A buyer persona, also known as a customer avatar, is a representation of your company’s ideal customer. Depending on your industry and target market, you may have several buyer personas to create. When you create a persona for each portion of your target market, you can better refine everything in your marketing and sales tactics by writing copy as if you were speaking directly to a live person with defined wants, needs, likes, and dislikes.
Your buyer persona should include: who your ideal buyers are, the roles they play in their personal and professional lives, their goals and challenges, demographics, and a story. The more information you can work into the generalized persona, the more targeted your marketing can become. Dig deep, creating specific personas for each possible spin-off of the general customer.
With a highly-targeted buyer persona, you can avoid sending blanket messages to all customers by creating a more personalized approach to marketing. An astonishing 86% of shoppers say personalization influences their purchases to some extent, while one-quarter of shoppers admit it significantly influences their purchasing.
Take for instance, Skytap, a provider of cloud automation solutions. After implementing a content marketing strategy that involved tailoring content to various buyer personas, the company saw a 124% increase in leads from all channels both online and offline, a 97% increase in leads from online marketing, and a 55% increase in organic search traffic.
Who is Your Ideal Customer?
What elements or traits would your ideal customer have? Write down what you think would be useful to know about your customer, and use your ideas to guide you through the rest of the buyer persona exercise.
For example, a company in the kitchen and bath design industry needs a customer who is a homeowner and wealthy enough to cover the cost of designer services in addition to the cost of the remodel itself. They would also someone who lives in their service area.
But kitchen and bath designers don’t just want to restrict marketing efforts to homeowners. It’s also a good idea to target construction companies and real estate agents who work directly with customers who are becoming homeowners.
Your ideal customer will not only buy your product or service, but offer repeat business and become your brand ambassador, sending friends, family, and colleagues your way whenever possible.
What Does a Day in Their Life Look Like?
Think about details in your ideal customer’s life that would make your product or service attractive. Is the customer looking for something that will save them time because they’re so busy they barely have time to breathe? Is the customer looking for something that will save them money because they’re interested in stretching their budget, or saving for the future?
Use available information to craft a story about your ideal customer. Give the customer a name, profession, family life, etc. Weave all of the details you have about the customer into the story.
In the exercise equipment industry, you’re likely looking at customers interested in losing weight or staying healthy who are too busy to go to a local gym and have enough disposable income to invest in exercise equipment.
Let’s name your ideal customer Jim. He’s 34 years old and decently healthy, but worried about aging. He has three kids, ages 7, 5, and 2. He wants to stay in shape to be able to keep up with his kids and see his future grandchildren grow up.
He has a full-time third shift job, and there is no gym nearby with childcare. He decides to invest in a treadmill for his basement. After a hard day at work, he wants to be able to go downstairs, run a few miles on the treadmill, shower, and go to bed so he can be up to spend the afternoon and evening with his family.
Jim will not only buy more equipment in the future, his children are likely to emulate his healthy habits, giving you a foot in the door on the next generation of consumers.
What Demographics Do They Fall Into?
Your target customer’s demographics are important to the overall picture, because they help in targeting the right people in various advertising campaigns. In Facebook ads alone, there are an almost overwhelming number of demographic details available, allowing you to get as specific as necessary. Target by basic demographics and flesh out your profile by expanding into a variety of interests and behaviors.
Beyond things like age range, location, salary, and education level, look at specific demographics that pertain to your industry. While a customer’s living arrangements (rental, homeowner, potential homebuyer) don’t matter to say, a movie rental business, they definitely matter to the real estate agent, and to the kitchen and bath designer.
What are Their Goals and Challenges?
Where your customers are headed in life is a key piece of information, knowledge that gives you a chance to address how your product or service will help them reach their goals and get past their challenges.
For Jim, our busy dad who’s in the market for exercise equipment, his goal is to become fit with a small time investment every day. His challenges include finding the time to workout and financing the purchase. He has the income to support the purchase, but doesn’t want to spend a huge chunk of change at once. He’s done a considerable amount of outside research online, and isn’t really sure your product is best for his needs.
You can assist Jim by offering advice on fitting the workout into his day – highlighting how your machine is designed to work all core muscle groups so he can burn calories and see results in less time than competitor treadmills. To address his financing issue, offer a finance plan that allows him to make affordable monthly payments, plus free delivery and setup if he buys from you.
How CRM Can Help
With the CRM market expected to hit $24.22 billion by 2018, it’s a sign big data is here to stay. For existing businesses refining their marketing efforts, CRM data is a goldmine of information that can assist in crafting the perfect buyer persona.
For new businesses that haven’t collected customer data yet, CRM is still an incredibly valuable tool. In the initial persona creation phase, turn to your market research, competitor analysis, and social media for the details you need to define your customers. You’ll add more details as you notice common traits in your best customers and as your business grows and changes. Over time, the data you add to your CRM will bring your buyer personas to life.
With freshly crafted buyer personas in hand, review your marketing materials to ensure they reflect the customers you’re trying to reach. Closely examine your business cards, website, direct mail, pay-per-click campaigns, and social media for accuracy. You may discover you’ve been marketing to the wrong customers, and need to adjust accordingly.