A buyer persona is a make belief representation of your ideal customer based on data and research. They help focus time on high-potential prospects, direct product development to meet target customer needs, and coordinate all work within the organization (from marketing to sales to service).
A deep understanding of your buyer personas is essential to driving content creation, product development, sales tracking, and indeed anything related to customer acquisition and retention.
Why are buyer personas important to your business? That is because buyer personas help you better understand your customers (and prospects). This allows us to easily tailor content, messaging, product development and services to the specific needs, behaviors and concerns of members of the target audience. For example, you may know your target buyer is a caregiver, but do you know their specific needs and interests? What is your ideal buyer’s typical background? ? To fully understand what drives your best customers, it’s important to create a detailed persona for your business.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research and insights gleaned from your real customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).
Depending on your business, you can have one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. But if you’re new to personas, start small. You can always develop additional personas later if needed.
Now that we’ve covered the importance and different types of buyer personas, let’s explore the nuances of developing one.
Before you start building your buyer personas, you should identify the team members who will play a role in their development. Who creates buyer personas? Honestly, every customer-facing team member should be in the process. It may sound like too many chefs in the kitchen, but it’s important to have representatives from each department. Each department has its own customer experience that serves as valuable information in identifying its target users.
Start building your team with sales and marketing people. Sales representatives interact directly with customers. Marketing staff can retrieve and create data based on information about customers. Additionally, the team should include a leader who ensures that the brand’s mission and values are upheld at every stage of development.
Persona development teams need sales, marketing, and leadership. You can find these people in just about any business, leading to the question, “What kind of business should create buyer personas?” The answer is everyone. All businesses needs clients. As far as this concept goes, buyer personas should be an integral part of every business, regardless of industry. Developing buyer personas is important, but it’s just as important for your business to review and update them regularly. Take time to do this each year. It can feel like a tedious task. However, identifying your target audience is the first step in turning these buyers into future repeat customers.
So, are you ready to start building your buyer personas?
Creating a buyer persona is not as simple as you feel, it involves through research, surveys, and interviews. All of these can be created with a combination of people outside of your customer, prospect, and contact database who may match your target audience.
Here’s a handy way to gather the information you need to develop your persona.
Search your contact database to uncover trends in how specific prospects and customers find and consume content. When creating forms for use on your website, use form fields that capture important personal information. For example, if all personas are based on company size, ask each lead for information on the company size form. Consider feedback on the leads your sales team interacts with most often. What generalizations can you make about the different types of customers you best serve? Survey your customers and prospects to find out what they like about your product or service. So how can you use the above survey to create personas?
After completing the research process, you will have a lot of rich raw data about your potential and current customers. So,what do you do with it? How do you extract it all so that everyone can easily understand all the information you collect?
The next step is to use your research to identify patterns and commonalities in your responses to interview questions, develop at least one primary persona, and share that persona with the rest of your organization.