Buyer Persona definition
A buyer persona is a fictional character created from real-world buyer data.
It enables business owners to understand the needs and thoughts of prospective clients as they contemplate solutions to the problems their company specializes in solving.
Buyer personas should form the foundation of your digital strategy. They define your target audiences, allowing you to refine and personalize your approach, thereby enhancing your marketing and sales efforts.
A buyer persona should be:
- Descriptive of your ideal customer(s)
- Comprehensive and detailed, encompassing demographics (age, sex, location, marital status, education, occupation, income, etc.) as well as psychographics, lifestyle, and behavioral criteria
- Insightful, guiding your marketing efforts based on the buyer’s journey stage they represent.
Why Are Buyer Personas Important?
The concept of a buyer’s persona extends far beyond a simple profile of potential customers you aim to influence.
It unveils multiple layers of information about prospective buyers’ decisions, delving into their specific moods, standards, and concerns.
These nuanced elements are pivotal in the decision-making process, steering consumers’ choices.
Will they seal the deal with you, or will they seek your competitors?
In the ever-evolving marketing landscape, a one-size-fits-all approach no longer holds water.
Tailoring your strategies to the individual is crucial, so you need buyer personas.
The primary purpose of buyer personas is to internalize the ideal customer you aim to attract.
It’s about connecting with our customers as genuine human beings, not just mere figures in our databases.
More significantly, these personas serve as our guiding star, ensuring we focus on the right strategies.
Every action we take must originate from and resonate with the people who choose to invest in what we offer.
How to Create Buyer Personas
Contrary to popular belief, creating buyer personas isn’t an exercise in fiction writing. Instead, it’s a well-designed plan, following specific steps, rooted in your customer data.
Step 1: Conduct Quantitative Research
Utilize tools like Google Analytics to gather data on your website visitors, including demographics, device usage, and traffic sources.
However, don’t focus solely on numbers; strive to understand the people behind the statistics.
Step 2: Analyze the Customer Database
Examine purchase patterns to comprehend customer behavior. This allows you to understand:
- What draws customers to you;
- What makes them stick with you;
- What makes them love you (so much that they’d recommend you to their mothers, neighbors, and even their bosses)?
Correlate this data with demographics to create customer segments, enabling personalized messaging.
Step 3: Run Surveys
Design specific surveys for various customer segments. Ask open-ended questions tailored to new visitors and loyal customers, gaining valuable insights into their preferences and experiences.
For a group of new customers landing on your website, you may ask them something like:
- We are happy to have you here! Just out of curiosity, how did you find us?
- How was your experience with your website so far?
- Looking for something in particular? Let us know, and we can help!
For a loyal customer, you may want to address different questions:
- Welcome back, Valentin! How is your day?
- What are you looking for today?
- How satisfied are you with the last purchase made?
- Did the package arrive on time?
- Tell me about your favorite product on our website, and we will prepare a surprise for you.
Key Components of a Buyer Persona
As you can see, buyer personas are the results of your research, as well as a simple and intuitive way to group your findings.
Typically, these are the elements you should incorporate into the profiles you create when you’re done with surveying and analysis:
- Demographics (age, gender, nationality, family, occupation, income, etc.)
- Goals, challenges, and motivations (professional, personal, in relation to your business- what they expect from you, what you can do to impact and help them in a meaningful way)
- Values and fears (main personal values, frequent objections during sales processes)
- Behavior (how, when, and why they buy certain products, how much they use them, and how they integrate them within their day-to-day routines)
- Lifestyle (activities, hobbies, and interests)
Remember: the more detailed the profiles, the more opportunities you have to engage with them in a memorable, personalized way.
This mix of demographics and psychographics will let you expand your marketing efforts correctly.
Creating a useful buyer persona helps you get tremendous insight into your company.
It will help you in determining which areas need more focus so you can put more effort and time into developing products and align them with the needs of your customers.
How to Use the RFM Analysis to Create Buyer Personas
The RFM model is a marketing method used to segment buyers based on buying patterns.
In this example, you will see an example of how an eCommerce company segmented its audience using the RFM model, as well as the kind of data this generated.
We named the customer segments in this spreadsheet according to the existing love relationship between their online store and their customers.
As you can see here, some outstanding insights have been hidden in this database for so long:
- True lovers have generated 14.5% of the margin.
Behind the True Lovers label, there’s a Sally and a Mike with whom you need to set up a user interview and ask them about their experience with your store and your products. Conducting meaningful interviews is an art.
Here’s something you can use to prep.
- 11.2% of the customers have generated only 0.21% of your margin.
These are the new ones.
The ones for whom you make >90% of your marketing efforts. That’s an insight you can realize after subtracting the customer acquisition cost from the average gross margin.
- 21.19% of the margin comes from 9.57% of your customers.
The ex-lovers: customers you shouldn’t have lost and on whom you must be focusing in order to find out who they are and why they dumped you.
- Each new customer brings only $3 in terms of margin (despite their large number)
From this analysis, it is clear which ones are your ideal customer profiles (buyer personas): the True Lovers.
They bought from you the most recent, placed the highest number of orders compared to others, and have the highest monetary value.
Now that you find who they are, export them into a CSV and dive deeper to understand who they are and what they must tell you.
How to use the Buyer Personas created
There are a number of ways you can use these buyer personas. And no, this use is not limited to advertising.
Buyer personas are great if you want to improve your product or offer. They will offer you actionable feedback to implement when the time is right.
Better allocation of ad revenue
Your research will show you exactly what kind of people are responsive to which kinds of ads.
This way, you can make the most out of your advertising budget and even improve your targeting efforts.
Influencer marketing campaigns
Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting an influencer marketing campaign to raise brand awareness and grow your customer base by reaching other potentially interested buyers.
While this is a great idea, you must also align these efforts with the personality and preferences of your ideal buyers.
Choosing the wrong influencer can be extremely costly, and the buyer personas you create can help you determine the best option for you and your brand.
Help your sales and customer support teams know who they are addressing
Buyer personas can also fuel your sales and support teams’ efforts.
By understanding what kind of prospects they have to deal with, what their struggles are, and what questions need answering, they will be so much more effective.
Improve and refine your content marketing and messaging strategies
Cold audiences? Warm audiences? Hot audiences?
These personas will help you better understand how to talk to different prospects and customers based on their lifecycle, the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at and the psychographic elements attached.
The right message delivered at the right time to the right person can mean a lot to your business.
If you are looking for ways to improve your sales process or to align your content marketing efforts with the profile and interests of your customers, buyer personas are the right place to start.
By focusing on your customer profiles, you can be sure that your digital marketing strategies will reach the kind of people that you want to attract to your business.
Many people act on intuition, but high-performing businesses have everything mapped out and written down.
From KPIs and marketing plans to empathy mapping and customer personas, everything needs to be clear, concise, and quantifiable.
So why lose precious time trying to figure out what your prospects and customers want when you can start and analyze their behavior right away?