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How to create buyer personas to focus your marketing strategy

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What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on existing customer insights and market research. While a buyer persona represents a broader segment of your audience, they are more than a demographic profile or summation of survey data. Your buyer persona should tell a story about your audience and give some personality to your data.

Why your business should have them

Buyer personas help us to understand our customers better. The structure and context a buyer persona profile provides enable us to:

  • Focus marketing efforts on attracting only qualified visitors and leads
  • Overcome objections in the sales process by better understanding a prospects challenges and goals
  • Increase alignment and collaboration between teams
  • Humanise our approach by targeting and personalising messaging for segmented audiences
  • Build a lasting relationship by driving business decisions that continue to support customer needs

Overall, it ensures that your marketing and sales efforts are aligned to provide your customers with value and that you’re focused on the needs of your audience rather than just your own.

How to create your buyer personas

Even if you don’t know it, you most likely have lots of intel that will help you create buyer personas.

The best way to create your buyer personas is to start with your data. This will allow you to segment your audience into categories such as age group, gender or occupation. You’ll want to first look at your audience as a whole and then start to identify trends. This information can come from Google Analytics. Then move onto your CRM to find out whether these groups translate into paying customers.

Once you have a basic understanding of your customer group, hold a brainstorming workshop with your customer-facing team. This should include more than just your sales team so make sure you invite anyone with a touchpoint to your customers. In this workshop, you should:

Give your buyer personas a name and an image.
Using alliteration for memory retention and imagery to give your personas a personality. This will help your team to actually use the personas in strategic conversations and day-to-day work.

Focus on details that bring your personas to life.
What is their story? What does a typical day look like to them? This is definitely a step to have some fun with.

Then bring it back to business.
Discuss the pain points, challenges and motivations that would bring them to you. You want to have an in-depth understanding of how your customers feel and what causes them to make certain actions.

Next, discuss who you can’t help.
What factors would exclude people from being customers?

Finally, work out how you can best help them and add value to their lives.
Taking all of the information you’ve just put together, start to strategise on what information, products or services will be best suited to each persona.

Depending on your business, you could have anywhere from 1-2 personas or as many as 20+. Start small and focus on the customers you feel are getting the most benefit from your services.

Once you’ve decided on your buyer personas, you can head back to your data to validate. This will also allow you to identify gaps and then do further research to fill those gaps.

How to use your buyer personas

Once you’ve put time and effort into developing your buyer persona, you want to make sure that you’ve integrated them into your marketing and sales efforts. It will also enable you to personalise different marketing efforts. An example would be segmenting your lead nurturing email by buyer personas and then tailoring your message to what brings them the most value.

Creating a customer journey map will further help you understand the way your customers interact with you. It outlines how a customer engages with you at different touchpoints on their way to achieving a goal.

The best way to then integrate your content strategy with your buyer persona is through a CRM such as Hubspot.

Need help developing your buyer persona?

If you're wasting time chasing the wrong clients, it's time to document your personas. Unsure where to begin? Get in touch with our team to get your hands on our persona worksheet and get started on defining who your ideal customers are.