A buyer persona is one of the most important aspects you need to understand before embarking on your marketing journey. It’s one of the key pillars that will play a big role in whether your business is going to be successful or not.
What is a buyer persona?
In short, a buyer persona can be defined as:
A buyer persona – also known as a customer avatar or a marketing persona – is a mock-up of a fictional person, created using the data gathered from real-world buyers. It offers the business the opportunity to understand its potential buyers, to better meet their expectations and to create a digital marketing strategy that is perfectly aligned with their values. It’s basically a way to anticipate what your clients will want to hear from you in the future.
A correct buyer persona should be the starting point of your marketing strategy – there’s really no point in investing precious resources in creating a plan that is not going to reach your target audience. A highly detailed buyer persona is going to save you money, time, and it’s going to help you create a more efficient marketing strategy, focused on customers’ goals.
How do you create a buyer persona?
The process of creating – or, rather, identifying – your buyer persona is fun, creative and pretty simple. You need to know the market you’re trying to sell in, have some data on the average consumer of your product and be precise and detailed with the questions you use.
Here are some in-depth questions to ask yourself (and your team) in order to figure out your niche customer avatar. Your team’s inbound marketer should be front and center since all content marketing will be delivered using this information.
Be advised – there’s not just one buyer. Depending on the complexity of the product/service you’re selling, there could be various types of people that will be fit to become a customer of yours. Use these questions to create as many personas as you see necessary – until you’ve covered most of the target audience.
These are just 35 examples that we found useful – kind of like a beginners guide – you can check out the entire list of 188 buyer persona questions, here.
Some examples of in-depth marketing research questions
- What is their age?
- What is their gender?
- Where do they live?
- What is their racial/ethnic heritage?
- What is their annual income?
- What is their highest level of education?
- What is their occupation?
- What is their marital status?
- Are they happy about their current marital status?
- Do they have any children?
- If so, how many, what gender and how old are they?
- Do their children live with them?
- Do they have any pets?
- What type of housing do they currently live in?
- What is their customer journey map?
- Who are the most important people in their life?
- Are they religious?
- What is their political orientation?
- Are they actively involved in politics?
- Do they make an effort to stay fit and healthy?
- What type of exercise do they do?
- If they don’t exercise, why not?
- Do they care about their personal appearance?
- What hobbies do they currently pursue?
- What do they like to do in their free time?
- What social groups/activities do they participate in?
- Are they environmentally conscious?
- What brand affinity do they have?
- Do they cook at home or eat out?
- How much time do they spend at work and at home?
- How do they spend your weekends?
- Where do they shop?
- Do they drink?
- Do they smoke?
- What news sources do they read?
What must a buyer persona template include?
Remember that a template for a buyer persona includes is not just composed of a bunch of answers to some questions – it’s about creating an overall image of your potential customer. It must help you actually visualize your customer base, understand their needs, and then market your product/service properly to them.
A template, therefore, must include some of the general answers needed to know their overall lifestyle:
- Family life
Then, you can include answers that are directly related to your business. If you’re aiming to market clothes, you will include:
- their personal style
- clothing size
If you’re selling gym memberships, you’ll focus your attention on your potential customers’:
- proximity to one of the gyms
- spare time
- preferred types of working out (cardio, strength, yoga, etc.)
Regardless of your purpose, your template should end with a story – after all the questions have been answered, does this person seem real? Do their characteristics align in order to create a realistic avatar of a person that might actually exist? Do you feel like you understand them, their desires and motivations, and do you feel more prepared to create a marketing plan specifically for them?
In order to better understand how your buyer personas should look like, here are a couple of comprehensive examples of buyer personas
Coffee shop marketing persona
Alexandra – Student
- 21 years old
- Lives in Paris, France
- Part-time bartender, a full-time college student at Paris College of Art
- Household income of 1000 euro/month
- Conscious about her financial decisions
- Prefers to use credit cards to track her spending habits
- Posts daily on Instagram
- Active on social media – Facebook, Youtube and Tik Tok
- Looks for discount codes, coupons and deals online on a weekly basis
- Is interested in making a difference when it comes to sustainability and ecology
What she’s looking for
- A place to relax after work/school, where she doesn’t feel pressured to consume a lot of drinks
- A quiet place to study/read
- A place that is environmentally conscious and provides plastic-free alternatives
- Trying out new things on a budget
What influences her
- Friends, family, and colleagues
- Influencers that are known for their environmental efforts
- New studies regarding alternatives to well-known pollutants
- Patagonia, Beyond Meat, Lush Cosmetics, Apple
Hopes and dreams
- Become a well-known artist
- Travel the world
- Reach a point where she can afford to purchase whatever, without worries
Worries and fears
- Being a burden on her parents
- Not being able to afford her living costs
- Not having enough time to relax and focus on her mental health
- Not getting good grades at school
Make her life easier
- A cool place where she can relax and study
- Deals and coupons
- The ability to pay with credit card
- Rewards for social media engagement
A day in the life of Alexandra
- She has a lot to deal with between school and her part-time job, so she relies heavily on coffee
- She studies a lot, mostly outside her home – to make sure she’s not tempted to procrastinate
- She’s a young, curious and impressionable college student
- She saves up money to use for traveling
A potential small SUV buyer persona
George – Sales Manager
George is a 50-year old father of two, working full time at a small business, as a sales manager. He uses his car a lot in order to attend meetings with his clients. He also uses his car to sometimes pick-up his kids from school.
His current car is an old Ford model – George is looking for a safer, newer, more reliable model. He’s also interested in fuel economy. His main sources of information are Youtube reviews and his friends/family recommendations. It is important for him to be able to test the vehicle before buying it.
- 50-year-old African American male
- Father of two boys
- Plays soccer every other weekend
- Uses car daily for commuting, sometimes picking the kids up from school, sometimes grocery shopping, sometimes visiting relatives from other cities
- Spends a lot of time in his car
- Upper middle class
- Smartphone and laptop user
- Influenced by online reviews & family and friends
George’s Product-Content needs
- Information about fuel economy
- Photos and videos about the features of the car
- Testimonials about the comfort of driving the car for long periods of time
- Research proving this is a safe car for all passengers
As you can see, these two audience personas templates are slightly different – because the products sold are aimed and advertised to different markets. However, there is a common denominator – they are both painting a clear picture of who this person is. You may actually have an Alexandra or a George in your life, so it’s easy to deduce what kind of marketing materials you need to create to fit their needs.
Buyer personas are one of the main pillars you will need in order to build your marketing strategy. These tools are not just lists – they are fully-colored paintings, ones that will help you direct your resources in the right place, in order to generate sales.