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What Are Buyer Personas & Why Do They Matter?

When it comes to developing your marketing and branding strategy, there is nothing quite so important as having a clear understanding of your target market. For example, you might know that you would like to sell your product or service to 25-40 year old women. However, trying to start a campaign or business based entirely on demographic information isn’t always enough. To develop a strong foundation for success, you must truly understand your customer. You need to know everything from what they buy to how they make purchasing decisions to what they do for fun on the weekends.

If you want your branding and marketing to see success, understanding and developing the persona of your ideal customer is an essential first step.

What Is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a profile that models, summarizes, and communicates observations about a specific type of individual. Set up to depict one specific person, a persona actually represents a percentage or portion of individuals within your target market.  In short, a persona is an aid that allows you to create marketing for specific people within your target market rather than the generic “everybody.”

What Does a Buyer Persona Look Like?

Usually, your buyer persona is a short one-pager that presents a summary of one particular type of person in your target market. Main elements would include:

  • Demographic Information
  • Headshot
  • Details about Employment
  • Education Background

This is pretty much what you would expect from market research, but with a buyer persona we take things a step further and include:

  • Values & Goals
  • Problems Faced
  • Day in the Life
  • Common Objections
  • Main sources of news and information  

Here is a great example of a Buyer Persona from Hubspot and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement:

buyer example

Source:Hubspot Academy

As you can see, the demographic information gives perspective, but the really interesting part is seeing the behavior as it relates to making purchasing decisions. These details lend to an extremely well rounded view of how to market products or services to this particular individual.

How Can You Use a Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are a great way to personalize and target your marketing to specific groups within your audience. Having a good understanding of these personas will help you tailor your content, your email marketing, your social media campaigns. Essentially, every facet of your marketing strategy can be fueled by the information gleaned from your buyer personas.

How Can You Get Started?  

A great place to start is with interviews. Interviewing internal stakeholders can be a useful exercise, but it’s very important that you also interview real buyers – people that have actually purchased something from you in the past are your biggest source of insight into how your brand and products are perceived from the outside.

Next, you can utilize online tools like your contact database to see if there are any patterns in the way new leads are consuming your content online. You can also start compiling new information about your buyers by updating your website form fields to require information about job title or company size.

Finally, talk to your sales team. If anyone is going to be able to tell you about the customer’s concerns, questions, and pain points, it’s your sales team. Use their insight to help guide you as you create personas

Takeaway

Buyer personas are an essential tool in creating a well-rounded branding strategy. A detailed buyer persona can aid sales conversion, product development, and brand message alignment. Establish these profiles to jumpstart your branding and be on your way to a stronger integrated digital marketing strategy.

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