A buyer persona is a fictional description of your ideal customer avatar; it is based on your current market research and existing customer data.
In marketing, it’s easy to lose the big picture or focus too much on the small details of campaigns. A buyer persona helps give both structure and insight to a marketing campaign. It provides focus, guides product or service development, and also aligns your organization’s goals.
By crafting a buyer persona, you can guide your marketing campaign and keep it centered. This article will review what a buyer persona is, why you should use one, and how to create one for your business.
Table of contents
- What is a Buyer Persona?
- Why are Buyer Personas Important?
- What are the Benefits of a Buyer Persona?
- How to Create a Buyer Persona
- Buyer Persona Template
- The Buyer Persona: A Lighthouse For Guiding Marketing Efforts
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona, or audience persona, is a detailed fictional representation of your ideal customer avatar. It derives data from market research as well as your existing customer base. This data is composed by combining the target demographics, psychographics, behavior patterns, and buyer goals.
A buyer persona consists of a fictional name, alongside general demographic details and behavioral traits that exist in your target audience. The idea is to think of this persona as a real person whom you are targeting with your marketing campaign. Marketers also use multiple personas to differentiate within the market segmentation, where the different personas are representative of specific segments.
The persona should provide context and perspective for your target audience. In doing so, businesses are better able to understand their audience on a more personal level. The buyer persona tells you about your customer’s needs, wants, and desires. That information then influences the products or services the business provides.
Why are Buyer Personas Important?
A buyer persona is essential for all businesses across a wide variety of departments. It’s key in crafting compelling and engaging marketing campaigns, training your customers’ service teams, and even helping designers and engineers create products that will appeal to them.
Understanding your customer persona is critical to content creation, product development, sales strategies, as well as customer acquisition and retention. Using a buyer persona ensures your business can effectively address the needs and goals of your existing or prospective customer base. Beyond that, it can help you deliver a more personalized service or product that is relevant to your audience.
Another important factor to consider is a ‘negative’ or ‘exclusionary’ persona, which represents what you do not want in a customer. This is the target audience outside of your focus, which you can exclude from any marketing going forward.
By clearly identifying whom you are selling to—and who you are not—your business can make the most effective use of its time and efforts.
What are the Benefits of a Buyer Persona?
By having a buyer persona, you can directly address your ideal customers. Instead of targeting a lot of people more generally, you speak to a specific target group more specifically. By doing so you connect with them more individually and personally.
There are several benefits to this, such as:
- Ease in creating content like social media posts or advertisements
- Streamlined marketing, product development, and sales
- Brand loyalty due to brand relevance
- High-quality, high-value, and high-retention customers
- More efficient processes within your business
How to Create a Buyer Persona
There’s no universal customer persona for you to use since every business targets a different audience. Therefore, a buyer persona should be unique to your business. You can follow these basic steps to create your persona, and tailor your process according to your business requirements.
1. Research Your Existing or Prospective Audience
Gather all the relevant information for your buyer persona with current market research. Take a look at your existing customer base, as well as the customer base you would like to appeal to in the future.
Ask questions like:
- Who’s buying from you using your service?
- What are their specific demographics (age, gender, economic class, etc.)?
- Do they exhibit specific behaviours or come from common backgrounds?
You can conduct this research using several methods. Some choose to hire an external agency to help, but other businesses choose to conduct the research in-house as well. In either case, you need to collect a lot of data to firmly understand your customer base and create a good buyer persona.
Here are some ways to get started:
- Talk to customer-facing employees to get a better sense of your existing base.
- Contact clients directly through surveys or interviews, so you know who’s already invested in your brand.
- Analyse where your competition is succeeding and identify the niches you can fill or overlap.
2. Organize Your Data
After you have collected all the data, you need to sort it effectively. Look for commonalities in traits to help you group potential clients by different demographics—such as industry, job title, gender, etc. This process enables you to tailor a buyer persona for each specific segment of your audience. Remember: Your buyer person is just one type of customer, not all of them.
3. Begin Creating Your Persona
First, start with a name to bring your buyer persona to life. Then, write out their background—what is their age, their job, their place of residence? Do they have personal interests or goals? The more details you can include, the more context you have, and the better you’re able to target your marketing campaign.
Once you’ve started building your customer persona, start focusing on “roles, goals, and challenges”. Learning what role your target audience plays in their lives (breadwinner, etc.) helps you create content relevant to that role.
Once you understand their goals, you can offer products or services that will genuinely help them in achieving those goals. Knowing their challenges and pain points also means you can tailor your products or services to help them overcome those obstacles.
4. Use Your Buyer Persona
After creating a buyer persona, you can use this as a tool for different departments to use in their operations. Most commonly, businesses use them to craft strong marketing and sales strategies that will resonate with the buy personas. However, it’s also worth sharing this information with other departments, like the product design team, so that they can use that information as well.
Buyer Persona Template
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a buyer persona, this template can help you map out its characteristics. Remember, your persona is one realistic, but fictional, person. It’s meant to represent a small segment of your target audience and not everyone.
Free Buyer Persona Template
Download our customizable .pptx MS-Office Buyer Persona Template for free with just one click! No contact details required.Download Free Template
The Buyer Persona: A Lighthouse For Guiding Marketing Efforts
A buyer persona is a critical form of guidance for your business initiatives. It helps you stay focused on the needs of your customers when crafting campaigns and design products that actually resonate with your audience. With a buyer persona, you are putting your customers first, which allows your business to achieve greater reach, brand loyalty, and higher profits.