Mark is 33 years old. He launched his business six months ago, and now he is trying to understand how to drive more sales using inbound marketing. He figured out quickly that the way people research and purchase products have changed a lot over the past decade, and now he’s looking for the best marketing strategies to put his business in front of the right people. Every day, he puts aside at least 45 minutes to read and learn about online marketing.
Mark isn’t real.
He’s a persona: a portrayal of the ideal buyer.
Why does Mark exist in my mind?
No, it’s not because I’ve gone crazy, but because I wouldn’t be able to write this article without him.
Here’s the truth about business: if you want to be successful, you need to be able to send the right message to the right people and at the right time. But, when you’re trying to target the same group of people at once, the message gets diluted. You are trying to address too many different needs at once, and missing the mark.
That’s why you need to create a buyer persona.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
A persona is a generalized representation of your ideal consumer. Personas help you visualize the ideal customer you’re trying to attract and relate to your customers as real humans not just walking dollar signs. Having a detailed buyer persona is critical for content creation, marketing, product development, sales, and virtually anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.
Personas help us to identify common characteristics and pain points that we can address with our content and makes it more relevant.
So if personas are vital to your marketing success, how do you create one? Glad you asked. Here are seven questions you can ask to help develop your buyer persona.
7 Questions to Ask When Creating a Buyer Persona
- Who is your buyer? Collecting demographic data is a great place to begin sketching your persona. Try to establish some basic information, such
as their gender, age, education, location, and so on.
- What is their job? Describe their job title, company size, industry, and general responsibilities.
- How does a day in their life look like? Try to imagine how an average day in the life of your ideal customers looks like. What problems are they dealing with and what decisions do they have to make to solve them?
- What are their main pain points and their primary goals? Describe the challenges that they are trying to overcome and how your products/services could help them. In addition to the obvious things, also consider the more subtle emotional needs – how are they feeling?
- What do they value most when choosing a solution to their problems? Determine the factors that have the most impact on their decision-making process – price, brand, support, etc. Understanding what’s most important to them can help shift the conversation away from price and more on the value you provide.
- What are their primary sources of information? Determine the sources your ideal customers use to get the information they are interested in. Which sources do they trust more – family, friends, coworkers, or industry experts? Do they go to Facebook? Industry journals and experts? Blogs?
- What’s Important to Them When Selecting a Company? Make a list of the things that might influence your prospects’ final decision. Do they care if the vendor is an industry expert? Is it important to them if the company is perceived as a technology leader?
Once you’ve gone through this exercise and thought of all the possible questions about what makes your persona tick, it’s time to create a detailed description of your ideal buyer. To make things even easier, browse through some stock imagery and look for a picture that you believe is an accurate representation of your persona. This exercise will give you a clear image of your target audience and will make it easier to tailor your marketing efforts.
Depending on how many different types of customers you have, you may end up with multiple personas. It’s also helpful to create personas for others who are involved in the buying process but aren’t the final decision-maker.
If you would like help with your personas, drop us a line. We’d be happy to help you think through your personas. And if there are other questions you think would be good to add to the list, add them in the comments below.