Creating a Buyer Persona

persona1When developing your marketing – particularly when it comes to digital campaigns – knowing your customers is essential. While understanding them is an ongoing learning process, centralizing and operationalizing that knowledge is the key to progress. A buyer persona is the tool that allows you to apply knowledge about your customers in your campaigns.

Buyer personas are collections of customer insights, typically beginning with basic demographic information and fleshed out over time with more specific details. While most businesses will get the majority of their revenue from just one or two personas, it’s important to maintain a full list of personas to aid product development and other future growth opportunities.

If you don’t have buyer personas, your business will find it difficult to identify trends and adapt to changing consumer needs. Every marketing, advertising, and product development effort should begin with a clear idea of the main buyer persona it appeals to.

Buyer Personas Start Simple and Grow With Your Business

Both sales and marketing professionals have important insights when it comes to buyer personas. Marketing teams develop a bird’s-eye strategic view of the market and its potential personas, while sales representatives engage with real customers on a one-on-one basis – validating whether theoretical knowledge is delivering results.

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Let’s look at some of the information a buyer persona should contain:

  • Basic personal information such as gender, age, region, and occupation.
  • In B2B sectors, professional position and responsibility level in buying.
  • Influencers – platforms and individuals that impact buying behavior.
  • The specific problems and pain points that they are trying to resolve.
  • Their interests, activities, and responsibilities outside the “problem.”

It might seem like you can develop and refine buyer personas organically in the natural course of business, and this is true. However, it’s also possible to accelerate the process and improve your bottom line results by taking a structured approach.
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Interviews and Analysis Lead to More Sophisticated Buyer Personas

There are two main ways of building buyer personas – mining existing customer data and collecting more data effectively. Your personnel and customers make a great starting point, so use these techniques to illuminate what you already know:

  • Use a customer relationship management solution to determine where leads come from.
  • Implement dynamic forms on your website to capture important personal information.
  • Research behavioral trends based on your customers’ demographics.

A structured interview is an effective way to get fresh insight into consumer thought processes. When planning interviews, be sure to include some displeased customers – their complaints may reveal areas for improvement in your product. Either way, they’re sure to refine your understanding of your ideal customer, which you should update at least once every quarter.

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