You might have a general idea of your business’s target market, but how much do you really know about the individuals that you are selling your products and services to? Sure, you can probably tell us a thing or two about their buying habits, geographical location, and maybe even their age and income level – but there’s so much more to establishing the kind of customer who is interested in whatever you have to offer.
For example, their hobbies, the size of their family, how they came to find your company, and even their personal and professional backgrounds are all valuable pieces of information about customers that will benefit your company. But you don’t have to go into full-on detective mode in order to answer these questions; you simply have to create a well-rounded buyer persona.
What are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are defined as a fictionalized representation of your company’s target customers, breaking down a wide range of details that cover everything from demographics to their personal aspirations. A buyer persona reads as if it’s a description of an actual person and is designed to create a crystal-clear picture of who your customers really are. With a well-crafted buyer persona in hand, your team is able to get an exceptional perspective on how your customers think, act, and shop, allowing you to better tailor your products, services, and messaging.
When you create a buyer persona, it’s not about taking a stab in the dark at who your customers might be; instead, the data-driven process requires significant research. With the right approach, you’ll no longer have to guess what your target customers might best respond to – because you’ll already know exactly how to reach them.
An excellent buyer persona should cover a wide array of details about your ideal customer, including:
- Personal values
- Household income
- Marital status
- Short- and long-term goals
- Typical buying behaviors
- Unique quirks
Looking at the vast range of details needed for a buyer persona, it’s clear that creating one is no small task. But despite the considerable time and effort involved, it’s a smart investment that will help your business reap a wealth of benefits.
How Creating Buyer Personas Can Help Your Business
It makes sense that understanding your target customers is an effective way to increase your marketing success – but is a full-fledged buyer persona really necessary? You might be surprised to learn that not only will creating buyer personas shape the way you approach marketing, but it can also have a massive ripple effect that supports your business in a variety of ways.
1. Helps You Pinpoint Your Customers’ Wants, Needs, and Purchasing Decisions
One of the basic principles of any Marketing 101 course is that for the most part, customers aren’t going to buy something simply because it’s available. Rather, customers make a decision to invest in a product or service because it specifically fulfills one or more needs and/or wants.
Once you’ve designed a buyer persona, your team will have a clear direction for connecting the needs and wants that motivate your customers’ purchasing decisions. As you’d imagine, that alone is a serious win. Instead of taking an overgeneralized approach to simply “selling” to customers, your business can make sure that they’re effectively fulfilling needs and wants – which makes successful sales much easier.
Additionally, having a solid grasp on your target customers’ methods of making purchasing decisions gives you another one-up. Not only will the information empower your team to better move customers along the sales funnel, but it can also offer a boost to customers’ lifetime value.
2. Offers a Better Way to Tailor Your Marketing Messaging to Suit Your Customers
It might sound overly obvious to suggest that personalizing your marketing messaging can improve your overall sales. But did you know that one of the best ways to tailor your messaging is by making smart use of buyer personas?
Look at it this way: let’s say your buyer persona establishes that your target customer for a specific product is a young woman in her early to mid-twenties, specifically one who values fashion, style, and luxury. In that case, it wouldn’t make much sense to develop content that zeroes in on practicality and affordability. Luckily, because your team is working from a solid buyer persona, you’d already know that, and be well-prepared to shape your messaging accordingly.
3. Tells You Where Your Customers Spend Their Time
If you can’t find your customers (whether in-person or online), it becomes pretty difficult to make connections with them. Buyer personas will help you flesh out exactly where your audience tends to spend their time, setting the stage for you to make contact when the time and place are right.
For example, if your target customers are young students who frequent Instagram and spend their late afternoons in local coffee shops, reaching out to individuals on LinkedIn and at the organic grocers would be a misfire. But since your buyer persona will include specifics regarding where (and when) your customers spend both their working hours and free time, your marketing aim will be that much more refined.
4. Allows You to Make Informed Improvements to Products and Services
Letting your company’s offerings get stagnant is a surefire route to failure, which is what makes ongoing learning and improvement so important. But from your side of the table, it can be challenging to determine the shortcomings of your products and services, especially in the eyes of your customers.
Thanks to your buyer personas, your business will have an improved understanding of your customers, including their negative trigger points and biggest frustrations. As a result, you’ll be able to finetune your products and services to better serve their needs. Your customers will feel as if your brand has intuited their most important desires and needs, and thus, your business will have strengthened a potentially life-long relationship.
5. Helps Your Marketing Team Divide and Conquer
It’s pretty unlikely that your business will have just a single buyer persona, because most companies’ full lines of products and services are designed to cast a relatively wide net. For instance, imagine a business that sells home meal planning and kit services. Each home-delivered box contains a customized assortment of recipes and ingredients, giving customers a simple way to prepare and serve healthy, delicious dinners. The larger target customer group includes young couples, busy families, and even elderly individuals living alone. If the brand’s marketing approach zeroes in on just one of those smaller audiences, they run the risk of missing out on opportunities with another.
Instead, your marketing team can segment their campaign efforts to reach each buyer persona that makes up your overarching target market. You’ll be able to successfully connect with each one in a way that makes sense, as well as increase efficacy as a whole.
6. Puts You in the Position to Pre-Qualify Leads
Virtually any marketing team would agree that if they had the opportunity to focus on appealing to leads who were actually prepared to make a purchase, they would seize it in a second. You could waste less time trying to reach out to customers who aren’t sales-ready, and instead hone in on those that actually want and need your products and services. And what makes that all possible? That’s right: a well-structured buyer persona.
Designing negative personas, those demonstrating the customers that don’t fit your business, can also be a useful tactic. You’ll be able to “trim the fat” from your marketing efforts, so to speak, saving both time and money.
7. Supports Valuable Relationship-Building
As the age-old saying goes, the customer is always right – but it’s vital to remember that the customer is ultimately the most important person in your business’s relationships. Buyer personas not only make it possible to better target your customers, but they also develop a sense of empathy around your ideal audience. Rather than simply standing as dollars to be made, your customers evolve into real people with tangible wants and needs that your business can satisfy.
8. Gives Your Design Plans a Precision-Level Focus
Think about the difference it would make to your business to understand your customers on a highly personal level, at every stage of the design process. There’s no question that buyer personas offer an impressive amount of highly valuable information, so why not maximize the utility of those details? The more you learn about your customers, the more you’ll be able to keep their needs at the core of every design decision your team makes. The result? A completed design that doesn’t just reflect your business goals, but the full spectrum of your customers’ experiences and desires.
9. Gets Your Entire Company on the Same Page
Are you assuming that buyer personas are something that only your sales and marketing teams can use? Think again. Everyone at the company, from the product development team to customer service representatives, can benefit from thoughtfully-designed buyer personas. Your entire company should be well-versed in who your customers are, what they expect, and how to serve them exceptionally well – and with buyer personas, that becomes more feasible than ever before.
Craft Outstanding Buyer Personas That Will Boost Your Business
Now that you know the benefits creating personas can offer your business, it’s time to dive in and start creating them. The creation process involves a lot of research and dedicated time, so if you don’t know where to start and want to take full advantage of our professional expertise, give Page Design a call.