Cast a Narrow Net
As a marketer, it’s vital to understand your target customers. Gone are the days of “fish net” marketing, where you market your products and services the same way across your entire customer base. Today, the key to a successful marketing strategy is to identify your key audiences through buyer personas. This article will provide you with an understanding of buyer personas, why they are vital to the success of any marketing strategy, and the initial steps you can take to start creating your own buyer personas.
What Is A Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a comprehensive description marketers use to represent an individual’s demographics, psychographics, needs, wants, desires, and pains. In essence, buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal audience. These personas help you segment your customer base into small subsets, allowing you to market your products and services more efficiently and effectively.
Why Are They Important?
Creating buyer personas can have a positive effect on your overall marketing strategy by allowing you to connect to your customers on a higher level. Without buyer personas, you are taking a “one size fits all” approach to marketing, which could prove to be detrimental to your overall efforts.
As we mentioned, buyer personas help you segment your customers into smaller sub-sets, allowing you to put your products and services in front of the customers who are most likely to purchase them. Not only will buyer personas help you increase your sales and create targeted marketing campaigns, they will also help you connect to your customers on a more personal level by offering them content that is specific to their individual needs, wants, and desires. So how do you go about creating your own buyer personas? We have five steps to get you started.
Creating Buyer Personas
The thought of creating buyer personas may seem like a daunting task at first glance, but once in place, they have the potential to save you a ton of time and money. Keep in mind, there is no set number of personas you must have in order to be successful. The number of personas necessary will vary business-to-business. Follow these steps to start creating your very own buyer personas.
Before you start creating your personas, you need to conduct research on your customer base. This research will help you create accurate personas, and even uncover details about your customers that you did not previously know.
You can go about researching your customers in a variety of ways. One of the best ways to conduct research for your personas is to conduct interviews with some of your best customers. This can come in the form of face-to-face interviews, or even email-generated surveys. Make sure to ask your customers questions that stretch beyond demographics, so you can learn about your customers’ pain points, hopes, desires, and wants. You can also utilize tools such as Google Analytics or a CRM system to analyze the behaviors of your best customers.
Look for commonalities
Once you have conducted your research, look for commonalities in your customers. It’s important during this step to focus on the most important details that would determine how you communicate with your customers. For example, if you find that many of your customers have a similar life goal, you will want to include this in your persona.
Some examples of information you should include in this step are:
- Demographic data (age, sex, gender, occupation, family, income, education, etc.)
- Communication preferences
- Behaviors such as how they use your products and services, their interest in your products and services, what types of content they read and watch, where they get their information from, etc.
Create individual personas
After you have done your research, and you have identified commonalities, it’s time to create your personas. Use the details about your customers that you generated in step two, and organize the details into separate personas. In this step, you will identify your customers who have the same demographics, interests, fears, challenges, communication preferences, and behaviors, and put them into their own category.
Name your personas
After you have separated your customers into personas, it’s time to give your personas names. Naming your personas is important. It helps you to remember that the people you are communicating with are actual people, not just eyes behind an advertisement or piece of content. Giving your personas names will help you write better content, and connect with your customers on a higher level. Some savvy marketers even assign pictures to their personas to bring them even more to life.
After you have created your buyer personas and assigned them names, it’s time to implement them into your marketing strategy. Use your personas to help you create content, and specific marketing campaigns. Center your content and your campaigns around your personas, and you will be surprised by the return and interaction you receive.
What’s This All Mean?
If you have been utilizing a “one size fits all” marketing approach, it is time to ditch that method for a persona-based approach. In today’s business environment, customers expect for their experiences with companies to be personal. Creating buyer personas will require effort and work on your part, but the potential payoff is huge. If you follow the steps we provided you, you will be well on your way to a persona-based marketing strategy. Once you make the switch from the “one size fits all” approach, you will wonder how your business ever survived before. When you take the time to get to know your customers, amazing things happen.