Today marketers need to wear multiple hats to land new business leads and deals. They must write and curate great content, use the best tools to stay organized, automate the right tasks, collect and analyze helpful data, send out the right communications at the right time, and so much more. And unfortunately, a lot of that work is carried out in vain due to one crucial element that’s missing from a lot of marketing strategies out there: buyer personas.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a profile of an ideal buyer for the products or services a company offers. Each company can have multiple types of buyers who could be ideal for their portfolio of different products or services.
Usually a well-sketched buyer persona includes several pieces of information about the ideal buyer:
- Background information such as their age, gender, education level, job title, and income.
- Business goals
- Attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, and personal goals
- Challenges and pain points
- Preference in content types, tone and style of content, and where they engage with content
- Purchasing decision influences such as price, quality, etc.
Once you understand your ideal buyers in greater depth, you’ll be able to craft better targeted marketing content, among other things.
The following sections describe what you will be better at with detailed buyer personas.
Identifying What Your Customers Need and Want
When you do your research and identify the challenges your ideal customers are facing, you’ll be able to speak to them directly in your marketing campaigns. If they struggle to find time to do everything they need to do for their business without much delay, you can emphasize how your product or service will save them a lot of time. If they want to bring in more quality business leads, accentuate how you can make that happen for them. Sometimes it’s also about what your customers want. Do they prefer luxury or enjoy being pampered? Then, highlight how your product is more luxurious. When you sketch out a detailed buyer persona, you’ll know how to speak to what’s truly valuable to them without having to guess.
Understanding How Your Customers Make Purchasing Decisions
Buyer personas will shed light on whether it takes your customers a little while to make a commitment to buy your products, whether they typically buy them on impulse, or whether they like to have their orders auto-filled on a monthly or annual basis.
Sometimes buying more expensive products (like a high-tech printer for an office) can take more deliberation than buying less expensive items (like a box of pens). But this also depends on the industry. For instance, a luxurious weekend getaway or a designer watch might be more of an impulse buy even though they’re a bit pricier. Some customers love deals and clearance items and will buy items simply because they’re getting a good deal. Buyer personas will tell you what encourages your customers to buy from you.
Buyer personas will also shed light on where and how your customers like to buy your products online. Do they want to buy them on social media, through email newsletters you send them, or through your mobile app? Discover this information, so you’ll know how to reach your ideal customers and how to promote your products to them so that they’re more likely to buy.
Getting Your Whole Marketing Team on the Same Page
A buyer persona highlights very specific information about your ideal customers, what type of content they want to engage with, and where they want to engage with it online. When you share these buyer personas with your marketing team, they will have the exact same and clear idea of how to craft their messages, regardless of the different campaigns they may be working on at any given moment. All their different messages will remain consistent and focused, zeroing in on the most important component of any marketing strategy—the prospective customer.
Discovering Where Your Company Can Improve its Products and Services
While you might think you know how to reach your ideal customers and what’s important to them, you should still do your research. You might be surprised by what you find. As you’re building your buyer personas, test different campaigns using different types of content to see which ones are more successful and are leading to the most conversions. And don’t forget to ask your customers directly by sending them surveys or asking them to participate in polls. They’ll be happy to tell you where and how they buy, as well as what your current products or services are lacking.
Perhaps the most important benefit of constructing and using buyer personas, in addition to the benefits listed above, is that they save you money. Buyer personas allow you to narrow in on your ideal customers and land their business. You’ll never have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars in the wrong online marketing arenas again.