If you’ve ever been in an advertising meeting, the team probably identified a “buyer persona.” This term essentially refers to your business’s ideal customer — and some business owners go as far as to name them. This “buyer persona” can help you hone in on your ideal audience and find ways to better shape your brand towards them.
Just as it’s important to flesh out your brand identity, you want to make sure to understand and define your buyer persona. It’s one thing to appeal to your neighbors based on proximity, but it’s another to convince your whole town to stop by and shop.
What is a Buyer Persona?
At its core, a buyer persona is a character who depicts your business’s target customer. By researching your current consumers and audience, you can amass a description of the average customer, which can help you hone where to advertise and how to reach them.
It would be difficult to keep track of the two hundred users in your loyalty rewards program. Creating one “average” consumer can help you conceptualize the decisions this type of person would make.
For example, if you find that most of your customers are new mothers in their early 30s, you can try to shift your brand to accommodate your target audience or better research where and how to reach them.
Should I Create Multiple Buyer Personas?
Depending on your business, it may help to create multiple buyer personas to keep track of various audiences. This can help you balance your branding between your different customers and ensure that you’re finding places to advertise that reach beyond one niche. This can also help you map out timelines for your marketing or promotions.
Alternating between a back-to-school dinner special and sports night may help you retain many of the same customers and reach their friends and family who don’t necessarily fit in one of your personas.
How Do I Create a Buyer Persona?
First, try to identify one target customer and build out a persona based on what you know about them. Fill in basic info like their age, education, number of children, marital status, or profession. Depending on their job, you may ask yourself how you can attract more customers from their team or in similar roles, so be specific when filling out their info. This can help you plan out what their typical day looks like, which is perhaps an essential part of building your marketing strategy.
Just as you did with your brand identity, try to define the buyer persona’s values. Try to remain objective, and remember that these “values” are a means of finding ways for the customer to identify with your branding, mission statement, and goals. These values can also help you figure out what drives the customer’s decision-making process and where in the sales cycle you can most effectively reach them.
Once you’ve outlined your buyer persona, you’ll be ready to focus on targeting them. All advertising relies on targeting, which means reaching your audience where they already live, work, and play.
Just as big tech focuses on reaching “lookalike” audiences from one ideal customer, you can focus on reaching “lookalike” customers who resonate with your buyer persona’s values.
The easiest way to do this is to advertise in the places where that buyer persona would already shop to make sure you reach every potential customer possible.
For example, many small businesses rely on grocery store advertising because it is a simple means of reaching every single customer in a neighborhood. Because most grocery stores pull their customers in from just a three-mile radius of the store, business owners can rest assured that they’re hitting a diverse, local audience. Choosing the right supermarket for your grocery store advertising is a means of honing in your targeting. It can ensure you hit the right consumer base.
Then, programs like coupon receipt advertising allow business owners to print their company’s coupons on the backs of register tape, so every single shopper goes home with their supermarket advertisement. This is great for those who don’t want to waste money on expensive mailers, which are ignored more often than grocery store advertising campaigns. More than anything, this process is an excellent means of targeting when you’re just starting. Before you have time to do necessary market research, or when you’re looking to reach a huge audience fast, grocery store advertising will always have your back.
How Do Your Customers Receive Information?
Another means of targeting is to look into how and where your customers get their information. Ask yourself how your consumers communicate to try to identify a better marketing strategy.
For example, if you know that your customers are checking their email all day for work, then launching an email newsletter or marketing campaign may be your best move.
Conversely, if your customers are texting and tracking iMessage packages, it may be a better plan to look into text message marketing. If you’re uncomfortable reaching out to your customers via either forum, you can always take to social media.
Identifying your buyer persona will help you curate your social media presence and align your branding with your ideal follower — and customer.
How Else Can I Use Buyer Personas?
Beyond designing a marketing strategy, your business can also use buyer personas to help your sales team or staff build a rapport with your customers. The more your team knows about your customers, the more quickly they’ll be able to connect with them and find ways in which your business can meet their needs.
Similarly, when it comes time dealing with complaints or offering customer support, your team can better tackle conflict when they understand what motivates these customers.
Here, information is power and can help your associates deescalate a situation just as quickly as they can get new customers excited about targeted promotions. Just remember to do your research, and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits.