Buyer personas are the foundation to all Marketing Activities.
Let’s say you have a great product: you design and sell fashion contact lenses with rock band logos on them. You know it’s the next big thing and you start to market your product. You’ve decided on a few marketing initiatives and are reaching a lot of people: CEOs, managers, sales staff, accountants, tradies, local neighbours, members of networking groups, mums, dads, grandparents…
But no one’s buying in. You’re not getting any new sales. Why? They don’t need it; they don’t want it; they can’t use it; they aren’t interested. It’s not because your product isn’t great; it is! Just not for the people you’re reaching. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase about selling ice to Eskimos.
What are Buyer Personas?
Detailed outlines of your target audience based on who your decision-making (or significant decision-playing) customers are. They should be the focal point to all your marketing activities.
So in this example, your buyer persona (or target audience) might be a more youthful crowd, into their music, enjoy going to concerts, predominantly female… They’re not reading news sites, but they’re on Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat, and they’re following their favourite bands on social media wherever they can. Instantly you can see how your optimum marketing strategy begins to take form.
That’s of course a simple example; strong buyer personas will have a lot more detail and address a number of key areas:
- Role – their job, how they’re measured, what their day entails, what skills they have, their income.
- Company – what industry they work in, the size and revenue of their company.
- Background – their career, family, education.
- Demographics – their gender, age, where they live.
- Identifiers – their demeanour and general behaviours.
- Goals – what success looks like to them.
- Challenges – their pain points and perceived barriers.
- What you can do – how you can help them achieve their goals and overcome their challenges.
- Real quotes – what they say about their goals and their challenges.
- Common objections – to your product or service.
- Watering holes – where they go for information and downtime.
- Shopping habits – how they like to be communicated with; how they research for products or services to solve their pain points.
And while they are fictional and generalised representations of your ideal customers, there are a number of ways you can get some real information on your target audience – interviews, surveys, lead intelligence software, smart digital research, social media polls, to name a few.
Buyer personas are crucial to a business, developed to help understand prospects and make it easier to market to the right people, in the right place, at the right times and with the right information.
If you’ve skipped this step, stop whatever you’re doing and do it now. You may find your marketing strategy needs a little fine-tuning or even a complete overhaul, but either way, your ROI stats will thank you!