Buyer personas are the best way to target the correct audiences and create cohesive brand messaging – yet 85% of companies aren’t using buyer personas effectively and only 44% of companies even have buyer personas. Hubspot defines a buyer persona as a “semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Buyer personas allow you to understand and relate to your customers better and thus create content that appeals to them.
To begin creating buyer personas, start by doing some research. Look at customer behavior data using platforms such as Google Analytics. Use trends to define who your customers are and what problems they face. Once you have a general idea of the key characteristics of your customer, get direct customer input through surveys or interviews. When conducting interviews, get feedback not only from satisfied customers, but also from dissatisfied customers or those who chose the competitors. Identifying your weak points is the only way to improve in these areas. Always ask why a customer had a certain experience to get the most insight out of their responses.
Forming Your Personas
Use the information you gather in your research to create your buyer persona. Create a profile that includes their age, gender, geographic location, education level, job title, and other key attributes. Define their motivations and challenges, along with their possible objections and appropriate responses to help sales people interact with these customers. Give each persona a name and a stock image to connect this name to a face. This will help your employees think of these personas as real people.
Putting the Personas to Work
So, you created your personas, now what do you do with them? These personas can help people in all departments of your company, so make sure to share them around. They can help the marketing team create targeted messaging for each persona. This allows you to focus on the people who are already buying your product instead of wasting time and efforts trying to win over completely new audiences. These personas also provide the sales team with tools to understand and relate to the customers. Sharing the personas with the whole company fosters a cohesive brand message.
You aren’t done yet though! After you’ve made these personas, there’s still work to be done. You should regularly update your buyer personas to account for changes in markets and demographics. Your ideal customer today will not look the same as your ideal customer 20 years from now, and you must change your marketing and sales efforts accordingly.