Old School Ollie. Slow Steve. Driver Dawn.
Do you know who these people are?
Probably not, but to us, we know exactly who these people are. These are our buyer personas, which are essentially a semi-fictitious representation of our ideal customer. Buyer personas allow us to create specific, targeted content to attract these types of customers.
So why are buyer personas so important?
Now more than ever, companies should look to buyer personas to develp their marketing strategies. But why?
Many B2B organizations are struggling to understand how buyers make purchasing decisions in the Internet Age, and how to keep up with how fast things are changing. The information that buyers have access to at their fingertips through search engines and mobile phones has changed the product buying cycle. People no longer really look for products per se, but instead seek solutions to their problems. As a result successful companies have shifted away from being product-centered to being customer centered.
A customer centric organization is easy to recognize, and starts with this simple mindset according to Ian Fitzpatrick chief strategy officer and co-founder of Boston based consultancy Almighty, “When you make a decision, any decision about the way you think about a product, the way you market a product, the way you sell a product or service, the conversation starts with an understanding of who it’s for and what they need. It means that you start with an informed perspective on who your customers are.” (Source: HubSpot)
When researched adequately, buyer personas can illuminate who buyers are, the situations they are faced with, how they have changed, where they hang out online and most importantly – what are their pain points.
Do you need to make one?
Ahhh… the million dollar question. Are they necessary for my business?
Best practicing organizations are using buyer personas, backed by solid research, to improve enterprise-wide understanding of customers. Researched in the right way, creating buyer personas for your organization can help accomplish an understanding the why to marketing and customer service functions and improve results across your company.
For many companies, an understanding of the "for who" and the "why" has long been absent, leading to inferior business results.
This simple answer is this: Creating buyer personas will help you understand your customers and prospects and allow you to market your product or service more effectively by better tailoring content to fit their specific needs, behaviors and concerns.
Developing meaningful buyer personas will allow you to personalize your content marketing for your ideal customer, which in return should return a better return on investment for your marketing spend.
How do you make one?
When developing a buyer persona, include information like customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. What kind of problems does your ideal customer have and how can you help them solve them? What will resonate with them? The more detailed you are, the better chance you have of creating the right content to attract the right visitors.
They aren’t very difficult to make.
You just have to perform a bit of research, speak with some existing clients, and perhaps a few of the ones that got away and ask the right questions and then present that information in a way that is helpful for the people in your business to understand.
So what are the keys to finding your ideal buyer persona?
Below you will see what questions you should ask yourself in order to complete a buyer persona profile.
Start by naming your personas. This helps paint a picture of a real individual with unmet needs. If you can't think of one right now that's OK, move on to the next step.
Who is your ideal customer?
- What is their background? Job? Career path? Family?
- What are their demographics? Male or female? Age? Income? Location?
- What kind of company do they work for? What industry does their company work in? What size is the company (revenue, employees)? What is their job role and title? Who do they report to? Who reports to them?
- What are their identifiers? What is their demeanor? What are their communication preferences?
What are their…
- Goals? Primary? Secondary?
- What can we do to help our persona achieve their goals?
- How can we help our persona overcome their challenges?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What type of online content do they use to educate themselves?
Do they find information on...
- White Papers
- Social Media
Why? To find out what drives them or what frustrates them.
- Real quotes about their goals, challenges...what would they say?
- Common objections...why wouldn’t they buy your product or service?
How do we help our persona?
- How should you describe your solution to your persona?
- Now sell it! Pitch your solution!
Don't forget to give your buyer persona a name and include an image of what your persona looks like. It helps give vision to your buyer persona. It's putting a face to a name!
Now, what do you do with your buyer personas?
Use them in your marketing!
From here on out, you should create content that is tailored specifically towards one of your buyer personas. Address specific personas. Address their specific problems, their specific beliefs and pinpoint accurate placement.
By understanding your buyer personas, you will know where they are and how to reach them at the right time.
Now start creating yours to find out exactly who your ideal buyer personas are! Good luck!
David, a HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketer is the Chief Content Creator for InTouch Marketing and its clients.