As marketers with years of experience in the back, we often come into contact with business owners who say, “this has been working for years – why isn’t it working anymore?” Time has left its footprint on traditional marketing strategies, and with that, products and consumer personas are changing as well. If you’ve been targeting the same customers for several years, chances are your buyer personas have changed beyond your marketing strategies.
To catch you up, buyer personas are fictional, generalized depictions of your ideal customer. Think of it as reflecting your customers’ hearts and brains. Everything your customer listens to or likes is reflected in this mirroring. In other words, you’re creating a doppelganger.
Naturally, to create these customer personas, you need to come up with a number of “in vitro” personalities that reflect the qualities of your target audience. These traits derive from market research, customer research, interviews, customer service, focus groups, psychographics, and demographics, more of which you can learn in this post.
What is a Buyer Persona?
As we mentioned before, a buyer or customer persona is a complete representation of an individual who represents your target customer. The buyer personas are created from customer data, while the buyer persona itself does not depict a real person – instead, it reflects the image of a fictitious character who embodies the personal traits of a brand’s best customers.
As we’ve previously mentioned, this includes interests, demographics details, behavioral traits, as well as goals, pain points, and buying patterns. The ideal buyer persona will allow you to create tailored marketing messages for these specific types of customers (which can work wonders for your marketing needs).
What’s the impact of a buyer persona in a business?
One of the most impactful activities for a brand’s success is building a buyer persona. The almost fictitious character serves as inspiration for creating valuable content that explores their motivations, addresses their pain points, and moves the business closer to the customer.
The use of a buyer persona doesn’t limit to content creation. In fact, any decision process should consider the customer persona’s characteristics. Want to launch a new product? Then you’ll need to observe your buyer persona and identify the best way to introduce the new solution in your campaigns.
By integrating your buyer persona’s traits into new projects, you allow yourself to create not only experiences but solutions that pay and delight the consumer. Recent findings show that 81% of marketing managers stated that they expected the use of persona to help them understand their audience. The same survey showed that 90% of them acknowledged that this actually happened.
More than that: enchant your ideal consumer. After all, the persona is nothing more than an idealized character that echoes the traits of the consumer that the brand wants to acquire. In this way, the efficiency of your marketing strategies will become much more remarkable.
2021 is the Year to Create Effective Personas
It’s easy enough to plan to incorporate customer personas into your 2021 marketing strategy, but how does this process actually work?
• Conduct Thorough Market Research
Any buyer persona you create needs to be based upon actual research, not assumptions. And research is no easy job – for instance, are you studying your current customers’ buying habits? How are you studying your social media channels to collect data? If you’re conducting research in the USA, for example, can you identify the demographics (i.e., location, age, interest) of your existing audience?
You can start by asking demographic-based questions over the phone, through online surveys, or in person. Surprisingly, some people are more comfortable sharing personal information like this.
It’s also helpful to include mannerisms and descriptive buzzwords of your persona that you may have found during your conversations to make it easier for your team to spot certain persona when they’re talking to potential buyers.
• Learn Your Buyer’s Motivations
This is where you will refine the information you gathered from asking “why” during those surveys. What keeps your buyer up at night? What are their aspirations? Most importantly, link all that with how your brand can help them.
By getting to know this aspect of your buyers, you can start to match them to the benefits and peculiarities of your product that help them reach their goals. And, even if their goals don’t really link to your brand specifically, they can still be used to inform your marketing’s approach or tone.
• Understand Your Audience’s Pain Points
People don’t care how great your content and products are. They need solutions to their problems, and they need it now.
As a business owner, you will see the most growth when you provide solutions to those problems. A lot of marketing resources encourage the use of cold data to determine the problems consumers are having within your niche. The thing is, no brand can survive as a faceless corporation in this way. No matter how much data you have access to, nothing beats getting this information directly from the buyer’s mouth. That means forums, reviews, and comment sections, anything that would make the chat.
• Craft Messaging for Your Buyer Personas
Tell your team how to talk about your services/products with your buyer personas. This includes the essential language you should use and a more general uplifting pitch that positions your solution in a way that echoes with your persona.
This will help you ensure everyone in your organization is using the same language when they’re having conversations with customers and leads. It would help if you also named your persona – so everyone in your team can refer to each persona the same way, allowing for cross-organizational efficiency.