How does a Buyer’s Persona work?

A buyer’s persona is a generalised example of your ideal customer. It includes the personality, demographics and motivations of the individual. This allows you to identify the traits and habits of your target customer to better appeal to them throughout your marketing.

There a 4 reasons why you should create a Buyer’s Persona:

  1. Clarification of who you think your target customer is
  2. To understand more about the customer your targeting
  3. To identify your customer for the first time
  4. To target a new market and therefore a completely new customer

Identifying your Buyer’s Persona

There are a number of different groups of individuals that you should consider asking questions to to create your Buyer’s Persona:

1. Customers – Use both customers that have had a good experience with your business and those that haven’t. This will allow you to get an understanding of what users find difficult about your product or service and what they are happy about.

  • Will be the most useful individuals as they will want to involve themselves in improving a product they use.
  • Ensure that they understand that their input is highly valued and will have an impact on future decisions.
  • No incentive may not need to be offered as the customer will value the discussion as a way for them to tell you about their challenges and their world.

2. Prospects – Individuals that have not yet purchased from you or know very little about your offering will allow for a different opinion towards personas.

  • Can be from a list of current prospects.
  • Data you have on them might help you to understand their demographics.

3. Referrals – Known contacts who might fit into your target personas can be used to gain a deeper understanding of potential customers

  • LinkedIn can provide a great starting place with mutual connections allowing you to be introduced to individuals that might fit your target persona.

Once you know which of these types of interviewees should be used, a better response rate can be achieved through a number of methods.

  1. Focus on learning – They will be discussing themselves and their lives rather than being sold your product or service.
  2. Using incentives – Can be great in rewarding individuals for taking their time to talk to you and can be as simple as a gift card from Amazon.
  3. Ease of use – All preparations should be made around the interview to make it as convenient as possible with suggested but flexible dates and reminders.

At least 5 interviewees should be used to gain an in-depth understanding of your buyer’s persona.

Questions to ask individuals

The questions asked to the individuals should centre on their personal background, business life, motivations and media sources.

Below are examples to help you get started.

Personal Background:

  • What is your job title?
  • What responsibilities do you have?
  • What forms a typical workday for you?
  • What skills are required to do your job?
  • How is success measured in your role?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job?
  • Who do you report to?

Industry and Business:

  • What is the size of your company?
  • What industry is your company operating in?

Goals:

  • What organisational goals do you have?
  • Why are these goals important?
  • How are you achieving these goals?

Challenges

  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • What success have you had in overcoming these challenges?

Decision Making

  • Who is responsible for buying products or services like ours?

Objections

  • What are the biggest complaints that you have about our product or service?
  • What changes must be implemented to overcome these complaints?

Information Sources

  • What news sites or newspapers do you read?
  • What blogs do you read?
  • Do you belong to any social, professional or networking groups?
  • Do you attend industry events, conferences or trade shows?
  • What type of information do you engage with most?
  • How did you find out about our company?

The answers to these questions will form the basis of your buyer’s persona and help you to refine your marketing. It will allow you design targeted content that resonates most with the audience and draws on their goals, challenges and fears.

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