Buyer personas are figurative representations of an ideal customer based on research and experience.
One of the pain points of being in business is working with customers. If you haven’t said something like “not my tribe” or “that’s not the type of customer I want to work with again”, after dealing with a client that’s been a pain, then you should be worried.
A buyer persona sometimes called a customer avatar or audience/marketing persona is a figurative representation of your intended customer. A buyer persona is much more detailed, not to be confused with a target market or target customers. We aren’t just talking name, age, gender, and location; we are concerned with motivators, goals, frustrations, their favourite colour, their favourite child, who they aspire to be, what youtube channels they watch. I’ll cover this in more detail further down.
Often they are, but they could be more than just an individual, depending on what business you’re in. For more significant ticket purchases, often more than one person is involved in the purchase decisions, so your buyer persona might look a bit more like a husband and wife rather than just the wife, for example. Or, if you’re selling to business-to-business, your persona might look a bit more like a department or a team in an organisation rather than just one person. If you’re selling real estate, your buyer persona might be a family unit, or indeed it may be single people.
A target market is a broader audience made up of potential customers to which you intend to sell your goods and services. Your buyer persona is a representation of the ideal customer inside that target audience.
Think about your current clients, or perhaps clients you have had in the recent past, has there been one who has been an absolute dream to deal with? You likely have an ideal existing customer. If you had 100 more clients just like them, wouldn’t life be a breeze? They love what you do and stand for; they have disposable income and rave about your product to their friends. Who wouldn’t want more of that?
Why would you even bother selling to anyone else if all of your clients were perfectly aligned with who you are and what you do?
We create buyer personas because that’s who we should be aiming to please; they should be the number one guiding force behind your marketing strategy. Consider the following questions you might ask yourself often;
All of those questions can be answered by understanding your buyer persona.
Create content for your ideal customer, provide solutions to the challenges they face, a better user experience, and you will be valuable to them. If you are valuable to your tribe, they will reward you with positive word of mouth, loyalty, repeat purchase, and an endless source of feedback and ways to improve, among other things.
We have a few buyer personas here at CDM, depending on the service on offer or the running campaign, but you can download an example here. We look to Nicola to guide our decisions pretty often.
The more you get to know your ideal customers, you’ll begin to understand where they hang out on the internet. The chances are that where they hang out is probably where more people just like them hang out too!
Imagine if you were scrolling Facebook and you saw a post that had your name in it, offering a solution to a problem that you had, priced perfectly within your budget, as though the business making the offer understood you. That would be an effective marketing message. Inversely, if you cast a really wide net with your marketing activities, trying to please everyone and get as much reach as possible, your marketing message will be diluted. Likely, it won’t have the attention-grabbing power you hope for and will subsequently have low uptake.
Thinking of running ads or spending money on content marketing? Knowing exactly who you want to target will save you a fortune in the long run and result in a higher return on investment.
If a potential customer isn’t consistent with your ideal customer and the sales process you have carefully laid out, don’t change to suit them. If they aren’t your tribe, that’s completely OK. You want to spend the time making your operations the best they can be for the customers your want to serve.
A buyer persona is an avatar of your ideal customer, and they should be at the top of your mind when making marketing or business decisions. When creating a buyer persona, keep in mind the challenges they face and how your offering helps them solve those challenges. If you need help with this, get in touch, we can help you build one.
For further reading here we would recommend reading the HubSpot article which also includes a free template.
More good stuff.