The Power of Buyer Personas
You have a great product, now who do you sell it to? Identifying your customer base and buyer persona is key for the success of your business. To have a successful marketing strategy you can’t expect to mass market your products or services like throwing something at a wall and hoping it sticks. By identifying your buyer persona, you allow yourself to adjust and tailor your strategy specifically to the people that are most likely to purchase from your business.
Why is it Important?
Buyer personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. This is especially important when it comes to strategy and allocation of your marketing budget. You want to make sure that your money is going towards efforts that target the personas you want, whether that be social media advertising, geofencing advertising, or video. Once you are able to figure out what medium is going to work best for your target persona you will have a better idea of the type of content you should be producing to draw in new business and gain brand awareness in the market.
What About "Negative" Personas?
While you have a target buyer persona that you want buying and using your products there is a flip side. Negative personas are the people you don’t want to waste budget targeting because they are not a good fit for your product offering. Identifying negative personas right off the bat may be tough but tracking sales data can show a pattern allowing you to come up with a criteria to use to help identify a negative persona buyer quickly. Here are some examples of red flags that may signal a lead fits your negative persona.
- Customer expectation is beyond the scope of your business offering.
- Customer behaviour that forces the team to take longer than expected which takes time away from other business.
- Prospective customers that went through the entire buyer’s journey but never resulted in a sale or new customers who had a very high acquisition cost.
Some examples of this include if you own a business that sells only premium brands of the products you carry. Someone who is looking for a standard version of that product and isn’t looking to pay the luxury price isn’t going to fit into your buyer persona and may end up taking you through the entire sales process before backing out.
Another example could be if you own an industrial business that specializes in commercial building work and a lead comes in asking for service on their residential home. This would be considered beyond the scope of your business offering and residential homeowners would fall into your negative buyer persona.
It is important to note that things will not always be perfect, and hitches may occur when dealing with customers. However, if there are consistent issues that come up, realizing specific demographics of customers may not be the right fit for your business is better sooner than later.
How Can Personas Be Used in Marketing?
Developing personas allows you to create content and messaging that attracts your target audience. It also allows you to customize and tailor your product offering to better suit your targeted consumers. When you are able to combine this with sales funnel (i.e. how far along someone is in your sales cycle), buyer personas give you the ability to expand and create highly targeted content directed to satisfy your target market.
When determining how to identify your perfect buyer persona there are a few key questions you want to have answered to give you a clearer look at who you want to be targeting:
Who are our existing best customers?
- Identify your key clients or customers and look closely at their business to get a baseline of the demographic that your business serves.
What qualities do these customers share?
- After identifying your top customers, pick out any similarities among them. This will help you when identifying if new leads coming in will fit well with your business and help you choose the right path when curating content.
Why did they buy our product or service?
- Why did these customers hire you? You want to identify what need you satisfied for them with your business offering. This will directly correlate to your content strategy.
Shape Your Persona
By answering these key questions, you begin to shape your buyer persona and are able to adjust and shift your marketing strategy to further target your key consumers to drive traffic, sales, and success. The importance of identifying this early in your marketing strategy can’t be stressed enough as it helps guide you on the proper path to get the most of your marketing strategy and money.
While it’s important to identify your buyer persona early on, that doesn’t mean the process is a one and done job. For the most part your buyer persona will generally remain within the same realm of where you first started but it is imperative for the success of your business that you continue to monitor your customers and the market to be able to adapt and make changes to your buyer persona as they happen in the market.
Do I Need to Identify Buyer Personas for my Small Business?
Some small business owners don’t see the need to identify buyer personas as they are under the assumption that because it’s their business, they know who their buyers are and don’t have to take the time to go through the process. This might not be the case and there could be an argument that buyer personas are more important in smaller businesses.
With a small business most of the time your product or service offering is very specific meaning you are targeting a specific buyer persona. Going through the process to clearly identify your persona early on will only help you in the long run. You will have clear direction on the marketing and advertising of your business especially if you have a limited budget like most small businesses do.
Once you have your buyer persona identified the process of defining and implementing your marketing strategy becomes a lot clearer and smoother. Be confident knowing that your money is going to the right places so you can say the right things to attract the right potential people for your products and services.
If you’re in need of some help identifying your buyer persona for your business give us a call to get started.
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