[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Buyer Personas have been around since 1999, initially to assist software designers to focus on usability. These days, digital marketers are using buyer personas to understand buyer behaviour and how to best tailor marketing messages for success. Why don’t you check out Results 2Day’s special Buyer Persona Creation Offer? It won’t last long.
This blog aims to outline the basics of a buyer persona including what it is, why it is important, how to create them as well as their role in the Buyer’s Journey. Results 2Day has also developed a Buyer Persona template, which you can access here, and a sample set of interview questions. Contact us if you would like a copy of the questions. If you have read my other digital marketing blogs such as Mapping the Buyer’s Journey, you’ll know that I am a fan of creating Buyer Personas prior to embarking upon other digital marketing initiatives. This is because buyer personas put you in your customer’s shoes. They help you deeply understand your buyer. Which of course, is critical if you want your digital marketing efforts to be successful and meet your objectives. It will ensure your marketing efforts resonate with your buyer and stand out from the crowd.
What is a Buyer Persona?
Wikipedia defines Buyer Personas as:[/vc_column_text][text_box][vc_column_text]“Fictional characters created to represent the different buyer types within a targeted demographic, attitude and/or behavior set that might engage with a site, brand or product in a similar way.”[/vc_column_text][/text_box][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Defining characteristics of a buyer persona might be industry, company size, gender, title, educational background or location. It’s up to you to set the defining characteristics that are important for your product. A Buyer Persona tells you where your buyer goes for information, which groups they belong to, what their challenges are, what their interests are and how they like to be sold to. This information is vital when creating the right online campaign to attract your buyers.
An example of a Buyer Persona might be Sarah -HR Manager. Sarah is between 25-40 years of age, a career-minded professional with a degree and she reports to the CFO or HR Director of organisations with between 1,000-5,000 employees. Her goals are to reduce staff turnover, create a great workplace culture and hire from within. Her major challenges are finding the right people at the right time. She is a member of HR Monthly and she visits LinkedIn and hrdaily.com.au once a day. This is just an example of a Buyer Persona. You create the criteria that is important when making a decision to buy your product.
Why are Buyer Personas Important?
There are numerous reasons why Buyer Personas are important. However, primarily it’s about understanding your market. Understanding your market is critical in all forms of marketing. Even more so, when it comes to Digital Marketing since buyers typically have a plethora of information thrown their way via email, social media, online advertisement etc. Standing out and being noticed is more important than ever! Therefore understanding your buyer’s DNA, what makes them tick, and how they use the Internet can provide a tremendous marketing advantage. Buyer personas help you put yourself in your buyer’s shoes so you are tailoring the right messaging, at the right time, in the right place to grab their attention.
Globalisation and new technologies have meant there are more channels available to buyers. Each channel has its own idiosyncrasies. Buyer Personas help you understand how to address your buyers effectively in each of these channels.
Creating Buyer Personas enables you to segment your database into groups so that you can personalise your marketing message. We all know that personalisation helps your marketing message to stand out and be noticed. There are many facts indicating that personalisation leads to successful marketing. Here are some:
- Experian claimed personalised promotional mailings had 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates (source: MarketingLand)
- In-house marketers who are personalising their web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales. (Source:Monetate/eConsultancy)
- 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that it has nothing to do with their interests. (Source:Janrain & Harris Interactive)
- 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalise the shopping experience across channels.(Source: MyBuys)
- In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalised campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients. (Source: MindFire)
Buyer Personas help you determine a number of important digital marketing components for success including:
- What type of content you need
- Where you should be marketing i.e. which sites/channels
- Which topics to focus on
- Which questions/objections to address in during at which stage
How do you create Buyer Personas?
There are many ways to create buyer personas. One of the most effective ways I have found is to interview a range of customers and prospects as well as a range of prospects that didn’t buy from you. This will give you an understanding of different buyer types and what motivates them to buy (or not to).
It’s tempting to try to cover all scenarios, right from the outset, by creating a buyer persona for every type. However, beware of analysis paralysis, there is no need to rush into it. You can develop them over time, as they come to light. As guide, you might want to start out with three or four personas per product group, and then expand from there.
Another method for gathering buyer persona information is to use surveys. This method can be cost-effective, however, I believe, more in-depth information can be obtained with two-way interviews. Having done a few of these now, it is amazing how much can be learned through buyer persona interviews. Sometimes, information comes to light that you may not initially have thought of and is not covered in the original question set. In addition, people can be more forth coming with information during a conversation rather than an anonymous survey.
Another method is to interview sales people who have close relationships with customers. However, I believe it is always preferable to go direct to the source, to your buyers themselves. Results 2Day has developed a buyer persona template that you can access here. Results 2Day has also created a set of interview questions. Contact us if you would like a copy of the questions.
If you would like us to create the Buyer Personas for you, check out our latest offer here.
The Buyer’s Journey
Once you have created your buyer personas you are ready to map your Buyer’s Journey. This entails defining a workflow that characterises the buyer’s journey. You can then develop a set of potential questions and objections that you think your buyer might ask at each stage of their journey. Then you develop content to answer these questions and objections. The goal is to move your buyer from one stage to the next and to create a sense of urgency in doing so. You can read more about the buyer’s journey at our blog: The Buyer’s journey.
If you would like more information, tips, techniques and templates on digital marketing, please sign-up with Results 2Day
Results 2Day’s aim is to help you maximise your digital marketing potential. With the ultimate objective being a serious positive impact to the business’ bottom line. We create or update digital marketing strategy plans for you. We strongly believe a good digital marketing strategy can transform a business and we look forward to assisting you with yours. We also provide social media listening tools and services for either in-house use or we can create the reports for you. Please contact us on (02) 8354 1554 to see how we can assist you or if you would like us to create your Buyer Personas for you, check out our latest offer, it won’t last long….
You might also be interested in reading our recently published blogs: :
- The importance of colour in digital marketing
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