You’ve probably heard the term “buyer persona” quite a bit. Especially from your marketing team. And while we’ve touched on them briefly in previous blog posts, it’s high time “buyer persona” got its time in the spotlight. And today’s that day. In this blog we discuss everything you need to know about a buyer persona: what it is, why it’s useful, and how to go about building your own! So, let’s dive right in.
Buyer Personas: What Are They?
A buyer persona is – in essence – the characteristics of your ideal based on the research you’ve conducted within your customer base and your industry. Typically, they cover information like:
- Personal details – age range, level of education, social networks they typically use, preferred communication methods, etc.
- The industry they’re in
- How big their organization is
- Their job responsibilities and who they report to
- Their goals/objectives
- Their biggest challenges
- Tools they use on a day-to-day basis – CRMs, instant messaging software, etc.
This information is then presented in a visual, easily digestible format. Now, some of you may be wondering how many buyer personas you should be generating. The simple answer is it depends. Some companies only need 1-2 personas and others have as many as 15.
Our recommendation, though, is to start with 1-3 personas and build from there as needed.
Important Note: There are no “preset” buyer personas for certain industries. Buyer personas are supposed to be unique to you and your business goals so you’re going to have to build them yourself. But never fear! We’re going to walk you through the process!
Buyer Personas: How Do They Help?
A well-crafted buyer persona – or personas – doesn’t just help one team in particular. They affect every aspect of your business.
- Marketing. Buyer personas help your marketing team produce targeted content that attracts the right kind of visitors to your website and social media pages. If you’re after medical technicians, for instance, marketing can generate eBooks, email campaigns, whitepapers, and so much more all geared to topics medical technicians care about.
- Sales. Having a buyer persona to reference helps tighten the focus of your sales team. Rather than going after everyone – which is an impossible task – you can send them after a specific type of customer. This means they’ll pursue the right kind of prospects, qualify the right type of leads, and onboard the best customers.
- Product Development. This one’s probably unexpected, but it’s true! When you know the kind of customer you’re trying to attract, your development team can change, upgrade, or fine tune the product based on those customers’ needs. This not only gives your tech team a roadmap for your products but also helps you retain your current customer base too!
Now that you know what a great buyer persona can do for you, your teams, and your business – let’s create one!
How to Create a Buyer Persona
As we mentioned in a previous point, a great buyer persona always begins with one thing: research. In fact, it’s the first step in building the perfect buyer persona.
- Research. This helps you discover what your target audience looks like. You can do this by conducting interviews with your customers and prospects, examining engagement trends across your platforms (what are website visitors spending the most time on, etc.), and even asking for feedback from sales. Since they’re interacting with prospects and customers the most, they’ll be able to provide insight into what kind of people are interested in your products and services already.
- Identify Patterns in Your Research. Are most of your leads coming from the Southern United States? Are your most lucrative prospects companies with 50-100 employees? Did you find that certain industries are more interested in your product than others? Identifying common factors will help you develop a buyer persona for your business.
- Develop Your Persona Around Those Patterns. This part can be a little tricky, so we’ve broken it down just a little further.
- Start with the basics. Record personal details, company details, software they use, locations they’re in that have emerged as “common ground” between all your prospects and customers.
- Add in their goals and motivations. What concerns them the most? What do they want or expect from your kind of solution? What are their goals for the future? And – most importantly – how can your products and services help them achieve that goal.
- Include common objections. What are some of their biggest concerns about choosing your product or switching to it? Including a list of these objections in the buyer persona will help your sales team be prepared to address those worries right off the bat.
- Finish with guidance on how to talk about your solution. Does your persona prefer knowing the nitty-gritty technical details, or would they rather keep things simple? Are they familiar with industry terminology or do they need to know why each term is important? Answering these questions will help every team have the same “voice” when communicating with your target audience.
- Name Your Persona. Have fun with it! Hiring Manager Matt, CTO Celia, Franchise Owner Francine. This may seem cheesy but having a catchy name for your personas will help keep your internal teams as consistent, and organized, as possible.
- Get Feedback on Your Persona. We believe a single (yes only one) representative from every customer-facing team should have a say in the development of a buyer persona – from customer service to the executive suite. Each will have unique insights on what makes a perfect customer.
- Update Your Personas Every Year. Your target audience will change over time. It’s inevitable. So, it’s your job to stay relevant when they do. This means you’re going to have to reexamine your buyer persona – or personas – every year to be sure they’re still an accurate representation of your customer base.
Putting It All Together: Buyer Persona Examples
Now that you know how to put together a buyer persona, we’ve got two examples you can use as reference points for both the B2B and B2C industries.
B2B Buyer Persona
B2C Buyer Persona
Need a little more guidance? GreenStar Marketing is here to help!
For more than a decade, we’ve helped businesses develop buyer personas that increased the productivity of their sales teams, upped their web engagement, and increased their customer retention. And we’d love to do the same for you! Give us a call today and we’d be happy to listen to your concerns, offer advice, and discuss how we can help you succeed.