Marketing Mark. Susie Saleswoman. Accounting Alex. Do you know who your business’s buyer personas are?
Buyer personas are fictionalized depictions of your ideal clients derived from data and market analysis. They aid in directing product development to meet the needs of your target market and coordinating all efforts throughout your organization so that you can concentrate your attention on qualified prospects (from marketing to sales to service).
You’ll be able to draw high-value clients, prospects, and customers to your company as a consequence, and they’ll be more likely to stick around in the long run.
More precisely, having a thorough grasp of your buyer persona(s) is essential for driving content production, product development, sales follow-up, and really anything else that has to do with attracting and keeping customers.
You can better understand your consumers (and potential customers) by using buyer personas. This makes it easier for you to customize your content, message, product development, and services to fit the unique demands, behaviors, and concerns of the people who make up your target audience.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research and insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).
Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas or as many as 10 or 20. But if you’re new to personas, start small. You can continually develop more personas later if needed.
Creating personas offers you the most fundamental ability to produce content and messages that resonate with your target audience. It also helps you target or customize your marketing for various audience subgroups.
Buyer personas also give you the ability to map out and produce highly targeted content when combined with the lifecycle stage (i.e., how far along someone is in your sales cycle).
Who should develop the buyer persona for you? To be completely honest, every team member who interacts with customers should be involved. Even though it may seem like there would be too many chefs in the kitchen, it’s crucial to choose one representative from each area. Your target audience can be determined using the distinct customer experiences that each department has to offer. Persona development teams need sales, marketing, and executive members.
While creating buyer personas is important, it’s just as critical for your company to assess and update them frequently. Spend some time on this once a year.
Buyer personas can be created through research, surveys, and interviews — all with a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside your contacts database who might align with your target audience.
Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas, according to our partners at HubSpot:
Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
Use form fields that capture important persona information when creating forms to use on your website. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.
Consider your sales team’s feedback on the leads they’re interacting with most. What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?
Interview customers and prospects to discover what they like about your product or service.
Now, how can you use the above research to create your personas?
Once you’ve gone through the research process, you’ll have a lot of meaty, raw data about your potential and current customers. But what do you do with it? How do you distill all of it so it’s easy for everyone to understand all the information you’ve gathered?
The next step is to use your research to identify patterns and commonalities from the answers to your interview questions, develop at least one primary persona, and share that persona with the rest of the company.
Here’s how to work through the steps involved in creating your buyer personas in more detail.
Ask demographic-based questions over the phone, in person, or with online surveys. (Some people are more comfortable disclosing personal information like this.)
It’s also helpful to include some descriptive buzzwords and mannerisms of your persona you may have picked up on during your conversations to make it easier for people on your team to identify certain personas when talking to prospects.
This is where you’ll distill the information you learned from asking “why” during those interviews. What keeps your persona up at night? Who do they want to be? Most importantly, tie that all together by telling people how your company can help them.
Include some real quotes from your interviews that exemplify what your personas are concerned about, who they are, and what they want. Then create a list of the objections they might raise so your sales team is prepared to address those during their conversations with prospects.
Tell people how to talk about your products/ services with your persona. This includes the nitty-gritty vocabulary you should use, as well as a more general elevator pitch that positions your solution in a way that resonates with your persona.
This will help you ensure everyone in your company is speaking the same language when they’re having conversations with leads and customers.
Finally, make sure you give your persona a name (e.g., Finance Manager Margie, IT Ian, or Landscaper Larry), so everyone internally refers to each persona the same way, allowing for cross-team consistency.
Creating buyer personas involves researching and analyzing your target audience to identify their characteristics, behavior patterns, motivations, goals, and challenges. This information can be gathered through surveys, interviews, website analytics, social media data, and other sources.
Once you have identified the common characteristics of your target customers, you can use this information to create fictional representations or archetypes of your ideal buyers, known as buyer personas. Each persona should be given a name, job title, and personal background that reflect the typical attributes of your target audience.
By creating buyer personas, you can gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences, which can help you tailor your marketing messages, product offerings, and customer service to meet their specific requirements. This, in turn, can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue.
It’s important to note that creating accurate and effective buyer personas is an ongoing process that requires continuous research and updating. As your business and target audience evolve over time, so too should your buyer personas.