If you've worked or been close to the world of marketing, you've probably heard the term "Buyer Persona". It is a term that many people use even colloquially, as if they all had their Buyer Persona, and knew what it was about. but it is certainly not like that. If you are here after googling "What is a Buyer Persona?" and you hope to clarify your ideas about it, you are in the right place.
Marketers currently produce an infinite amount of content to engage their consumers: videos, infographics, articles, eBooks, ... The truth is that there is content for everyone, so you have to be vigilant. If you want to stand out among all the content available to attract your consumers, you must create your content with your specific audience in mind.
Instead of creating marketing materials for anyone, you should consider a specific group of people to focus on: those you know will benefit from your product or service.
If the representation of your customer base is similar to a Gauss curve, the customer groups in the center are the types of people you sell to most often, therefore, if you want to make your costs profitable, it is precisely them you have to try to involve.
What is a Buyer Persona?
The key to attracting the right people to your company is to be attractive to them.
A Buyer Persona is a fictional character that you create to represent each of your ideal client types.Once that definition is produced, you should use it to guide your strategy and thus ensure that your messages reach the right audience, on the right channel, with the right message.
Far from being just a professional position on a list of companies, the Buyer Persona takes an in-depth look at what can influence a potential buyer's decision making. Building your Buyer Persona is essential to truly understand your target audience, what their needs and preferences are, how they prefer to communicate, and where they seek information.
Why is the Buyer Persona important?
I am often asked this question:
... after almost two decades of the concept's emergence, are Buyer Persona still important?
After many conversations, I must say yes, and more than ever. As you read this, you probably think: "of course what he is going to say!". The central question, in any case, is: why is the Buyer Persona still important?. Let's review some reasons why it is:
1 Marketing and sales strategies unfold over them.
Many B2B organizations have a hard time understanding current new purchasing behaviors, and how to keep up with how fast they are changing. When properly researched, Buyer Persona emerge who are the potential customers, the situations they are facing, how they have changed and most importantly: what goals they are trying to achieve.
2 They allow developing a common language for buyers.
Buyers' understanding may vary between different groups. Disregarding these groups is a mistake that is still affecting many companies today. The Buyer Personas provide a common language and communication channels for buyers.
3 They provide better results.
B2B companies that have implemented practices to focus on their customers and buyers have consistently outperformed their competitors. In their efforts, the Buyer Persona was a crucial component of an overall plan to become customer-centric companies.
4 Globalization is now a necessity for all companies.
When Buyer Persona was first introduced in 2002, globalization was a strategy reserved for large companies. But in these years everything has changed a lot with the introduction of technologies that have broken down barriers to entry. Companies that today want to enter new markets have little margin for errors, they must do so with the knowledge of the purchasing behaviors of each region.
Today, a deeper understanding of customers and buyers is necessary, the globalization of companies, and technological advances have left us with a much more complex world, therefore ...
TIP:Investigating buyers and defining Buyer People helps decompose complexity into insightful understanding, allowing for better decision making.
How to create a Buyer Persona?
Are you ready to take advantage of the Buyer Persona concept to start generating more leads through your marketing campaigns?
Before you know that you need more than just googling the name of your customers to understand who they are. You'll need to know everything about them to make sure your content and messages are built on concrete data rather than assumptions.
A specific Buyer Persona should answer most of these questions:
- What is the gender of the buyer?
- What is the buyer's age?
- What is the buyer's family income level?
- Who lives with the home buyer?
- Does the buyer live in an urban, suburban or rural environment?
- How does the buyer spend his day?
- Who does the buyer admire?
- What does the buyer read for fun?
- What does the buyer do for fun?
- What academic level does the buyer have?
- What type of company does the buyer work for?
- What is the buyer's role / title in the company?
- What are the biggest challenges for the buyer at work?
- How does the buyer define success in the workplace?
- What are the professional objectives of the buyer?
- What are the buyer's biggest fears (or "weak points")?
- What are the buyer's most common objections?
- How can your product or service help solve buyer's challenges?
- How tech savvy is the buyer?
- What social networks does the buyer prefer?
- How does the buyer prefer to communicate?
- In which media / channels is the buyer informed
As expected, the specific questions you will need to find answers for will vary. For example: if your product or service does not involve technology, adding the question about your buyer's technological experience may be unnecessary.
But, how do you find the answers to those questions?
1 Analyzing the data you have
Export the data of your contacts and clients so that you can analyze them in an easier way. The key is to recognize important patterns within the data. For example, if you have an overwhelming number of customers of a certain gender, age group, industry, or job position, it's worth noting. Remember that you probably have more than one Buyer Persona. So don't panic if you end up discovering multiple patterns or trends.
2 Talking to the employees of each department of your company.
Sales, marketing, finance, human resources: each department interacts with your customers differently and has a different perspective on what makes a customer decide for your company. Spend time talking to each department to find out what generalizations can be made about your best customers. Concentrate most of your energy on the sales team, since they are the ones who spend most of their time interacting with your prospects and clients.
3 Interviewing your best buyers.
Identify between ten and twenty of your best clients and have an interview with them. Ask them about their concerns, their buying motivations, what led them to buy your product, why they chose your company, etc.
4 Optimizing your data collection methods.
Consider how you collect information from your prospects and clients. Today, the majority of potential customer data is collected through web forms. You can use this to include form fields that help you determine the probability that a potential customer will buy from you. For example, do your best buyers come from a specific sector? Request that information on your forms.
Once you collect the data, it's time to collect important trends and segment your findings into your different Buyer Persona.
Templates and tools to create your Buyer Personas
There are tons of Buyer Personas templates, tools, and generators available for free on the internet, but here is a selected list of the best ...
1. Xtensio User Persona Creator
Xtensio User Persona Creator is a neat application that allows you to enter the demographics, goals, frustrations, biographies, motivations, preferred channels and brands of your Buyer Persona. Sign up for a free account and get started with the tool.
2. Digital Marketer Customer Avatar Worksheet
Digital Marketer Customer Avatar Worksheet includes all the important areas to specify, in a simple PDF format that you can complete on your computer
3. Demand Metric Buyer Persona Template
La Demand Metric Buyer Persona Template is an Excel spreadsheet that includes multiple tabs for multiple people. It's a great way to see all of your target customers at a glance, with all the relevant information. They have even included a video with helpful instructions to complete it.
4. HubSpot Buyer Persona Template
HubSpot Buyer Persona Template includes 4 sections to answer the important questions: who, what, why and how. This template also includes a guide to creating Buyer Personas.
5. Marketo's Marketing Persona Cheat Sheet
Marketo's Marketing Persona Cheat Sheet is unique in that it includes a blank fill map to create Customer Journeys.
6. Filestage Buyer Persona Template
Filestage Buyer Persona Template it is simple and elegant. Some unique features of this template are sections for a tag cloud, an archetype, and a product adoption group. It also comes with a PowerPoint version as well as a PDF version.
7. "MakeMyPersona" Buyer Persona Generator
MakeMyPersona is a HubSpot Buyer Persona generator. All you have to do is click the "Start doing me" button, and it will ask you a series of questions about your ideal client. Once you're done, they'll send you a complete PDF with a photo for your customer's avatar.
Now you know what a Buyer Persona is, even if you haven't defined yours yet, now you already know the theory.
Getting started is easier than it sounds, though it does require rolling up your sleeves and doing extensive research on your target audience and customers. It is a rewarding process because the benefits that are derived are significant.
And then, continue to expand and modify your Buyer People regularly, because they are not set in stone and can evolve. Your customers' preferences may change, and your company and the markets it targets may also change.