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Establishing Buyer Personas: The Basics

By Alessandra Ceresa

How do you plan to market your business if you don’t know who your buyers are? Smart marketers create formal buyer personas for each of their buyer personas. It may be time consuming to figure out the “type” of person who is visiting your site. but you should have a concrete idea of who buys your products or service. This is the basis for your buyer persona.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Simply put, a buyer persona is a detailed description of your target audience. Depending on your product or service, you should have a few different buyer personas for each demographic. It is important to note that a buyer persona is not exactly the same as a client profile. Building a buyer persona delves deeper into the client profile, examining individual motivations, goals, and weaknesses.

Why Develop a Buyer Persona?

Well, this is easy. It is an essential, if not vital tool for a successful marketing strategy in today’s media environment. The one-size fits all approach to marketing no longer works and company websites that are merely product or service brochures do very little for today’s consumer. Buyer personas allow you to empathize with your buyers and understand what drives them to action.

While information about your product is great, you should broaden your marketing to encompass the buyers. After all, these are the people that will eventually donate or buy, so give them the attention they deserve and want. Creating buyer personas for each demographic allows you to build a website with compelling information for each buyer. Instead of a brochure, it is a “How can we help you solve YOUR problem” page. This brings me to the most essential element of building buyer personas: You must know what problem your product or service is solving for each buyer.

How to develop a Buyer Persona: The First Stages

 So, how does one start to develop a buyer persona? Check out our tips below.

Know Your Business Goals

As with any marketing campaign, it is important to know your company’s overall business objectives. Your campaign should be rooted in that mission, those values, and goals. Aligning marketing goals with the overall business goals will create a foundation for creating buyer personas rooted in the question, “How can we solve your [the customer] problem?”

Gather Demographic Information

Gather as much specific data about your target market as possible. Where are they located? Are they married? What is their age range? Income? Industry? Job? What is their level of seniority? All of these things matter when developing accurate and detailed personas.

Gather Lifestyle Information

While specific demographic information is important, you must also understand how your target buyers live their lives. The more you know about their daily lives, what they enjoy doing, where they shop, etc, the more detailed and specific personas you develop. This goes beyond numerical data into consumer insights, which can fundamentally change the way you market your product.

Use Your Buyers' Language

An effective marketing strategy involves researching how your buyers speak, by identifying the words and phrases they use. This is not only helpful for building buyer personas but also vital for search engine marketing. How do you find this information? Well, after establishing demographic data and broad customer insights, you can narrow down your personas through this timely effort. You should be reading the publications and blogs they read, looking at your competitors, and gathering specific words and phrases that they would use to find you. For example, we have established a long list of words that GreenRope buyers would use including, crm, marketing automation, email marketing, and many more. The more targeted the words, the better and more focused reach you will achieve.

Understand What You Mean to Them

This starts with the question, why? It is important for you to know why your buyers use your product or service? Take Starbucks, for example. Yes, Starbucks is a coffee shop, but for some, it represents more than just coffee. It is a place to meet friends, hangout between home and work, read a book, or use the Internet. You must appeal to each or most of these in your marketing campaign to better identify with your customers. Understanding what you mean to them and why they love you empowers you to create compelling content and an authentic marketing campaign. 

Gathering this information is a great start to building your buyer personas. Once you have discovered who your buyers are, it is time to draw them out. Make a buyer persona chart, and consistently remind all departments of your organization of your target market. This ensures brand consistency across your entire business. 

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