Buyer Personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer.
Developing buyer personas for your business requires considerable market research. The research for your company’s buyer personas should be based upon real data as well as some of your own intuitive educated opinions. When you take the time to get to know your audience, you’ll understand customer demographics, buying behavior patterns, and their true motivations and goals. This is powerful information. Buyer personas are an important part of defining your ideal customer: who you are trying to reach and who you will ultimately create and share content for. Personas are also important in defining what we call the “buyer journey,” which is the path visitors unconsciously follow through to purchase. The different stages your buyers go through are Awareness, Consideration, then finally, Decision/Purchase… but that’s a whole ‘nother post 🙂
Your company may have a handful to a ton of active buyer personas. At Zomalo, we initially define 2-3 personas for each of our clients to really start to understand markets we may not be too familiar with. If this is the first time you’re going through this exercise, don’t bite off more than you can chew just yet. You can start with one buyer persona. If you think about it, your competition probably hasn’t given developing buyer personas a second thought, so this could be a game changing experiment if you do it thoroughly enough and start to segment your marketing efforts better than the rest. Leave ‘em in the dust!
How do I gather this information?
Pick up the phone. ????
Have you ever done a phone interview with one of your past customers? No? Well here’s your chance! To totally understand our clients’ customers needs and pain points, we take the time to interview a couple of real human beings on the phone. Really.
We suggest having a real conversation with a human person to get the most in depth knowledge of what your company looks like from the outside. You may learn valuable information you never knew about your product, website, sales process, customer service, etc. from asking a few insightful questions during a fairly unstructured chat. Take notes. Lather. Rince. Repeat. Pull together a handful of interviews, and you’re well on your way to developing buyer personas for your business.
Bonus: a simple personal phone call to a customer could potentially lead to a “customer success story” for your site. There’s no better social proof for your product or service than the praise of a satisfied customer and their personal, human story of how their problem was fixed by your awesome remedy. Save their contact information. That’s another phone call altogether… but put a reminder/todo in your calendar to schedule a follow-up call in the future. Don’t lose track of your goal of developing buyer personas today.
Another option is to send out a blast email survey, but our recommendation is DON’T just initially send a survey and expect all the information you need for developing buyer personas to come rushing in. Surveys should be used to quantify the information gathered during phone conversations.
Surveys are a great tool to implement after you’ve defined these people more intimately. When used right, surveys can gain some important insight into how your brand looks and performs on a larger scale, and to keep the people who have engaged with you in the past, well, still engaged.. But that’s a little down the line. When you define your buyer personas, you can start to establish what your right tone, voice and style guide should look like. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
Tell me a story.
Create a story about your personas based upon information you’ve compiled from talking to them as well as some objective speculations. Add some color and life into your fictional buyer personas. If you create a humanized version of this idea of your perfect customer, and you do it right, you should be able to relate to them much easier in your communications. By personifying an otherwise unempowered piece of static information, you’re taking the right first step towards making your brand more human and relatable.