Overview: Discover how to define your company’s buyer persona with these four simple steps
If you’re in the marketing world, you’ve probably heard the term “buyer persona.” A buyer persona is the major component of inbound marketing strategies. But the truth is, you’ll need to know who you’re marketing with and selling to before making a sale.
With modern digitization, today’s consumers pay attention to marketing campaigns and messages that are personalized and relevant to their experiences. This is where the buyer persona helps.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research. Understanding and naming your buyer personas is critical for content strategy, product development, sales follow-up, and anything related to customer acquisition and retention.
Since your buyer persona is someone from the real world, keep your goals realistic. Here are the 4 steps you’ll need to find your buyer persona.
Finding your buyer persona begins with research. Even if you feel like you have a good grasp on who your potential clients are, it’s worth taking a hard look – not just at who you’re working with but also at who you’d be working with within the near future.
Learn who’s buying from you: For B2C, check their age, language, interests, social media analytics, customer database, habits – and most importantly, the challenges they’re facing.
For example: “Jack, 45 years old, self-employed, single with no children, is a nerd and likes to work late at night.”
Jack’s problem is that he’s old school, and social media tools intimidate him. Still, with the growing digitized world, he needs an intuitive tool to solve his professional activity problems and respond as reactive customer support.
Now, you’ll need to find those customers on LinkedIn. For B2B, add the company’s choice and who’s determining the purchase factors. To explore further into your potential customer, get this free persona template.
Depending on the product/service you’re providing, your customer’s aspirations can be personal and/or professional. Similar to the example of Jack, determine what inspires your customers and what are their ultimate goals.
Every customer has pain points. Find them!
What annoyances do prospective customers try to solve?
What’s preventing them from achieving those objectives?
Do they find obstacles/hurdles to reaching their objectives?
It’s helpful your sales staff and customer service department can easily track these details. However, another simple alternative is to start participating in social listening, doing research, or going through online reviews.
Now that you have a better understanding of your client’s goals and aspirations, consider how you can assist them. This step will entail looking beyond the features (of your product/service) and examining the advantages it offers. Consider the purchase hurdles of your clients and followers – pen down the answers in straightforward statements.
Finding out what makes a person tick isn’t a piece of cake. Drawing conclusions from your responses requires a lot of research and analytical thinking. With this three-phase persona development process, you’ll better understand your clients.
>> Related Article: The 5 Best Guides for Creating a Buyer Persona
Gather all the information and pen it down with you – start looking for commonalities. After combining all the common traits, you’ll end up forming your distinct buyer persona. For your ease, give your persona a name, location, and other distinguishing features, so it looks more real.
Before creating the persona, it’s essential to facilitate internal conversation to ensure everyone’s on the same page. From sales to marketing and customer care, call a meeting and ask each department to bring something to the table.
Kickoff call: The first step in persona development is surely a kickoff call with the sales and marketing team – allowing them to get their input about the potential customers you’re hunting.
The purpose of this meeting is to share conclusions and make changes if shared. Moreover, if you want to incorporate some interview questions, pen them down to uncover valuable hidden information.
Incorporate with sales team: Your sales team interacts with customers daily – comparatively, they’ve a better insight into the factors influencing a prospect’s choice. They can bring to the table what questions are frequently asked and the objectives they have in mind and propose a solution to these insoluble issues!
Incorporate with marketing team: Your marketing team knows how customers behave in indirect and direct interactions. For inbound marketing, you’ll want to know how your customers found you online – so even if your sales team goes offline after making a lead, the marketing team will lead the rest of the customer’s journey.
Think of persona development as a scientific method – the internal conversation helps you form the hypothesis of who your personas are. With the points you jotted down, and the information gathered from the sales and marketing team, you’re good to take a start. BUT, the best and the only way to get inside their heads is direct communication.
Ask questions that enable you to understand their behaviors towards specific issues and challenges to refine the product/service.
The foremost objective of client interaction is understanding customers’ behavior, so craft your interview questions to develop a comprehensive persona profile.
Who to choose as interview candidates:
First, ask your sales team to select a few potential candidates. Ideally, the best interviewee will be one of the following:
People who buy from target competitor/s.
People who choose not to purchase anything.
People who decide to buy.
Because they’ve recently gone through the buying process, these customers will give better insight into their negative or positive behaviors towards your product/service.
>> Related Article: 20 Questions to Ask When Creating a Buyer’s Persona
When creating a buyer persona, there are two sets of data:
Qualitative data (gathered from inner teams and conversations with buyers)
Complex data from web tools
There are numerous tools to analyze data and enhance the persona development process. For instance, Google Analytics segments site visitors and uncover the similarities. Knowing where the traffic is coming from helps team the buyer into categories and discern better content to meet expectations.
Defining your buyer persona may seem like an unrequited and unwieldy task, but if we’re breaking it down into manageable steps, a thoughtful buyer persona will result in and genuinely improve the ways the market sells and buys.
While the first step towards defining a buyer persona is research, we believe you already have data in hand (by following the steps mentioned above). Since you’ve already talked through your sales and marketing team, finding concrete data through your analytics of social media ads and PPC advertising campaigns is key. Pay specific attention to the demographics of people clicking on your ads.
Once you have all the data gathered, look for similarities and challenges of your prospects. Decide how many buyer personas you want – remember that you don’t have to cover everyone right now. You can cater for the needs of your future clients as you grow your strategies and gather more data. If you aren’t sure where to begin segmenting your buyer persona, consider using these two options:
Segment prospects by industry
Segment buyer persona by job title
When it comes to buyer persona, more is best. Give yourself time to get creative, brainstorm, and write everything about this buyer persona. Don’t be afraid to get creative. The more real persona you define, the more your sales and marketing team will feel connected, tailoring their efforts to support clients in the real-life scenarios.
Creating content that your prospects will want to read and make clicks requires strategic construction. When you’re writing, selling, interacting, and marketing with real people, your qualified leads will see some intense growth. For more marketing related info, take a look at our blog.
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