Leadership Tips: Developing a Buyer Persona
Editor’s note: For this special edition of Leadership Tips, we turn to Kyra Bruce, an industry leader from Tier Level Digital Marketing, to learn all about the benefits and step-by-step process of buyer personas.
By Kyra Bruce
A buyer persona is a powerful tool for marketers, social media managers, graphic designers, and just about everyone on your team. It helps you understand your customers more deeply and discern their motivations, likes and dislikes, and more. This information can help you craft the right message to reach your ideal customer base. Creating a buyer persona can be done fairly easily, and it can be worked on and further developed as your company shifts and changes. If you’re wanting to develop a buyer persona, keep reading, and we’ll walk you through the process!
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer or audience. It’s based on real data, but it’s not a real person-it’s an amalgamation of characteristics that you collect through market research and other sources to create a fictional ideal customer that you keep in mind while creating marketing materials and more.
A buyer persona helps you understand your target audience, their needs, what websites they frequent, what products they buy, what brands they engage with on social media, and much more. This can help you make more informed decisions about how to reach them with marketing campaigns, products, services, or anything else related to business development.
Why do you need to develop a buyer persona?
You need to understand your audience if you want engagement. As they say in marketing, if you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one. This saying emphasizes the importance of targeting your advertisements to a specific audience rather than a general audience that may not have interest in what you’re selling. This is especially important if you are investing money and resources into your advertisements; you want to be sure you’re getting a return on that investment!
If you’re selling a product or service, it’s important that you know who will be buying it. A buyer persona is a specific type of profile used in marketing and sales that describes the typical characteristics of people who purchase products or services like yours. The more detailed and accurate your buyer persona becomes, the better able you’ll be able to adapt your strategy for reaching out to potential customers–and closing deals!
Who can use a buyer persona?
If you’re a product manager, it’s likely that you already have a buyer persona in mind. You might even have created one for your team to use as a reference point when building products and deciding on marketing strategies. If not, this is an excellent opportunity to do so!
A buyer persona can be useful in many ways:
- It helps marketers and social media managers understand who their target audience is, so they know how best to reach them.
- It gives sales reps more insight into the needs of potential customers and allows them to better communicate those needs with potential clients.
- As an executive or manager at any level within an organization, having access to key information about who makes up your customer base will help ensure that all decisions are made with their best interests in mind.
How to create a buyer persona, step by step
Now that we know all the ways a buyer persona is so helpful let’s talk about how to create one for your company!
A company-wide brainstorming session is a great way to start this process. Get everyone in the same room and cover some of these topics:
- Identify your target audience. Who are you marketing to? Who is your ideal customer?
- Describe their demographics, including age, gender, location, and income level.
- Discover what they buy in other categories and what they like about those brands. Consider those brands’ marketing tactics; what is working for them? How are they getting through to your ideal customer?
- Create a detailed description of your target customer’s life stage and lifestyle. Do they live with a roommate or a spouse? Do they live with their parents? Do they have a job? Are they a homeowner? Dive into the details.
- Define their pain points: what frustrates them about their current situation? What problems do they have, and how can you supply the solution?
Take all of these fictional traits into consideration, and create your buyer persona! Have fun with this part; maybe create a sketch of them or give them a fun name.
Buyer persona examples
Large and small companies create buyer personas; check out these examples for inspiration:
- Starbucks: the “coffee connoisseur.” This persona represents a customer who likes to try new things and has an appreciation for quality. Usually, a millennial working professional looking for a workspace or a pick me up on their way to the office.
- Apple: the “tech enthusiast.” This buyer persona is interested in technology but also wants convenience and simplicity. They are usually loyal to the brand and have been for years.
- Spotify: the” music lover.” This persona loves music and wants it to be easily accessible and as affordable as possible.
- Taco Bell: the “fast food enjoyer.” This persona is a young adult male looking for convenience and affordable food.
Keep these example personas in mind as you’re developing your own, and maybe draw some inspiration from them.
Ways to utilize your buyer persona
Now that you’ve developed a persona, implement it in a few branches of your company and see how it can keep your team streamlined and working towards the same goal.
- Sales: Your sales team will be able to better understand who they’re selling to and what their needs are. This will help them close more deals and sell more products or services.
- Marketing: The marketing department can use your buyer persona as an outline for creating content that resonates with each group of buyers in the audience. They’ll also know how best to reach those groups through advertising on social media, email marketing campaigns, etc.
- Graphic designers: This team can use the buyer persona to create more effective graphics that will be more interesting to the specific demographic.
A buyer persona is a key tool for any company to use in order to better understand its target audience. It allows you to develop more personalized messaging so that your customers will feel like they’re being spoken directly to when they see your ad or hear about your product. This can help keep your team working toward the same goal, increase engagement and conversion rates, and improve customer satisfaction overall!