A well-known American actor once recalled the trauma he experienced when no one in the audience reacted to what he thought was a hilarious show. Devastated, only after the performance was over did he learn that he was entertaining a Serbian audience… That’s exactly what happens to marketers who don’t know who their message recipients are. The key to avoiding this kind of situation learning to properly define a so-called buyer persona.
The idea behind buyer personas
Have you ever thought about how much you really know about your customers? A fictional, generalized representation of our buyers is called a Buyer Persona or, less often, marketing persona. This kind of simplification help marketers to better understand the needs, expectations and motivations of potential clients. Looking ahead – to know how to attract them, make them happy about the offered product and prepare tailor-made service specific to their requirements.
The better you describe your buyer persona, the more effective content you create, which translates into more leads and, in the end, enhancing your sales. Based on the knowledge about your clients, you can improve almost everything concerning client retention and acquisition. In simple words, buyer personas:
- are a kind of a window to your clients’ point of view. Thanks to them, you can see what’s unspoken and not so obvious about their behavior and mirror this knowledge to created content. As many as 90% of corporations having personas better understand who their clients actually are.
- give a direction to future actions – your strategy should fit what you know about your clients’ needs
- make everything you do more effective – personas are an insight to buyer behavior and strengthen our advertising message
- Prepare a survey form which will give you access to answers from multiple people. Implement it on your shop website and remember to define questions essential to your business. For example, if you want to get data about the industry from which your customers come, include an appropriate form field so that no one can go on without filling it;
- Ask your coworkers about their opinion on leads. Did they notice any dependencies between most frequent buyers? Added value of such interviews is the fact that asking for feedback and personal opinions can motivate your team members to perform better. They will feel appreciated and have a sense of influence on real business decisions. Two birds with one stone 😊
- Contact with chosen buyers individually – via email or phone call. Ask them what they would improve in your product and why they like your offers. What were the problems they faced during the shopping path? Why did they choose your product rather than the one offered in competitive store? Direct insights from loyal customers are priceless in creating a buyer persona.
- Demographic data (age, sex, occupation);
- Behavior (preferred advertising channels, character profile);
- Interests and motivations.
- Treating persona as a kind of creation, without focusing on deep research
- Considering the process of preparing personas as a kind of role profiling without understanding the matter of its behavior, which influence purchase decision
- Creating too many personas, without such a need – all creations with the same goals etc.; usually it’s recommended to create no more than 5 personas
- And on the other hand – making not enough of them and as a result, writing cold content
- Preparing personas on your own – without asking other teams about their opinion (sales, marketing etc.)
- Making personas too trivial – spotlighting their demographic segmentation, not their needs and interests
- Adding negligible questions to your survey form – favorite jam flavor, hair color etc. (unless you’re a jam or hair dye producer)
- Guessing – do you really know, that you’re customers have 5 children, 2 dogs, wife and all together play golf in the weekend? And furthermore – do you really need those information?
- Asking about an opinion just regular customers, without giving a voice to non-clients – in this way there’s no opportunity to see where the buying problem is
- Preparing your ideal persona, not the real one
- Creating buyer personas once and not refreshing them anymore – both business and people changes. Personas may become outdated after some time.
Time for a million-dollar question – how to create a perfect buyer persona?
Below you’ll find a simple step by step guidance on painless getting the necessary data and preparing detailed persona description.
5 steps to create a buyer persona
Step 1: Importance of comprehensive research
Get started by conducting some thorough research. It’s the most critical part of the process, which will determine the success of all further steps taken.
First of all, look through your databases and try to find customers who shop repetitively. Do you see any similarities between them? If you can identify trends applying to the way costumers consume your content, you’re in a good place. This advice may sound like Captain Obvious to the rescue, so let’s focus now on some less evident ways allowing you to gather data:
Step 2: Too much information? Narrow it down
We’ve got some good news – the hardest part is already behind you. It is time, however, to sort through the collected information and find out which details will be useful in your case. Most commonly used sections are:
The picture below shows an example of a persona template – say hi to John and let’s check what you can learn about him:
It’s important to remember that not all data concerning clients is important from the business point of view. Imagine you’re selling cookies – there’s no point in learning about John’s favorite shoe brand (unless you want to send him a pack of personalized shoe-shaped goodies).
Step 3: Do not limit yourself –sometimes two is better than one
Occasionally, after completing step one and two you can notice more than one similar groups of buyers – and there’s nothing wrong with it. Let’s discuss it on an example. Ted is running a small gym next to your beloved café. What do his customers look like? Some of them probably want to gain weight and build muscles. Rest dreams about losing a few kilos and have an ideal beach body. As you can see, their goals differ from each other in such a significant way that Ted did well creating two separate persona profiles.
Step 4: Shopper Susan and Driver Daniel
Such profiles may seem impersonal. It’s good to try to humanize them by giving them a name. In this way you will remember that they are not only data agglomeration, but real people; keeping that in mind will help you to create more personalized content.
If you think that the name is not sufficient, try to visualize the persona by adding the appropriate photo:
Step 5: Personalize it as much as possible
Let us give you a virtual high five! You’ve created your own buyer persona. So what to do next with all those data? It’s high time to use them during writing emails, newsletters and other forms of content addressed to clients.
What mistakes to avoid when creating a buyer persona?
When creating personas it is easy to get lost and commit one of many common mistakes. Let’s see what to keep away from:
Summing up – keep it simple, remember, that research is the king and ask other about the opinion. If you’ll remember about it, you will not only achieve better business results but also get to know your clients. Considering that you create products for them – this is probably the best profit you can get.