but using your collected customer data can ensure everyone on your team knows how to best target, support, and work with your customers. Use our how to create buyer personas in 5 simple steps blog to gain important insight that helps build personas that improve reach, boost conversions, and increase loyalty.