Creating Robust Buyer Personas For Your Business

Dec | 13BY venta

The marketers guide to developing detailed and insightful personas

In the world of advertising, digital marketing practices are being redefined at a rapid rate while traditional marketing is catching up to the digital-first world. While much has changed for the way traditional advertisers think about reaching customers, the foundation of traditional is still relevant and every digital marketer can admit that they did get one thing right, inventing the customer persona.

Back in the day, personas described the average Tom and Mary, what they like, what they do, and why they would want to buy a product or service. Those persona traits still hold true but thanks to advancements in marketing and tracking, modern personas teach us much more about the customer and shine a light on their path to conversion. Let us show you how to create a persona and help you tailor your ads and website experience to their habits and preferences.

Who Are My Customers?

The first thing to know about personas is that they are fictional but rooted in research and your real-life customers. Personas will help define the most common characteristics and traits of your customers while unveiling their pain points and weaknesses. The foundation of every persona are the basic demographics like age and geographical location. You may be aware of these basic traits but it’s important to not make assumptions or overlook a major audience segment.

 

Here is the full list of basic persona demographics:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Educational level
  • Goals
  • Identifiers & Mannerisms

 

In addition to these basic traits, we recommend that your personas include more detailed characteristics. Below is a list of secondary persona traits that can make your personas more robust and detailed.

  • Needs
  • Motivations
  • Pain points
  • Decision Criteria
  • Personality Archetype  
  • Buyer’s Journey Process
  • Perceived Barriers
  • Preferred Brands & News Sources  
  • Preferred Channels
  • Preferred Technology/Device
  • Quotes

 

How Can I Learn About My Customer?

Research. Research. Research. There are several ways to perform great research and extract the important information from your past and current customers. Analyzing your social media tracking tools and running audience-specific reports through Google Analytics are valuable resources, but the best way to research this information is asking customers about their experience directly. Whether you’re distributing customer surveys, performing user testing on a website, or picking up the phone to call them, make sure your questions are in direct alignment with your business goals. Once you have collected their responses you should be able to easily determine why your customer converted, what their motivations were, and what obstacles were encountered during their path to conversion.  

If you’re a new business and do not have any customer data, surveys, or interviews then it’s time to establish tracking and analytics on your website and campaigns. Setting up tracking can be performed by your marketing team or a digital marketing agency. If you need help getting started, here’s Google’s blog post on how to set up proper tracking and analytics. In addition to setting up tracking and gathering your first batch of customer data, it’s important to observe your competitors and their marketing strategies. Analyzing your competition can help you understand what messages and promotions are worth trying and what you should avoid. Between competitor research and your own analytics, you will be able to easily find out who your customers are and who your competition is targetting.

 

The Evolution Of My Customer

Fact, your customer personas are going to evolve over time. When you start creating personas, your customer profiles will be based on basic traits, thoughts, feelings, and educated guesses. As your sales grow, you can analyze your customer’s behavioral data and learn more about how you can improve your marketing. Fine-tuning your personas on a frequent basis is the key to knowing your audience and how you should communicate with them.   

 

What Should I Do With My Customer Research?

Once you have gathered enough information about your customers it’s time to find their commonalities and organize them into specific audience segments based on their characteristics and behaviors. The best way to do this is by determining the broadest categories of your audience with a few basic demographics like age, gender, and location. While there is no limit on how specific you can get with a persona and the audience segment, it’s important to not get too carried away with the details. One persona should represent a variety of target customers instead of the specific individual and help you make more informed decisions about campaign targeting or the customer’s path to conversion on your website.

Think of it as marketing to John Smith, a 45-year-old, college educated man, who’s looking for a plumber versus marketing to “the Johns” who are college educated men, between ages 30-50, living in suburban neighborhoods, within a 20-mile radius of your plumbing business. Defining these collective audiences will make sure that you have covered the most common customer demographic sets and are marketing to enough of the right customers. Once you have defined these audience segments you can put this data to use and create a persona template for easy documentation. Don’t have the time or resources to create a custom template? Let Venta Marketing help you! 

 

TIP: Create multiple personas with different lifecycles so you can adapt the customer’s variations in purchasing while maintaining a laser focus on your ideal user.

 

Marketing To My Customers

Now that your personas are documented you can start marketing to your audience segments. Personas will allow you to examine how each group within your target audience can be most effectively reached. As customers move through the engagement funnel make sure that each persona is targeted in your campaigns or used during the user pathing stage of website design. You will need to use different channels to reach your audience and your personas will help you determine your customer’s preferred channels. Some audience segments may prefer digital advertisements while others react most strongly to radio or billboard campaigns. You can also use A/B testing in your marketing campaigns and test what performs the best across different audience segments.

Another way to drive more than one specific segment of customers through your engagement funnel is by developing specific landing pages for their needs. These landing pages will be their expressway to conversion and prevent the customer from getting lost in other pages of your website. Let your marketing personas guide you and help you identify with your audience so you can solve their problems. When you solve a persona’s problems, everyone wins, and your customers will be most likely to convert.

 

For persona development and design email us at [email protected]