What Are Buyer Personas?
3 min read
We’ve all made that mistake, haven’t we?
We focused more on ourselves rather than our customers. We fixated on our product and ignored the needs of our buyers.
There are hundreds of marketing concepts out there. It’s confusing and often demotivating. While there are abundant marketing best practices, there is one rule that no marketer or a business owner can ignore.
We must know our audience.
The most effective way to know your audience is buyer persona development.
What Are Buyer Personas?
According to HubSpot,
“A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals.”
According to “Buyer Persona Manifesto” by Adele Revella,
“It’s an archetype, a composite picture of the real people who buy, or might buy, products like the ones you sell.”
In simple words, buyer personas are a fictional portrayal of your target buyers. It is a strategic tool used to create compelling, targeted content, ads, or campaigns. The buyer avatars in your buyer personas can be anyone-
- Your customers
- Your competitor’s customers
- People who have requested a demo but never bought from you
- People who know about your product
- People who don’t know about your product
- People who have never considered buying merely because they had no idea that a workable solution was within reach
You can create one single persona to cover all the avatars mentioned above, or you can create multiple personas. It is critical to know whom you’re talking to about your product, and this is where buyer personas come in handy.
Content created by keeping in mind a buyer persona can encourage the reader to join your journey. If you want to curate marketing materials that connect with your clients, create it using your customer persona insights. If the customer feels you understand him, you have a chance to build a strong bond of trust that opponents won’t be able to overcome even if they offer substantially lower pricing.
Persona marketing analyzes the buyers’ real concerns. It then helps to convert these concerns into actionable insights other marketing strategies cannot emulate. This being said, one cannot ignore the fact that skillful execution is crucial to benefit from a buyer avatar.
And remember no insights, no connection, no trust, no sales!
Buyer Personas Are Flawed
Buyer personas are about a buyer’s worldview, not you or your product.
Buyer personas should not talk about your product or how it is better than other products available in the market. It must speak of what a buyer thinks or does about a problem that your company can solve. It must reveal insights about your buyers’ decision. What is your buyer’s attitude? What are his criteria? At a very high level, a buyer persona must tell you what a buyer thinks about doing business with you.
But we also cannot ignore that every buyer is different. Every buyers’ concerns are different. The way they think about these concerns is different. And hence, the way in which they take care of these concerns is also different.
Developing personas is an important part of every business strategy. But just like every buyer, every product is also different. Every company is different. Every company’s marketing and sales strategy is different.
With so many differences to deal with, can one create a perfect buyer persona? I don’t think so. Your buyer persona cannot accommodate every buyer your business acquires. It cannot match every prospective buyer’s issues, or map their exact journey, or predict their buying decisions. Hence, I feel that the very concept of buyer personas is flawed. Buyer personas cannot be perfect but they can definitely help you improve your targeted messaging, ultimately increasing your ROI.
Every sales and marketing team needs a buyer persona to design campaigns that yield higher ROIs. But a buyer persona cannot be perfect as every buyer is different. If crafted with skill and insight, the customer avatar that emerges from a buyer persona can be as real to you as anyone around you. Buyer personas will help you “cut the crap” from all the types of content that you create for your buyers. It will eventually help you build a bond of trust.
Time to quote my favorite quote-
“Goodwill is the only asset competition cannot undersell or destroy.”
– Marshall Field
And buyer personas will lead the path to this goodwill. Stay tuned to know more about the different types of buyer personas, how to develop them and a free template to develop an effective persona!
Happy Marketing! And don’t forget to grab your free copy of the buyer persona template.
Published on: Jul 3, 2018