We all know that marketing is about appealing to your customers and providing quality products and services. But it’s the first part that’s really important here. If you don’t know who your customers are, it’s awfully difficult to give them what they want. That’s where buyer personas come into play.
What Are Buyer Personas, and Why Should I Use Them?
A persona is exactly what it sounds like - it’s the image of your desired customer. A buyer persona is essentially the profile of someone that you want to buy your product. This persona is your bread and butter, and it’s your job to make sure everything you do will meet the approval of people similar to this persona.
Your marketing may work right now. In fact, it might work very well. However, until you truly understand your customers, your success has an expiration date. An effective buyer persona will keep your marketing firing on all cylinders, and it’ll keep you up to date on all of the changes that occur in your marketplace.
Demographics change. People change. But personas always stay up to date. No longer will you find yourself losing market share while explaining your troubles by saying “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” A buyer persona gives you the most important tool in your marketing arsenal.
How to Create a Persona
It’s not enough to simply craft a persona out of thin air because you assume things about your customer base. Your personas must be carefully curated using research and data.
One of the beautiful things about inbound marketing is the sheer amount of data derived from each interaction. It’s time to put that data to good use. Who is most likely to respond to your emails? Which people spend the most in a given transaction, and which people shop most frequently? What’s the common gender, age group or income level that’s prevalent among your most loyal customers?
These are just some of the questions you can and should ask yourself as you craft your buyer persona. It’s also a good idea to interview customers that meet the requirements of your persona so that you can learn even more about your desired customer. On the same token, you should ask yourself what types of people you don’t want as customers. This information can also be worked into a separate buyer persona - a negative persona - so that you don’t market to the wrong people.
Now the real question...do personas work?
Crafting a persona might seem like a lot of work, but it’s not as difficult as you think. It’s also well worth your while. According to HubSpot, here are some big reasons why you should immediately begin developing buyer personas:
- Emails targeted towards personas yield 18 times as much revenue as non-targeted emails
- Targeted emails boost click-through rates by 14 percent and conversion rates by 10 percent
- Websites created specifically to accommodate personas are as much as 5 times more effective than all-purpose websites
- Persona-based marketing results in increased website traffic, more efficient organic search results, and a higher number of interested leads.
When you consider the power that can be derived from buyer personas, it’s a no-brainer. Creating buyer personas takes your marketing to the next level - as long as you use the right blend of data, research and personal observation to craft your personas.