Buyer Personas and Why They Matter

Whether you are about to dive into a full social media marketing campaign, generate original content for your blog or expand your sales into a new market you should first consider who you are talking to. Without knowing who your audience is, how do you know what you’re going to say?

What are Buyer Personas and How Can You Apply Them

Buyer Personas, also called Customer or Marketing Personas, are generalized representations of your ideal client. Buyer Personas help you understand your customers and potential customers better. This lets you tailor your creative, your copy, even your product itself. Once you have created the tailored content, buyer personas let you segment your audience ensuring that current and potential customers receive the messages that resonate the most with them.

How to Create Buyer Personas

  • Forms on your site
    Having form fields that help you segment your audience is always useful. A few questions that could help you generate personas are:

    • Your role at the company?
    • How many employees are at the company
    • In which industry does your company work?
  • Sales team feedback
    Listen to the people who interact with prospective clients on a regular basis. They have probably already started to recognize patterns and generalizations, this could be a valuable time-saver for you.
  • Interview current and past customers
    Reach out to current customers (since they are pleased with your services) and to customers who have left or clients you may perceive as “bad”. You will begin to see a pattern form that will help you not only develop your persona but improve your product. Plus, customers love giving feedback! This exercise may benefit you two-fold: you will create a persona to market to and also increase customer loyalty by the taking the time to hear from clients.
  • Reach out to prospects/ask for referrals
    If you’re trying to reach new clients or expand the field you’re servicing you probably don’t have customers to interview. A quick way to find these people is LinkedIn, search by position type or company. Reach out to them directly or find the ones that you share a connection with and ask for an intro. You can use your existing network to make introductions for you the old fashion way – face to face. Most importantly, be clear it is research only, not a sales pitch and be prepared to offer incentives.
  • Surveys
    Often surveys will require the least amount of manpower if conducted online. This method will allow you to cast a wider net and may also be quicker since the interviewee can answer the questions on their own time. A positive is you might get more candid responses. A down-side is you may not be able to dive deeper into what makes respondents tick, their motivations, their goals, etc. There are a variety of platforms that can assist with this form of content gathering.

Negative Personas

Negative personas are audiences you wish to exclude from your marketing and product planning. This could be customers who are too expensive to maintain or may not benefit from your services.

Now that you know what personas are and why they matter, next will cover questions you should ask in your interviews and what a developed persona looks like. Stay tuned!

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