The Power of Buyer Personas
Who are you writing for?
Getting to know your audience is the biggest thing standing between you and success. Screaming into the ether might be good for stress relief, but there’s no joy to be had if you’re creating content for a nameless, faceless crowd. If the key to sales is making a connection and a connection only happens when you deliver meaningful content, how can you possibly succeed if you have no idea what matters to your ideal buyer?
While many businesses sit around and rely on an overly broad demographic profile (a major mistake), the real value is in a buyer persona.
Meet Joe Customer
Back in the days before the Walmarts and Targets of the world took over, the people of each town relied on a general store to fulfill their household needs. You could walk into the shop and get horseshoes, flour, and buttons for Maisie Day’s church dress, and the shopkeeper would know exactly what you needed because they knew you. They might set aside a prized bit of beef because they remembered your relations were coming for a visit, or they might tell you about the new-fangled seed spreader they just got in because they recalled you struggling to get your fields sown before the frost. Those shopkeepers knew how to sell to you because they had insight into your life, your trials, and your triumphs.
Those days are gone, but a buyer persona can help restore a lot of the connectivity the client-consumer relationship has lost thanks to the march of time and globalization. We combat impersonal sales tactics by envisioning Joe Customer and figuring out who he really is. A buyer persona is just a semi-fictional representation of Joe and everything he stands for, and they’re a pivotal part of any successful inbound marketing campaign.
Capturing the True “Voice of a Customer”
If you want to know who you’re talking to, go to the source. A consumer’s story, in their own words, will always be the most powerful tool you have in your marketing arsenal. A combination of market research and general supposition helps you accomplish your objective by taking an active role in understanding your customer.
You’re looking for:
- General demographic and biographical information
- Common behavior patterns
- Shared pain points (both personal and professional)
- Universal goals, wishes, and dreams
Where does Joe spend time on the internet? Because you want to be there too. How does he spend his money? What does he spend it on? How often does he go out to eat or do a DIY project or buy a new car or take a trip?
Every bit of that data will help you put together an effective growth marketing funnel that ushers buyers from awareness to consideration to decision. Hopefully, you’ll then garner the positive results you’re looking for.
Benefits of a Well-Crafted Buyer Persona
Spin all that market research and first-hand understanding into a well-crafted buyer persona, and you’ll find yourself in possession of a key that unlocks a myriad of doors.
Armed with your data and insights, you’ll be able to:
- Craft effective messaging that addresses buyers’ pain points and speaks their language in a way that comes across as authentic rather than phony or cavalier.
- Generate high-quality leads to bring in not just any consumer, but the kind of consumer who is most likely to find value in your product or service, so your efforts and investment aren’t wasted.
- Shorten the sales cycle, zooming from ideation to revenue as quickly as quality allows.
- Resolve ties between your company’s products and those of your competition, laying out once and for all your brand’s differentiator(s) so your audience can fully grasp why you’re the star player and why they should sit up and pay attention.
- Identify which buyers you need to influence and how you can reach them, turning the guessing game into a masterful play for industry dominance.
- Open doors to C-level executives, gaining access to the movers, shakers, and decision-makers who may determine the success of a campaign (or at least stoke your financial fires should they choose to come on board).
Using Your Buyer Persona to Fuel Your Funnel
So, now you know what a buyer persona is and how it can benefit you, but how does it fit into your all-important growth marketing funnel? Using what you know about your customers to uncover key insights is the very cornerstone of smart marketing. In addition to inspiring you and guiding funnel development, buyer data helps with the following:
- Priority Initiative: Deliver a compelling reason for buyers to invest in a specific solution.
- Success Factors: Better understand what operational or personal results your buyer expects from your brand’s solution.
- Perceived Barriers: Learn what hurdles may stand between your buyer and a purchase (for example, why they might consider a competitor).
- Buyer’s Journey: Delve into the behind-the-scenes work buyers perform while contemplating their options, eliminating contenders and finally settling on their top choice.
- Decision Criteria: Leverage your knowledge of key buyer considerations to create marketing materials that speak volumes.
Your buyer persona research can take many different forms. Startups might approach their stakeholders and ask them to contribute insights from their own data-gathering exploits, while larger, more established companies often prefer to hire a marketing research firm. Your efforts can take a much more active, grassroots approach too: interview your current customers, conduct surveys, talk to customer-facing employees (your service staff or sales agents, for example), scour comment sections or reviews on relevant product listings and blogs, follow trending hashtags on social media and post your own questions and engage with responders.
Building a killer buyer persona is a lot of work, but it also pays practically endless dividends. Eager to see how your funnel could benefit? Get started with flux+flow and see how we can work together to jumpstart your growth marketing strategy.