Quick Guide to Creating Buyer Personas
Buyer personas offer businesses a way to drastically increase efficiency and deliver better services and products to their customers. Although the process of creating quality personas can often be seen as a hassle, the time investment will pay dividends in the long run.
To help get you started with creating buyer personas for your business we have created a quick, go-to guide.
What are Buyer Personas?
To put things in perspective, let's kick this off with a simple and to the point definition of what we mean when we say 'buyer personas':
"A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better." Hubspot
In other words, your buyer or customer persona is a go-to profile for a typical customer or group of customers that can be applied to your business and marketing needs.
Why Create Buyer Personas?
Creating buyer personas isn't just about having a rough idea of who your customer it. It is a tool that can be applied with a number of benefits.
Firstly, your persona will allow you to very quickly identify and qualify potential customers. This will lead to greater efficiency, as it delivers a clear path on which to commit your resources and an easy way to discount paths that do not lead to the success you are looking for. Secondly, it allows you to create powerful marketing messaging and to talk directly to those you are trying to target. It helps you set the tone that appeals to your customers.
How to Create a Buyer Persona
Undertake Audience Research
The first step in creating a powerful buyer persona is to undertake extensive audience research.
Use Historical Data
Businesses that adopt CRMs and other methods for collecting historical data on their clients put themselves in the best position for creating accurate buyer personas. By accessing this data, you will be able to identify key traits, habits and norms.
This is the perfect starting point.
Of course, your personas may not exactly match your historical customer's data as you may adapt and change those you market towards based on the aspirations of the business. But knowing who you serve now will let you see what needs to be done to appeal to those you are hoping to reach.
Use Customer Surveys
Data from platforms such as CRMs can be very useful in helping identify trends and general information about your customers. However, it is unlikely to dive deep into areas such as their own aspirations and opinions on key matters.
Approaching a good-sized cross-section of your audience and asking them to complete a well-designed survey will give you the opportunity to gain valuable insight into these areas. This process will help you create a much more accurate picture of your general customer.
Create Basic Profiles
Once you have undergone the required research stage you can begin to create profiles for one or more of your buyer personas.
Start by building a very basic picture of your target customer. You can use the information you have gathered during the research phase to find common themes in areas such as:
Job function, role or title
Information on how long they have been in that position and previously held positions
What their family and social position might look like
You can also use the data gathered during the research phase to identify averages and common themes in demographics such as:
In order to build a clearer idea of your persona and to inform decisions on how you may market to them, you can also note some details regarding their personality. These may include answering questions such as:
What personality type are they?
How do they like being communicated with?
Is there anything that is a clear 'turn off' for them?
After a basic profile has been created you will have started to build a good idea on what might be attractive to them as an individual. For example, at this stage, you may add sections to your buyer persona that answers questions such as:
What are their core values?
What are they driven by? (money, status, process etc)
How sensitive are they to price?
What does professional success look like to them?
What challenges do they face?
Knowing your personas key motivators will help you create compelling offers and messaging that is going to bring them on board as a customer.
For example, you may invest resources into creating a detailed sustainability policy to appeal to customers who are interested in green business. You may also change your messaging to use the exact key terms they use when talking about their challenges.
The more and the better quality the information you can gather, the better you will be able to drive success through applying your personas to your marketing and sales decisions.
In conclusion, we can see that creating buyer personas is a worthwhile process for even the busiest marketer. In fact, the process of understanding your customer fully will ultimately save you time, allowing you to focus your efforts on the most relevant areas.
Creating buyer personas isn't just a one-time thing, but something that needs to be constantly reviewed and tweaked. This is due both to the evolving nature of your business and business goals, but also due to the changes in your customers' wants, needs and motivations.