In the last Trumpet Marketing blog we talked about the importance of researching your customer, getting to know them as individuals. We shared with you ways of finding this information. Bringing this customer to life or creating a buyer persona, to use marketing speak, is the next step. This is important because by developing very specific buyer personas you can dramatically improve your business results. So what exactly is a buyer persona? These are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers and prospective customers better and how your product/service will fit into their lives. The strongest buyer personas are based on good market research, insights you have gathered from your actual customer base, through surveys, interviews and so on. Check out our first Trumpet Marketing Academy lesson about the methods used to get to know your customer better. Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. You can use them to inform everything from marketing and sales activities, to writing more effective copy and even developing better products. So tell me why I should use a buyer persona? They will allow you to target your marketing and selling efforts in a far more focussed way. Your business will benefit, as you will know your target customer group in a different and far more relevant and revealing way. The persona should ideally be at the heart of all your business decisions. You will become a customer led company, which is arguably the only position to take in this competitive business environment. What exactly are the business benefits? Here are just a few of them…..
1. Allows you to personalise your sales and marketing activities Personas allow you to personalise or target your marketing and sales efforts at different segments of your audience. For example, if you have a customer database, instead of sending the same email to everyone, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas.
2. Enables you to do a lot with a little If resources are limited you can focus on the main customer persona as a start rather than trying to be all things to all people. Once you know the characteristics, likes and dislikes of your core customer group, then you can start to develop a three dimensional, real persona to have a relationship with.
3. Takes away the guesswork Having a persona allows you to confidently produce content, visuals, tone of voice, packaging, make retail outlet choices, set your price position, influence your product design etc. - knowing all the time who you are speaking with.
4. Reduce costs and mistakes Your sales and marketing activities will be highly focussed as you will have a clear picture and representation of exactly who you are targeting. This reduces the risk of mistakes and rectification costs.
5. Streamlining your activities Takes away the need to ‘cover all the bases’. You now will know what will work and so you can build on that.
Yes I get it now. Sounds great. So how do I create a buyer persona? We have developed a Trumpet buyer persona template as a guide but first just a quick overview to help you fill in the template.
Step 1 - The Who Here you'll fill out your persona's background, demographics and identifiers like personality, demeanour and communication preferences. The background What is relevant in their life to your business? Information such as are they married, single, have a family, career, part time job, stay at home mum. Demographics Male, female, age, where they live, disposable income, car/s, house type Identifiers What do they like to read? Where and how do they consume information? Twitter, newspapers, digital news etc.? Imagine what their daily life is like and write about it. Hobbies will be important to consider.
Step 2 - The What Next, you'll fill in your persona's goals and challenges, followed by what your business can do to help them achieve their goals and overcome their challenges.
Step 3 - The Why Here's where you can input real quotes from customers and potential customers from the surveys and interviews you conducted for persona research. You can also input common objections i.e. reasons why your ideal buyers have said they wouldn't want to buy your product or service.
Step 4 - The How Finally, you can fill in the marketing messaging you want to use for your buyer persona. Think about how you should describe your offering to this persona? What's your elevator pitch?
Here are two files that you are welcome to download 1. Buyer persona template - an example 2. Your own buyer persona template to fill in and use