If you’re in the business of selling, you might think you have a pretty good understanding of your customers. Yet, buyers are complex people, with many different needs and varying expectations. If you want to sell your product, who should you target? How do you know? And why is it important that you know this? If you want to learn more about the demographic of people that you’re going to be selling to, it’s time to learn more about buyer personas and why they can help your business grow.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character who represents the common characteristics of atypical buyer based on demographic research. Think of it as different personifications of your customers. You’re essentially trying to understand who your customers are and what they expect from you. By using buyer personas, your business can focus on the most common motivations, interests and behaviors of your target audience.
Why is this important?
Buyer personas are a powerful marketing tool that can help you understand your audience and sell more effectively.
Beneath all of the fancy technology and strategic planning, what makes a successful business is its ability to understand who its customers are and how they want to be treated. And when it comes to marketing, that means understanding your audience–not just in terms of demographics (like age or gender) but also in terms of their motivations and needs. They’re also an easy way to get started with customer research because they give you a starting point for the kind of person who will be interested in your product or service.
Buyer personas are a good way to think about who your customers are and what they need, but buyer personas can’t tell you everything about them–you still need to do some customer research on your own!
How do you create a buyer persona?
While the process of personifying your customers may sound easy to make, identifying and creating your buyer personas can be a tricky process. Buyer personas can vary widely in their definition and scope, making it difficult to discern how many you should have. There isn’t really a standard set and number of buyer personas (although there are similarities between companies that are in the same industry as you).
Each business should create buyer personas that are unique to them and their industry. Luckily for you, HubSpot has a persona template generator that you can use to streamline the process of creating the personas you come up with.
Got at all the prerequisites handled? Awesome! These are the essential steps to take note of when creating a buyer persona:
1. Identify your demographic – Before you create your buyer persona, you need to identify whothe target audience is. Consider what their needs and desires are—and then try to meet them!
2. Research, research, research! – To get a better understanding of your target audience, you should conduct research. A common way to gather information about your buyers is to interview or survey your customers. Talk to current customers and potential ones, about their personality traits, values, interests, lifestyle and more. Try visiting forums or blogs where they gather—and look at industry data if relevant as well.
3. Profiling – After collecting your data, create a profile of your target customer. This should include both demographic and psychographic information—age and gender as well as values, interests, and goals. For example, look at the list and pick out three or four things that seem most important to you as a business owner (or entrepreneur). These should be things like “I’m organized,” “I’m spontaneous,” “I love working outdoors,” “I love sports” or whatever else seems relevant to the particular product or service your company is offering. Make sure these items are ones that apply specifically to how you’re going to use them in your business!
4. Understand their challenges and their frustrations – Pinpoint the challenges and struggles that your typical customer experiences. Understanding your client’s needs and meeting those needs will help you create a loyal following among them.
5. Construct the persona – Use the information you gathered to create a persona that represents your ideal customer. Give them a name, image, and narrative. Examples could be Holiday Holly, Discount Damian, or Coupon Casey, with each name encapsulating the kind of demographic of people that are your customers. This will enable you to create marketing messages that appeal to them.
How are buyer personas used in business?
Buyer personas allow businesses to have more detailed information on their customers aside from their basic information. This allows the marketing team to make better-tailored strategies, decisions, and events that more accurately target the desired demographics of people. Additionally, the sales department of businesses can use the information from buyer personas to better form trusting relationships with customers and to better handle customer concerns.