I’m sure you’ve seen the term “Buyer Personas” before, but have you seen many companies that do a good job in this area?
Now that we’re working on branding campaigns for millennials, creating accurate buyer personas has become more important than ever. Using a combination of raw data and educated guesses, buyer personas provide a touchstone for creating fresh creative concepts and fabulous content. Building personas for your core audience can help improve the way you solve problems for your customers. Businesses can be more strategic in catering to each audience and relating to their personal interests. Expressed visually, diving deep into personas can be the catalyst that turns a crude sketch into a true portrait.
Personas can also help you find previously undetected tactical opportunities for your digital brand marketing, product, or service. Where does your product or service intersect with what your persona does or cares about? Once uncovered, these are valuable insights.
Here are the highlights of how we create useful buyer personas.
The basic marketing persona template
Start by putting together an informational sketch of a key audience you want to reach. You might include the following information for a corporate customer (and maybe a few additional personal tastes and aspiration in a millennial persona:
Name of the buyer persona
- Key information about their company (size, type, etc.)
- Details about their role
- Salary / household income
- Location: urban / suburban / rural
Goals and challenges
- Primary goal
- Secondary goal
- How you help achieve these goals
- Primary challenge
- Secondary challenge
- How you help solve these problems
Values / fears
- Primary value sum
- Common objections during sales process
- Your Marketing message to this Persona
- Your Elevator pitch to this Persona
Additional persona information specific to your customers
Keep in mind, these are the basics. Beyond the basics, you should find that your specific business needs specific information, including:
- Real quotes from customer interviews
- Computer literacy
- Where they get their news?
- Social Channels they prefer
Where do you get this information?
To help your persona take shape, you must cast a wide net, from the tiny details logged away in your site statistics to actual conversations with real-life customers.
How to Discover Your Business’s Buyer Personas
Here are some places to look at before creating your buyer personas:
Take a closer look at your site analytics.
Inside your analytics, you can see where your visitors came from, what keywords they used to find you, and how long they spent once they arrived. Enlist the help of your webmaster to uncover the ever-expanding bits and pieces available here.
• Involve your team in creating profiles.
Put a team together that includes not only marketing, but also customer service, sales reps, tech support, and product managers. These people interact directly with your customers and often have pools of data they share on what makes your customers tick.
• Social media research
Research social media. It’s grown way beyond the big four. Millennials, who share more frequently than other groups, have their favorite apps. And images are more important than ever to take the place of a thousand words. Once you’ve identified preferred channels, listen in to hear potential customers asking questions or airing problems.
• Ask your audience questions.
Whether you use telephone interviews or surveys, you can find out answers to most questions by talking to customers. They know why they bought your product. And it might be totally different from what you are communicating in your marketing. Interviews are the best, because you can respond to their answers and gain further insight into their values, pain points, aspirations, and goals.
Top 6 Questions to Ask to Discover Buyer Personas
Ask questions that dig deeper into your customers’ goals and challenges. For example:
1. What’s important to them now and in the future?
2. What’s impeding or speeding their need to change?
3. What do they need to know to embrace change?
4. Who do they turn to for advice or information?
5. What’s the value they visualize once they make a decision?
6. What could cause the need for this change to lose priority?
Building Strong Marketing Personas: Key Pointers
Start by giving each persona a name.
This is more important than you think. You want the persona to feel like a real person. And you want this person to react to what you’re doing from their particular and very specific vantage point.
Identify the buyer persona’s job, role, and company.
If your customer base is larger companies, you want to include their job title, company size and type of business. Surveys are a great way to take a quick sampling of your existing customer base to establish the validity of this information.
On the other hand, if your customers are buying from with personal funds, it’s more important to identity aspects of their personal lives. You still might use income ranges, but you might also include family information, education, aspirations, and viewpoints. You can get additional info from Google Analytics, such as age, gender, affinity and technology.
Creating Accurate Buyer Personas Requires Details, Details, Details
I realize that it is hard work but the more specifics you can gather, the more you process deeply enough to facilitate genuine understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of your customers.
Use Your Intuition When Creating Accurate Buyer Personas
Try to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and approach the solution with empathy. What common objections arise for them during the sales process? What might keep this customer from buying? You and a small team can then brainstorm ways to help.
Marketing message and elevator pitch
While not yet engaging in the creative process, you can begin to build messaging that is useful. Determine the best ways to meet the needs of each persona you create. How would you describe your product to this particular type of person. Then distill that message into an elevator pitch that strikes home.
How Many User Personas Is Enough
So how many of these personas do you need to create? Many companies use three to five personas to represent their audience. But for millennial marketing, this number could go up or down. It needs to be big enough to cover the majority of your customers yet small enough to still carry the value of specificity. Whatever your time and energy can build, the results will be a better experience for the customer and a more engaged customer for your business.
When you have insights into what your buyers think about doing business with you, including verbatim quotes from people who have recently made the decision to solve a similar problem, you have the knowledge you need to align your marketing decisions, from brand positioning and messaging through content marketing and sales enablement – with your buyer’s expectations. – www.buyerpersona.com
Click to learn more about Brand Marketing and Buyer Personas
Creating Accurate Buyer Personas to Drive Creative Concepts
Have you seen many companies create solid buyer personas?
Author: Tom Lauck
Owner of Hivemind Studios
May 21, 2014
Updated:August 7, 2016
Buyer personas have become more important than ever, providing a touchstone for creating fresh creative concepts and fabulous content. Building personas for your core audience can help improve the way you solve problems for your customers. Businesses can be more strategic in catering to each audience and relating to their personal interests. Expressed visually, diving deep into personas can be the catalyst that turns a crude sketch into a true portrait.
Also published on Medium.