How To Create Your Buyer Persona?
What is a buyer persona in digital marketing?
A persona is a fictional character that represents the characteristics of the target audience. Personas define key traits of the target audience such as who they are, their motivations, their needs, their technical skills, and any factors that impact their interactions with businesses. A buyer persona is an in-depth look into the psyche of the customer. The objective of creating a buyer persona is to optimise the customer journey at every stage, for every segment of the target audience.
Personas are vital in the initial stages of product design and development because they guide design decisions through the lens of a consumer and their needs. This approach is helpful in formulating products that customers actually use and appreciate. A user-driven product or service helps businesses to make more conversions through the sales funnel. In digital marketing, a buyer persona is essential to create an effective marketing strategy that attracts more customers. Buyer personas help businesses to create strategic marketing goals that deliver greater revenue. Personas for marketing are beneficial for better investments and ROI.
A buyer persona is based on a mixture of the following attributes:
- Shopping habits
- Job description
- Interest in product
- Need for product
- Stage of life
Why is a buyer persona important?
Buyer personas are important to understand the customer and what makes them tick. This is vital information because it helps businesses to deliver useful products and services, that address specific needs and concerns of the target audience. Understanding the customer also helps to align all marketing, sales, and support team efforts, to cater effectively to the needs of the customers. The use of personas in marketing makes websites 2-5 times more effective, and easier to use. The insights provided by personas are incredibly helpful in increasing audience, brand awareness, and conversion. According to a study by Mark W. Schaefer, three to four buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales.
Using personas, marketers are able to create personalised email campaigns that can improve CTR by 14%, and conversions by 10%. Furthermore, personas can help marketers to decide the most optimal content for the target audience, and which channels of communications would generate maximum engagement. It helps businesses to understand which elements to include and exclude from the sales funnel, to achieve marketing goals. Combining buyer personas with lifetime cycles allows marketers to map out user journeys, and create highly relevant content that can improve retention and engagement.
How to create buyer personas for your business?
Buyers personas are derived from a combination of five research modalities:
- Demographic – Depicts the structure of population based on age, geography, gender, income, education level, and other characteristic attributes.
- Psychographic – Depicts the values, opinions, interests, aspirations, attitudes and lifestyles of the target segment.
- Ethnographic – Represents the insights gained through observations of the subject’s daily routines.
- Transactional – Insights from historical customer relationships, including first and third-party sales records and post-sale service records.
- Behavioural – Represents insights gathered through customer engagement websites, mobile devices, and other channels of communication.
These elements are combined to create different buyer personas. Businesses typically create an average of 4-8 buyer personas that are fictional representations of the different profiles of the target audience.
Practical methods to collect information to formulate a persona:
- Start with internal interviews with teams that have the most interactions with customers. Gather their insights to understand how customers interact with your business.
- Interview customers and prospects to understand their likes and dislike about your products and services, and how they use them.
- Thoroughly utilise contact databases to uncover patterns and trends of how customers find and consume content.
- Use the form field on websites to capture important customer information.
- Use third party networks like Craigslist and UserTesting.com to find interviewees for user testing.
Steps to create personas:
Basic demographic information
Demographic data and details of consumer’s daily life, challenges, lifestyles, and purchasing behaviour are very important parameters for building personas. These details shape customer narratives that could be applied to prospects and predict their next step in the purchase process. This information is critical to marketing, SEO, social media, and branding decisions.
Understand customer motivations
When gathering information, it’s important to distil and identify similar patterns of behaviour. To successfully convert a prospect into a customer, marketers must understand the motivations and aspirations of the prospect. Insight into the consumer psyche will help businesses to understand why consumers are likely to buy from a particular brand and not a competitor, and how they may use the purchased product. The purpose of this exercise is to help marketers visualise an accurate buyer persona.
Craft relevant messaging
Once the groundwork has been laid out, it becomes easier for companies to identify the most appropriate message that would resonate with the persona. Correct vernacular can help support teams engaging with prospects to elevate their sales pitch and enhance their chances of conversion.
Create a graph
Creating a graph that includes all analytical and anecdotal research data will give companies a bird-eye view of the customer journey. A graph is insightful in understanding the customer’s behaviour at each touchpoint. This can help marketers to draw up different scenarios and anticipate customer’s reaction, thereby fixing issues and optimising marketing campaigns.
For companies to reap the benefits, buyer personas must be evaluated periodically to ensure relevance. Customer behaviour changes when the economic climate changes. Companies must continuously monitor consumer data to keep their buyer personas updated. At Alkye, we offer our clients customer research and personas services that can pivot customer-centric initiatives and yield greater ROI.