What is a Buyer Persona & Do I Need to Create One for My Business?
Are you familiar with the marketing term Buyer Persona? What is it? How it is used? Are you wondering …. Does this really apply to me?
It is important for every business to take the time to create Buyer Personas. We provide simple steps to create Buyer Personas, and at this end of this article we provide a free template to help you build your first Buyer Personas.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
A Buyer Persona is a written description of a semi-fictional person that represents your ideal customer. You may have multiple buyer personas of various product or service segments.
This description should be as detailed as possible to describe your ideal target prospects. These descriptions guide your future marketing messages, marketing channels.
Does This Apply to My Business?
Yes! The merits of creating Buyer Personas applies to every business. You need to understand who your ideal clients are, so that you can position your marketing messages and communications strategies to create strong, effective marketing messages that reach the right people, in the right place and time, and in words that resonate with them.
Creating Buyer Personas is a foundational tool used in every part of your marketing: branding, inbound marketing plan, blogs, social media, communications plans.
Buyer Personas define:
And, you can easily determine if you are you using the optimal communications channels to reach your ideal customer?
This process saves frustration, wasted effort, and possibly wasted money, when you take the time to create your Buyer Personas.
Additionally, sharing your enterprise’s Buyer Personas across your organization ensures alignment on priorities, targets, and even product and service development.
Ultimately, using Buyer Personas improves your ability to focus your organizational efforts in attracting and serving your optimal customers.
What Is Included in a Buyer Persona?
The buyer personas you create should be as detailed as possible.
This information should be based on market research and your own inherent knowledge of your current and past best customers.
Include in this description demographics, behaviors, motivations, challenges, and goals of this fictional persona. Describe where this optimal buyer works, lives, what publications they probably read, where they socialize, who they report to, who reports to them, how they like to interact and communicate with vendors and their friends.
Select a photograph to represent this fictional optimal customer. And, give them a name. For example, you might have Mary the Marketer as one of your personas.
How many personas should you create? As many as you need. You may have different personas for different services or products, or even for the same service category.
Consider also creating Negative Personas. This is the prospect that seems like they fit your ideal Buyer Persona, but there are limiting factors that makes them a poor prospect. Avoid these prospects as you encounter them. Identify them, and quickly segment them from your marketing and sales efforts. This saves your sales team time and expense in attempting to develop a low qualified prospect.
An example of a Negative Persona is someone that meets most of your parameters for being a good fit, but lacks the budget, timing, staff, etc. or other specific limiting factors that prevents them from becoming a customer.
Lifecycle Stage of Your Prospect and How It Relates to Your Buyer Personas
The Lifecycle Stage represents where your prospect is in their decision-making journey, as they move through the stages of becoming a customer.
The Buyer’s Journey Lifecycle Stages are: Awareness | Consideration | Decision.
The type of messaging you utilize differs for each stage. Knowing these two factors, the Buyer Persona and their Lifecycle Stage, lets you create very specific, effective, targeted content to your Buyer Persona.
After you complete your Buyer Personas, identifying your ideal customers, you are ready to begin effectively utilizing this information to create highly targeted, appropriate messaging, delivered in the optimal format and in high value channels to attract ideal prospects. In other words, producing content with a high probability of working!
This process matches your messages and Calls to Action to the Buyer Persona and Lifecycle Stage of your prospect.
Download our Buyer Persona Template as a guide in creating your personas. Have fun and let us know how it goes. MTaylor Marketing helps businesses of all sizes build branding and inbound marketing programs.