Creating buyer personas can be a lucrative measure for your business to take in order to land more business and understand your customers needs more clearly. If you understand their needs more clearly, then you can better offer solutions to meet those needs. Ultimately, this will make you stand out among your competition and give your company the competitive edge that it needs to secure more business in the future. Therefore, from a foundational level, buyer personas can be one of the most powerful sales tools that you can have. Let’s get started!
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a tool in your marketing and sales toolbox that allows you to group prospects into types. These take facts that are known about customers and prospects and uses these facts as a basis for grouping them. For example, if you are an insurance company, you may choose to group prospects and customers like this: home owners, newly weds, car owners, parents of teenagers, etc.
You may also have names for your personas, such as: Harry & Holly Home Owners… This helps to personify the profiles that are given to each persona. It is also possible to develop different branches of the home owners profile. You may have two for home owners, but one being younger home owners and the other being older home owners. Or perhaps it is more beneficial for your marketing strategy to look at them as single home owners and married home owners. A buyer persona can be tailored to whatever makes sense for segmenting your prospect and customer pool.
Why Create Personas?
Personas help your company to understand who prospects are and what products they may be interested in purchasing. If there is a label put on each type of persona, then when your employees learn something new, they can apply it to the appropriate persona. It helps to refine your company processes, besides company processes usually revolve around and benefit the customer anyway.
However, the most beneficial aspect to defining personas, is the added benefit of being able to understand who prospects are and create content that meets their specific needs. When you understand who wants and needs your products, you can reach them more effectively, whether you use blogging, video, eBooks, podcasts, or any other format of media.
How to Create a Persona
When it comes time to create your personas, begin with the end in mind…your customer. Look at who they are, what they do, what they like, and anything else that you see as a valuable and segment-able aspect of their persons. You should also look at past customers and determine the patterns that you see in these customers and ask yourself why these people chose to do business with you. Likewise, you can look at customers that you need to fire and omit some of their aspects from your personas (this is to ensure you never attract that brand of headache again)!
Once you have a clear understanding of the number of personas that you will be creating, then you can dive into each one and really get a good understanding of who these people are. The more clear that you are with your personas, the more effective they will be for helping you to reach your target audience. Ask yourself a number of questions:
- What is their job title?
- Are they married?
- Do they have kids?
- Do they live in the city or rural areas?
- Do they own homes?
- How much money do they make annually?
- Do they travel?
The list is endless and some of the best questions are derived from the specifics of your product. For instance, if you have a soap business, you may want to ask yourself if your target demographic is male or female (they are likely female). If you are selling toys, you may want to ask yourself questions about the parents as well. After all, that is really who is being sold to.
Once you have a list of details about your target personas, make a story about them. Take the list of questions and answers and make a relate-able story. Make the story about 5 paragraphs and answer these 5 items:
- Job and demographic information
- What does a day in their life look like?
- What are their challenges and pain points?
- Where do they go for information?
- Common objectives to products/services
It is easy to get so consumed in trying to figure out your persona, that you don’t seem to move forward. What I recommend is that you spend a reasonable amount of time on your personas, then move on. In reality, your personas should be something that changes and morph as you gain better insights into them. Even if for no other reason, you should be changing each persona profile as times change. Twenty five years ago, you would not have anything mentioned about a target persona’s mobile phone use. However, I hope that you are updating your personas for more reasons than mere technology changes!