Why market to generic customers if you know specifics about the customers you want? Buyer personas are fictional customers based on real data that allow you to better and more accurately create targeted marketing campaigns.
What should you use to create your buyer personas? Demographics, behavior and hobbies (including online behavior), education and personal motivations are just some of the information you can include in your personas. You can then use this information to predict your customers’ thoughts and behaviors and to create marketing campaigns that are best suited to your clients.
How do you create buyer personas?
- Research your audience
Learn who is already buying from you by gathering as much information as you can from your customer records. You can supplement that information by conducting one-on-one interviews, hosting focus groups or sending out online questionnaires.
Use website and social media analytics! Tools like Facebook Insights allow you to see specifics about who is already interacting with your brand online even if they aren’t customers… yet. You should also look at profiles of competing businesses and see what type of audience is interacting with their brands.
- Predict your customer’s problems and goals
It’s important to know what your ideal customers are trying to achieve and what their roadblocks are! Getting to know your customers’ aspirations is important because it allows you to match them more specifically to your products and services. If you don’t offer something that relates, you’ll at least have information that can help dictate the tone and direction of your advertising.
- Create your buyer personas
Look at the information you’ve gathered and start to group common characteristics. Those abstract qualities will become the core of your personas.
For example, you may identify one of your customer groups as women in their 30s who live in the Fox Valley, who like to spend time outdoors, do most of their shopping online and own dogs. Use that information to create a persona that you can speak to as if they were a real customer.
Your persona may look something like this:
Olivia is a 33-year-old woman living in Appleton, WI. She works as an event planner and spends her time on the weekends with friends hiking through the Bubolz Nature Preserve or taking her 4-year-old golden retriever Ernie to the dog park. Her love for nature and demanding job don’t allow her a ton of time to roam the mall, so she does the bulk of her shopping online through Amazon and Target.
Remember your personas when crafting your marketing campaigns. Who are you speaking to and how can you tailor your messaging to fit their needs and wants? You should be thinking about your personas each time you make business decisions. Eventually, those buyer personas will turn into real life customers.