Do you really know who your prospective buyers are? How do you define them? What you know about your perfect buyer should be projected in your marketing efforts in segments – which means multiple prospect identifiers. One thing that can help target a segment effectively is creating a buyer persona from the segment research. A buyer persona is a representation of an ideal consumer that is based on actual research.
Creating a buyer persona helps bring a target segment to life helping you group those who have like preferences. While target market statistics might describe consumers in terms of age ranges or possible characteristics, the buyer persona takes it one step further than that. It takes all the data, and research from the market segment (which is like taking someone’s dna) and creates the representation of an actual person out of that data. Marketing really is part science.
Creating a Buyer Persona
Here is an example of how to create a persona from your research. Don’t waste time and money on presenting your product or service to someone who doesn’t need, want, or understand it. Your product or service will only sell to those who want it.
Target Market to Persona
Creating a “look-alike” audience is something that you can do on Facebook once you establish your target. It’s an amazing tool that uses Facebook’s powerful algorithms to find defined prospects for your ad campaign. An audience who looks like your perfect prospect is searched for by Facebook and your ads are served up to those prospects. It’s genius! We will talk about Facebook look-alike audiences in a future blog.
Creating a buyer persona helps a marketer consider what the consumer will think and feel about the product. And the more clearly the marketer can understand the consumer, the easier it is to provide value to that consumer. Remember, it’s not about you – it’s about your customer.
Companies can become so familiar with their buyer personas that they create pictures of them to display on the office walls and refer to them in meetings: “Is this what Suzette would want? Would Suzette be watching this television program? Would she need this added product feature? Suzette wants more than just quality products and services, she wants others to know she can afford to buy the very best. The buyer persona then becomes “Suzette”.
Dorothy’s mom Sophia from the Golden Girls TV show knew how strong visualization is. She’d start a story with “Picture this, it’s 1941 and…” She knew that recalling a visual was powerful. So, what does this look like? That is the key – being able for your target to see in their mind your product or service. If a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (Brain Rules)
So, when it comes to marketing teams, create “buyer persona vision boards” for them with visuals on what the buyer persona looks like and their wants and needs. This may sound like a time-consuming process, but it will pay dividends.
Buyer Persona Benefits
It is vital to base the buyer persona on real research. The more research a company has about a segment, the more accurate its buyer personas is, and the more effectively a company can market to that buyer. Although certain elements of the buyer persona may seem like fun facts, don’t take this process lightly; the goal of creating the persona is to clearly see buyer motivations and product needs.
Creating a Buyer Persona
To create the buyer persona, a marketer should research available information for the target market segment. Some of the information for the persona will be taken directly from this segment data, such as general demographic information. Although buyer persona formats may vary according to different companies or situations, there are items commonly included in a buyer persona.
9 Step Persona Checklist
- General demographic information: What is the persona’s gender, age, income, marital status, occupation?
- Goals: What goals does the persona have, either in life or in business, and which are relevant to the product?
- Values: What is important to the persona?
- Challenges: What does the persona struggle with reaching his or her goals? What challenges might he or she need to overcome?
- A day in the life: What does a typical day look like for the persona? Plotting this out on a day planner can help a marketer understand how and why the customer might use a product or where/when he or she might hear about a product.
- Sources of information: Where does the persona get his or her information? Where does he or she look to for expert advice? What media does the persona watch?
- Pain points: What might stop the persona from purchasing the product?
- Fun facts: What can you add about the persona, reasonably extrapolated from research, that could help show who the persona is?
- Marketing message: What message could a marketer use (based on this persona) to address the challenges and show value to the persona?
(Modern Marketing Principles and Video Case Studies)
With segmentation, a marketer can divide the market to focus on marketing efforts.
Doing this activity BEFORE you promote your product or service to individuals who are most likely to buy, allowing you to tailor elements of the marketing mix to provide more value to one or more of those market segments is a necessary activity.
Putting processes in place that can be followed by your team will give you the ability to scale, grow and sustain your sales efforts. When you focus on the needs of a specific target, your sales will be trackable and will grow in all the right ways.
Not everyone wants to buy what you are selling. The smart marketer identifies target buyers before creating digital assets like a website, social media, blogs, ads and more. If your content is all over the place, no one will get your product or service. Worse, you’ll look like you don’t even know what they want. “Get” your customers. You want to mirror your prospect's wants and needs to attract them. Follow the guidelines in this article and you’ll optimize your marketing making a prospect easier to find (they’ll come to you) and a sale a natural result.