Have you played any of The Sims games? Or any other video game that involves creating your main character from scratch? Building a buyer persona is a lot like that, but more in depth about the character’s psychology & lifestyle. It makes any product or brand’s marketing a whole lot simpler at every step.
And that is why you should read this blog, especially if the term ‘buyer persona’ left you scratching your head (well, we all start there).
What exactly is a buyer persona?
Allow us to explain this with a meme:
Okay, memes apart…
A buyer persona, a.k.a. customer, audience or marketing persona, is a detailed description of a semi-fictional person who best represents your target audience. We said ‘semi-fictional’ because this persona is created by thoroughly researching your desired or existing customers and combining their relevant, real characteristics. So that character is roughly the average of everyone in your target group.
People may buy your product for different reasons, so you may have to create more than one buyer persona to fully cover your target audience.
A buyer persona has a name, demographic information, hobbies & interests, behavioural traits, goals, problems, buying patterns, pain points… and even a face – given using stock photos or illustrations. All based on research.
So yeah, it’s real work, unlike playing The Sims. Apologies if you thought otherwise!
How is it useful in marketing?
Simply put, a buyer persona simplifies your process of knowing who you’re talking to when marketing anything. It keeps the marketing communication consistent and effective. You start addressing your customers’ priorities instead of your own. And it makes your brand’s communication sound very personal and conversational to the viewer. For both – B2B and B2C.
So aim to build a marketing strategy targeted to your buyer persona, and you will build a strong bond with the real buyers it represents.
How should you create it?
Source: The Power MBA
Do not take a shot in the dark when building your buyer persona. It must be based on real-world data.
Here’s what you need to create one:
- Demographic data like gender, mother tongue, age, income, education, location and even access to technology
- Personal background including hobbies and interests
- Professional information like job title, industry and company size
- Goals and values: What do they believe in? What are their aspirations? How does their personality drive them?
- Challenges or problems: What are their pain points? What do they want to fix? What keeps them up at night?
- How does your product or service fit into their life?
- Information about their behaviour, habits and preferences like social media use, modes of transport and communication
- Barriers or objections to purchase and their role in the decision-making process
Here’s how you should get the above data:
- Gather and organise all the data you can find about your customer base. Social media is a great place to find it in bulk.
- Narrow down on a group of customers you can communicate with, by either sending them surveys or interviewing them directly. That group would be your research panel, which should represent your customer base across different demographics, frequency of transactions, budgets and business sizes.
- Design a simple yet detailed survey to extract the information you need for your buyer persona.
- Send the survey out to your research panel, along with the details of any rewards you’re offering. Remember that they would need some incentive to take the survey.
- Analyse the data you’ve extracted with the survey to find insights, trends and correlations.
- Translate the data into different buyer personas. Each persona should be about a page long and relatable as an individual person, with enough details to help you make effective business decisions that fulfil their needs.
Finally, give them a suitable face from stock images. And a suitable name for reference.
And voilà, you have your buyer persona(s)!
Examples of buyer personas
There is no right or wrong way to format a buyer persona document. Do it in a way that helps your marketing understand your customer best.
We’re dropping some random, slick examples below for you to understand it better:
Pop Communications is an integrated marketing communication and advertising agency with a talented team of professionals who are great at capturing consumer insights to build highly relevant buyer personas.
Trust us, no marketing plan or brand strategy is complete without it. We can build you your buyer personas and accordingly plan out your marketing strategy too.
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