Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Knowledge is power and knowing your customer is one of the most important goals in being able to communicate with them effectively. If you don’t know your customer and who you’re talking to, your content won’t be as powerful or as targeted as it could be. If it’s not compelling to readers, you won’t keep them engaged and your growth will be limited.
In marketing and brand strategy terms, one of the best ways to know your customer is by developing a ‘buyer persona’.
What is a buyer persona, I hear you ask. It is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. This is not a real customer, but a fictional character who embodies the characteristics of your best potential customers. It’s a representation of your ideal customer based on market research (interviews, focus groups), the historical behaviours of your customers (data insight) and your own educated assumptions.
With the help of a buyer persona, you can better understand your customer and their specific needs, behaviours, and concerns. Personas give everyone in your company the opportunity to understand and focus on the ideal customer you are trying to attract.
By creating your buyer persona, you can;
• Build a concrete description of your target customer;
• Understand their needs and values; and
• Develop a content plan that nurtures, grows and converts your audience.
Here are our top tips on how to nail a buyer persona for your company.
1. The basics
You’ll need to start with the basic information, such as what is his/her age, gender, and income. Also consider their location, family situation and education status.
2. Professional role
What are his/her career ambitions, job title and what industry publications do they read? Knowing, for example, that your ideal customer is a 30-year-old ambitious woman in a high-powered job who loves to spend time on Instagram means you won’t use communication methods that might better suit a 60-year-old man who’s planning on retiring and doesn’t know what Instagram is.
3. Values and goals
What does he/she strongly believe in? What are the characteristics of his/her personality? What are his/her professional goals? What are his/her personal goals?
Customers have challenges to overcome and goals to fulfll. They want to hear about products that help them overcome these challenges and fulfll these goals. So think about what his/her pain points are? What are his/her challenges and what are they afraid of?
5. Sources and influences
What are his/her preferred social media channels, magazines, conferences, books and thought leaders?
6. Buying decisions
What is his/her role in the purchase process? What are his/her shopping preferences, what does he/she regularly buy? What are his/her objections to making a purchase?
Completing and agreeing collectively on a buyer persona will help you and your team uncover any inconsistencies in how you see your ideal customer versus how your colleagues see them.
Which has obvious implications for your copywriter if they thought your buyer persona was a mid-50s golf fanatic with a passion for craft beer, when in fact they’re a Shiraz loving thirtysomething.
Understanding your buyer personas, therefore, lets you deliver aligned, consistent communications at all touchpoints.
Beyond that, they also help your sales and customer support teams build better rapport with customers simply because they understand them better and are well-equipped to deal with their concerns.
They can also help you spot opportunities for change, for instance you might find out that your product has a too-niche target market and that you need to diversity.
This offers you an opportunity to find ways to appeal to other markets. Maybe you could create a product that appeals to a younger demographic (i.e. your long-term customer base). Perhaps your buyer persona will reveal that you’re not being inclusive enough culturally or with regards to gender. Maybe you could tap into a post-retirement demographic you’d not previously considered. After all, they’re often the ones with the most money.
Developing a buyer persona is crucial for your business. It helps you send targeted, personalised messaging that resonates. It reduces wasted resources spent on audiences who wouldn’t be interested in you. It ensures your different departments are aligned in their marketing, sales and support activities. And it offers you the opportunity to appeal to different demographics. This all equates to a successful business targeting the right audience with the right messages.
Interested in learning more about how we can help with developing your buyer persona, and growing awareness of your brand with them?
We’d love to hear from you via firstname.lastname@example.org