The first stage of any comprehensive digital marketing plan is to understand who your ideal customers are. These are the people who will help grow your business, advocate on your behalf and impact your bottom line.
Operating online makes it hard to engage your customers face-to-face, so you need to put in the work to make sure you see them as fully formed humans with needs.
To do this, you need to create buyer personas. This will help you connect with potential consumers in productive ways.
What is a Buyer Persona?
Buyer personas are representations of your ideal buyer based on data, engagements and some guesswork. Essentially, it’s aggregated info matched with an avatar designed to keep your customers at the forefront.
These have been popular among marketers for a long time. The goal is to demystify what your customers want so everything you do with respect to sales and marketing can be targeted and hit the mark more often. By using personas you can remove some of the frustration both you and your customers feel while engaging with your business.
How to Create Buyer Personas
It’s a process to create proper and thorough buyer personas. Here’s what you do:
- Research the available data in your sales figures along with Google and social media analytics. Note trends and behaviours.
- Research the current state of your industry and market. You need to get a snapshot of where the industry is and what direction it could conceivably head.
- Reach out to your customer base to interview them. Try to determine their needs and wants. Choose a cross-section of customers with respect to age, background, gender, income, etc.
- Take this information and group them into personas using the above mentioned traits but also geographical information and their occupation.
- Assign each persona a name. Get creative and use alliteration so they are easy to remember like Dad Danny or Marketing Manager Maggie.
- Review your personas quarterly and update when needed.
Remember, these are your customers. It is who you are solving problems for and who will lift your business to the next level.
How To Use Buyer Personas
Once you have firmed up your personas, here are how they are best utilized:
- They should guide your research and development efforts.
- Your sales team can familiarize itself with its buyers to better understand what strategies to implement.
- Adjust your customer support and service.
- Determine the most effective ways to communicate with your audiences. Are they active on social media? Do they prefer demos or consultations? Are they tire kickers?
As you can see, buyer personas seep into just about every aspect of your operations.
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Buyer personas might feel like its specifically designed for big businesses. This isn’t true as there carry so much value for small to medium-sized businesses.