Buyer personas help companies to better understand their customers and prospects. When strategizing your marketing goals, personas make it easier for you to craft your content, messaging and products and services to meet the specific needs, behaviors and concerns of different groups. Targeting a market segment, and personalizing your message to a specific audience will make your marketing more effective
Cassie, a 27-year-old event planner who works for a non-profit company, loves technology, working out, listening to podcast and online shopping. She is an influencer and her word goes a long way for some of the decisions her boss makes. Cassie is a persona and is representative of a market segment for a startup tech company who would like to get her business.
In other words, you may know your target buyers are event planners, but do you know their specific needs and interests? What is the typical background of your ideal customer? It’s also important to know who is not your customer. In order to gain an understanding of your customer’s desires and interests and find out how they behave, it’s critical to develop detailed personas for your business.
At a basic level, developing personas allows you to:
- Create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience
- Target or personalize your marketing for different segments of your audience
- Tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas instead of sending the same nurturing emails to everyone in your contact list
- Segment your market by buyer personas to allow you to map out and create highly targeted content
How To Do the Research
Buyer personas can be created through research, surveys, and interviews. Interview your customers and prospects to gain an understanding of their motives. Reflect on your wins and losses as well. Study your competitors, too. This will give you an accurate picture of your target market when creating your personas.
Here’s a few tips on how to go about creating your personas:
- Interview founders and executives individually
- Speak with customer-facing employees at your company
- Look at your most recent 5-10 deals, both wins and loss, to create a win-loss analysis
- Conduct a competitive analysis and see where your company falls on that spectrum
- Talk to current customers if possible (maybe 2-3)
- Talk to prospects that you lost a deal (part of loss analysis)
- Look at other additional information you can get like your CRM notes, etc.
Finally, make sure you give your persona a name (like Steve Johnson, IT Director, or Candice Smitt, VP of Sales). Include a real-life image of your persona who are archetypes so you can truly envision what he or she looks like. It helps to put a name to a face when you start personalizing your message.