“Know your target market” is a mantra often repeated by those in sales and marketing. Do you know who your business's ideal customers, so called buyer personas, are? And if so, how much do you know about them?
But what are Buyer Personas?
According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
Buyer personas are the personification of the facts you know about your target customers - information collected from a range of sources and through a range of methods such as observation, experience, interviews, and perhaps even surveys – supplemented with some speculations derived from the areas you do know.
Where to start when developing a Buyer Persona profile?
It is important that Buyer Personas can also be considered consistent with the experiences and history of the organisation – its brand.
Using up-to date and first hand information is crucial in creating accurate representations of your potential customers. A variety of this information you might already have within the organisation but to get the most of out of your buyer personas conducting market research is an inescapable necessity.
So, why buyer personas are so important for your company? Well, first of all buyer personas help you understand your customers better and as a result you can create better sales & marketing materials to attract their attention. Getting to know these people is important in order to develop an understanding of their behaviours and more importantly their motivations behind the purchase. The ‘why’ question will be the most important question you will ask when researching your ideal buyers because understanding what drive their choices means that you are better positioned to predict their movements within the market place.
How to create Buyer Personas?
When creating your buyer persona profiles you should consider a range of individuals: your current customers (both satisfied and dissatisfied); the prospects in your sales and marketing pipelines; and those that seem to fit the profile but aren’t so aware of your organisation.
Here are some methods that will help you when developing your buyer persona profiles:
- Interview your current customers to understand their buyer intent and what they like most about your products and services.
- Research your contact database to see how customers and leads consume your content, see if you can identify any trends.
- Analyse your sales team's feedback on the most active and highly converting leads.
- Review your best client deals and analyse their buyer's journey touchpoints before they became your customers.
- Use form fields on your website to capture important persona information, so that you can analyse it and enhance your customer experience.
When compiling the collated data into a persona it is important to be realistic. Extrapolate out reoccurring themes and speculate how they might affect other areas of that particular individual’s life – both personal and professional – while still maintaining the feel of realistic human beings.
Using a Buyer Persona
By using persona profiles that reflect your best customers, we can better tailor marketing materials to reach them at the most convenient point in their buyer’s journey.
Personas can be used to understand what information your potential buyers want to hear from you, when they want to hear it and in what format. Understanding the nuances about the people you hope to sell to means that you are better suited to answer their questions and position your services.
Buyers are more and more looking to create relationships with those brands that understand them and are able to provide personalised services at any point. By using a persona, an organisation is much better placed to attract the right kind of customers and develop brand loyalty that essentially leads to revenue growth.