What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional character you create to represent your target audience.
You create this persona based on your customer research. It helps you to understand what drives and motivates the person (or people) who will buy your products or services.
Why is a buyer persona important?
A buyer persona helps you understand your target audience on a deeper level. It enables you to craft your marketing messages so they speak to the right people.
It helps you understand where your ideal customer looks for information so you can show up in those places.
When you know exactly who you’re talking to, it makes it easier for you to communicate a consistent brand message. You always have the customer at the front of your mind and can address their needs. This will help you build trust with your target customers.
Knowing who your customer also means you know where they hang out online. This is a crucial element in deciding which marketing channels to use. You can also use your personas to create specific targeting in online ads.
Who needs a buyer persona?
All businesses can benefit from creating buyer personas.
If you’re already making sales, you should base your buyer persona on the people buying from you. Don’t guess the details about these people; base your persona on the data.
Extensive research will help you find out who these people are and what makes them tick and what led them to the decision to purchase from you. Use existing customer profiles and information from your social media following to dive deep into understanding these people.
If you don’t yet have customers, you need to conduct interviews with the people you think you will solve a problem for. Speaking to potential customers will validate your hypothesis, and from there, you can create your buyer personas.
What should your buyer persona include?
Once you’ve done your research, you can start to map out who your customers are.
Things to include in your personas:
- Location: City, country
- Income & spending capacity
- Marital status
- Do they have dependants?
- What do they do in their spare time?
- Lifestyle choices
- Do they use social media?
- Challenges they face
- What drives their spending habits?
This list is more relevant for B2C businesses, but the same information can help you create B2B personas. Knowing how many children your B2B client isn’t relevant to your B2B persona but understanding their values and challenges at work is essential.
When creating your B2B personas, find out who the big decision makers are at the companies you want to target. Create personas for the people making spending decisions in the company.
With this information, you’ll be able to craft more personalized and effective marketing campaigns. Remember to create your B2B persona using the data you already have about your existing clients.
Buyer persona example
You can give your personas names to differentiate them.
Here´s an example persona for a cycling brand that targets eco-conscious millennials:
- Max is 35
- He lives in Berlin
- He works in tech and has above average disposable income
- He’s single
- In his spare time, he goes road cycling and is part of a cycling club
- He’s vegetarian
- He’s concerned about the environment and the impact of his consumer choices
- He wants to feel like he makes a difference when he makes a purchase
- He likes to look stylish
- Practicality and comfort are also important to him
With this information about Max’s life choices and preferences, you can start to create marketing messages that speak directly to his concerns.
He has the income to spend above average on cycling clothing. Therefore, the cycling brand must prove to him that their eco credentials make their high price point worth it.
Use data to create your personas
Pulling information out of thin air to create a persona isn’t beneficial. Many companies have an ideal customer in mind, but that person is very different when they research.
Use accurate data to create your personas, and you’ll understand your buyers better and be able to address their challenges.
Even if you have existing personas, go back to them and make changes every so often. Your goals and products change over time, and so do the people buying from you. Keeping up-to-date customer personas will help you adjust your messaging, pricing, and sales strategy.