Being able to develop a buyer persona (or multiples if needed) is a skill that can really boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
"Great marketing builds rapport, trust and respect - in short, it results in your customers feeling like they personally identify with your business and/or brand."
- Repeat business and lowered cost of acquisition
- Word of mouth promotion from customers, which can (in theory) lower your marketing costs
- Increased business profile and trust online
Sounds like a great deal, doesn't it? The catch is that for this to happen, you have to develop that connection in the first place. And to do that, you need to know your target market inside out so that you can figure out what makes them tick.
"Because when you know what makes them tick, you can design a marketing to strategy to deliver that message."
Start building the connection by developing a buyer persona
One way in which you can figure out what makes your target market tick is to develop a buyer persona, or multiple personas if that's what you need to do. A buyer persona is essentially a profile of your ideal perfect customer that you build up with everything that you know - and discover - about them.
This persona effectively represents your target market as a whole (or a segment of it if you have multiples). He or she is the personification of the type of person you want to serve.
Here are a the most helpful areas to think about when building up a buyer persona.
This section takes into consideration population segments. Here are a few examples of areas that you'll want to think about here:
- Where are they from?
- Is gender important here?
- What age group does your ideal customer fall into?
- What annual salary do they earn?
- What about education levels?
This section takes the way your ideal customer thinks into consideration. Here are a few questions to ask yourself here:
- What brands do they identify with?
- What aspirations do they have?
- What kinds of hobbies do they enjoy?
- What ideals do they hold to?
This section helps you to understand how your target customer behaves. Here are a few questions to ask yourself here:
- What kind of products/items have they bought previously?
- What are their favourite shops?
- What kind of sites do they visit online?
- What kind of apps do they use on their phone/tablet?
This sections helps you to understand the environment that your ideal customer lives in. Here are a few example questions to ask yourself here:
- What languages do they speak?
- What country/countries do they live in?
- What payment methods do they have available to them?
- What modes of transport do they normally use?
Once you have thought about the areas above and have written some notes on each, you can then move on to writing up your final buyer persona profile.
Creating a buyer persona - an overview
Writing your example buyer persona profile
The next step is to use your new information to form a 'persona'. You'll want to go into as much detail as your can here, almost if you are trying to describe someone that you know very well.
Here is an example of a B2C buyer persona:
"Meet Sara. Sara is 24 years old and was born in Birmingham, although she now lives in London, England. She recently graduated from UCL with a Masters Degree in Economics. Now in full time employment, she currently earns an annual salary of £36,000.00 and is focused on climbing the career ladder over the next 10 years.
She likes to shop in stores such as AllSaints and Monsoon on the high street and on sites such as Asos while online. Sara prefers to use her debit card (Contactless when possible) while in-store, and PayPal when shopping online. She spends most of her time in London, using the Tube to get around to work and to recreational/social events.
In her spare time, Sara likes to run and is actively participating in regular 10k races for her charity of choice - the British Heart Foundation. She also likes to socialise with here friends at the weekends, when they visit local bars and theatres. Sara also enjoys surfing the Web, being a regular reader of popular news sites and health and beauty sites. She prefers Google over Bing and is also a daily user of Youtube."
Next, how to use your new buyer persona
Now that you have written up your example buyer profile, you'll find that you have a lot of information that you can now use to really fine-tune your marketing campaigns. For example, here are a few things you could glean from the example above and use in your strategy:
- Sara uses the Tube to get around London: therefore, a 'real world', Tube-focussed outdoor advertising campaign would help you reach her
- Sara likes to use YouTube: therefore, a video based Ad focussed campaign would help to get your message in front of her
- Sara earns more than the national average and therefore should have more disposable income: you could target her with your more expensive products in that case
- Sara prefers to use Google: therefore, Google Adwords would be a better choice than Bing Ads
- Sara likes to give to charity: your marketing creative could be designed to with this in mind to try and create a connection between your brand and Sara
These are only examples, although hopefully they show how you can use a buyer persona to really connect with your target market. By doing this properly, you will achieve the following results:
- Your marketing will be more focussed and better targeted
- Your target market should identify with you more as you will seem more 'on their wavelength'
In the end, both of these outcomes will mean more sales and more profits - what's not to like?
Thanks for reading,
By Alan MacDougall
Got a nagging marketing question? Ask me here.
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Revenue Builder is a small business marketing strategy advice blog, written to help small business owners and startups maximise sales revenue.