51 year old Victor is a Lawyer at one of the biggest legal firms in the city. He’s married with two kids and his household income is over $250,000. He likes to buy expensive gifts and has a strong affinity for motorbikes and fast cars. Victor also loves outdoor sports and possibly owns a yacht which he uses for his weekend getaways with family and friends.
Well, you haven’t actually met him, and neither have I, because… he’s not a real person. He’s what we call a ‘Persona’ or, ‘buyer persona’ – a fictional, generalised representation of your ideal customer.
Creating buyer personas is crucial to any inbound marketing and sales strategy. Though they are a semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyers, they do help you understand your prospects much better, so you can create content, messages, products/services and plan every inbound marketing and sales effort to accommodate your prospects or buyer personas’ best interests, and eventually turn them into a recurring customer.
Estimates say 71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented Personas. Another claim of Mark Schaefer from Grow is; 3-4 personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales.
Now it’s a ‘no-brainer’ that your company may soon go out of business if you ignore your buyer personas - and the best way to create buyer personas is from real interviews and surveys and not from assumptions and ballpark guesses.
The following are some of the important elements you need to include in your Buyer Persona Profile to help you understand your customers better, so you can craft the right messages to improve your ‘targeting’;
1. Background and Demographics
This accounts for the basic facts about your customers, such as; age, gender, geographic location, educational background, career path and even to the extent of how much they earn and what is their marital status?
It's always better to start off with profiling demographic attributes of your customers, as it's readily available from your marketing database. Other more personal identifiers could be their temperament, such as ‘calm demeanor’ or even ‘has an assistant to screen calls’.
2. Challenges & Pain Points
This is why you’re in the business in the first place – to help resolve your customers’ problems, challenges, or pain points. The question here is, why is your buyer persona looking for a solution from you?
The customer may be driven to your door to seek a solution via a myriad of pathways. It could be the result of a webinar, an event or it could simply be compelled by his/her peers to ‘try it out’. You should be able to decipher how the problem affects them and any other underlying nuances that relate them with the pain points.
For instance, the pain point of a newbie sales rep differs from that of a seasoned salesperson. The appropriate one for you depends upon your capacity, your niche and your marketing/sales focus.
3. Shopping Preferences
How your ‘persona’ would like to purchase a product from you? Would they be interested in a ‘consultative’ sales experience, or are they a budget shopper? If you can trace the ‘buying journey’ of your ideal customers, it becomes much easier to offer your content or products in the manner they prefer.
Other behaviours to look out for would be, how do they look for information about the products – do they research online… is it mostly through smart phones? Or would they prefer a phone call?
This is where you find what really makes your customers ‘tick’ – what are their values? Are they the ‘environmentally conscious’ kind, or do they prefer driving around with massive ‘gas guzzling’ SUVs?
How can you interpret their intrinsic values so you can help define how your brand will help achieve their dreams?
5. Content Preferences & Research Habits
As for your persona’s content preferences, you need to find out what kind of channels they frequent? Which Social Media platforms they're involved with and how do they use them? Their Preferences on the tone and style of the content and the length and formats such as; texts, audio, video are also crucial to help enhance customers’ UX.
You should also be able to identify customer’s research habits via quantitative website metrics, such as; referral traffic sources and keywords generating traffic to your site.
6. The ‘Stand Out’ Factor
This is about identifying real ‘user personas’ from similar others. For instance, how does your buyer persona differ from any other 30 year old looking to buy a house and start a small business of their own?
It's possible that some customers who resonate with certain demographics buy consistently, whereas other may not do so. The way to figure this out is to look for support and insights from the sales team and the processes surrounding lead qualifications.
7. Personality Traits or Psychographics
These are the identities of your customers shaped by their opinions, attitudes, lifestyle choices and personality traits. Are they techno buffs and early adopters or do they shun technology? Do they prefer to do a 20km marathon on a weekend or would they rather explore art galleries?
These traits help you to understand how your product/services engage with the larger identity of your buyer persona. They help you to craft a much diverse and adaptive content into your inbound strategies.
To create a comprehensive ‘buyer persona’ profile, make sure your interview/survey questionnaires with your ideal prospects and customers help to extract the elements mentioned above.
If you’d like to build a buyer persona for your business, HubSpot offers a detailed solution.
Here’s an example of a buyer persona profile from singlegrain:
To make your brand stand apart from your competitors by being able to craft targeted messages and content to resolve customers’ pain, ‘Buyer Personas’ play a key role. 'Buyer Personas' are now without a doubt, the foundation for businesses looking for growth in customer acquisition, conversions and credible brand presence!
If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email email@example.com
Our Website is element7digital.com.au