How well do you know your ideal customer? Does a person come to mind when we ask that question? If so, that person represents your buyer persona. Also called a customer persona, audience persona, and marketing persona, this research-based profile depicts a target customer. In today’s blog, we’ll talk about how to create a buyer persona and why they’re so useful.
The Value of Doing Research
A buyer persona can help your business connect with customers. It puts a face on your target market, which can help your team better relate to the people they’re serving. When they think of buyer persona “Joe”, they can empathize with that voice on the phone or that email order. Knowing your ideal customer will help you address pain points and needs. Plus, it gives focus to blogs, promotions, marketing, and other customer-facing materials.
Build a Better Customer
Your goal in building a buyer persona is to answer questions that let you know more about your buyer—things that affect how and what they purchase. In researching these questions, you’ll learn more about your target market than you may have known before. Look to gather information about age, marital status, income, gender, children, location, and education. You could start with one ideal customer, using the data you already have, and enhance that model with some investigation.
So how do you find the details that will help you flesh out a buyer persona? Here are some ideas:
- Ask your employees about the customers
- Talk to customers directly
- Send surveys to your mailing list
- Comb through the customer database
- Do some social listening
- Use social media analytics such as Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics
If you’re inspired, go beyond the typical questions to create a more complex buyer persona. Look into target market values and fears, goals and challenges, media consumption, clubs, associations, hobbies, conferences, and events. What motivates your customers? Try to understand their pain points so you can address them.
If you need some help, you can find buyer persona templates online. Then you can start creating a profile for “Janet” or “Raj”. Try including a stock photo so you and your staff can really envision the customer. This form of personalization is a great tool for engagement and will make the entire team feel like they are working for a person and not the faceless public.
Below is an example of a customer profile. Imagine how this buyer persona could help your business.
- 35 years old
- Two kids, 2 and 5
- Lives in Toronto
- Has a home-based baby food business
- Is a certified yoga instructor
- Volunteers for a local recycling program
- Doesn’t have a lot of free time
Build It and They Will Come
Once you have a buyer persona, put it to use! That data can inform key words used in marketing, blogs, and promotions. Print the persona and give the picture and bio to your sales team so they can hone in on the customer base. Use the persona as a reference: does a new campaign address the needs and goals of this person? If not, take a step back and rework the material.
Be aware that your business may have MULTIPLE buyer personas. Start with one and build an entire lineup of ideal clients to improve your business. And don’t forget to keep them current. Check-in from time-to-time to see if the personas are still accurate. With updated buyer personas, you’re sure to keep putting the customer first.