Business schools normally teach students about target markets or audiences, which are potential customers grouped together to focus marketing and sales efforts towards.
They are usually given general characteristics, such as demographics, to help define the group. In the past, marketing involved defining a market like:
- Gender: Male
- Age: 25-35
- Income: 35-55K
- Location: Georgia
While this information gives part of the story behind groups you are trying to focus on, it’s not complete.
Truly understanding, you need buyer personas to help you drill down into deeper insights that provide the inbound marketer the information needed to be effective.
Buyer personas affect every single piece of marketing you use to reach the people you are trying to communicate. Consider them and how to speak to them every time you write or create content.
So what is a buyer persona? They represent stories and details used to identify the unique features of who is the best fit with your product or service.
They are your customers and qualified leads. They are whom you’re trying to attract, convert and delight. They are the people who will, ultimately, make a purchase and eventually promote.
Sales representatives are often the best to provide information around traits of people involved in the purchasing process. Make sure you target at least some executives with the final decision-making.
Remember, buyer personas are semi-fictional representations that underline the motivations, questions, and goals they have in terms of your product or service.
Personas are a cornerstone for any successful inbound marketing strategy.
It’s just common sense when you think about it though. Marketers need to know a certain set of things about whom they’re marketing to.
If you want to know how to define buyer personas for your business, you have to start with:
- Job title, role and responsibilities
- A typical day in their life, including home life (especially if applicable)
- Pain points and concerns (with your product or service)
- How and where they consume information
- Goals, values and motivations
A business has multiple personas, and it’s different for every company. Best practices include creating 3-5 personas and yet really focusing on one primary one.
They also include 5-chapter stories that everyone in an organization can communicate with each other on. For example, if a sales rep tells a coworker he has ‘Persona XYZ’ on the phone – the coworker knows the type of person he is about to deal with.
Equipped with well-developed buyer personas, marketers and organizations are able to deliver personalized, valuable content that speaks to whom they are trying to attract, convert, close and delight.