Introducing

How to conduct a persona-based approach to marketing and leads

A persona-based approach to marketing is a strategy founded on research and analysis of your customers. In essence, it is built around your company’s ideal customer. Compiling all the interests, general behavioral traits, and demographics of your target audience into a set of profiles allows you to streamline sales and marketing efforts to engage with leads and customers effectively.

A persona-based approach to marketing is a strategy founded on research and analysis of your customers. In essence, it is built around your company’s ideal customer. Compiling all the interests, general behavioral traits, and demographics of your target audience into a set of profiles allows you to streamline sales and marketing efforts to engage with leads and customers effectively.

Companies often treat their buyer persona profiles as fictional representations to better visualize and connect with their desired audience.

In this article, we will look at:

  • What a buyer persona is.
  • Why a buyer persona is important.
  • And how to use a buyer persona in marketing.

What is a buyer persona?

In short, a buyer persona is an overview description of each of your target customers based on consumer and customer research. Each persona describes a different buyer who embodies the pain points, demographics, motivations and buying behaviors of a specific market segment. This enables you to see the target market as real people rather than abstract characteristics. Thus, each buyer persona adds a face and a name to different segments of your target audience. As a result, you can think about this person, the buyer persona, when creating content, updating your products, and doing any kind of marketing and advertising.

When you are thinking about your buyer persona, make sure you are considering the following:

  • What group of people is your business considering a “dream” client/customer?
  • What group of people is your business most popular with currently?
  • What group of people does your business currently have the most opportunity with if you could reach them?
  • Who are the influencers your group of people follows or engages with?

Why are buyer personas important?

Knowing the different buying processes, their pain points, and motivations, your brand can build authority and trust by personalizing your marketing and sales messages in a way that speaks to them. Because then you understand your buyers’ expectations, you can create and market what your buyers are seeking.

How to use buyer personas in marketing

Buyer personas help your brand identify and reach qualified leads. In short, this makes them very useful for targeted marketing, as well as sales efforts. Likewise, buyer personas allow you to uncover the most effective ways to reach out to valuable leads.

In addition, buyer personas can improve the efficiency of sales and marketing by helping you identify negative buyer personas as well. These people exemplify the leads your business doesn’t want to pursue. These negative personas rarely make a purchase. They actually only drain your business’s customer service resources when they become customers. Either from not fitting into your “dream” client persona or being too/over qualified for your product/service etc.

Using your buyer personas in customer journey mapping

You now might understand that buyer personas help you convert the customers who will bring the most lifetime value to your brand and business. Granted, once a customer or client converts, your buyer personas can further guide your customer service as product development decisions as you work towards increasing target customer retention.

Henceforth, each buyer persona you have reacts differently to various turning points in the customer journey, such as purchases, returns, upsells, and other key interactions between your business and its buyers. You can create a strong customer journey map by fielding input on the customer experience from target customers. This then shows the best way to interact with each persona in these critical moments.

Buyer persona survey questions

So the question is, then, what information should you include when building a buyer persona? Your buyer persona research will consist of a variety of survey questions, such as behavioral questions and follow-up questions, as well as the obvious demographics.

Demographics

  • Questions about age, gender, and race.
  • Questions about education and occupation.
  • Questions about family, household income, and location.

Buying Behavior

  • Questions about the method of purchase and place.
  • Questions about the thought process behind purchase decisions.

Follow-up

  • Questions about pain points and challenges.
  • Questions about wants, hopes, and dreams.

How to do buyer persona research

Buyer persona research is a combination of consumer research and market segmentation. Your business can use a variety of research methods, such as interviews and focus groups. Learn more about conducting market research here.

1. Learn about your current buyers

Your current customers and clients hold so much wisdom for your business. Many of them are also eager to give you feedback. Customer data and feedback is the best place to go to gather information to build your target buyer persona. Case studies and customer satisfaction surveys are great research methods and can help your business get insights into your customer demographics, loyalty, and preferences.

By conducting bother open and close-ended questions, you can gather quantitative and qualitative data – since both shed light on your customer persona. When you can get into the psychology of your customers, that is when you develop a strong buyer persona. Thus, also be sure to ask follow-up questions that encourage your customers to explain the reasons behind their buying behaviors.

2. Use your target market to gather data

The strongest buyer personas bring market segments to life with both consumer and customer insights. The difference between them are:

  • Consumer research looks at buyer experience through the entire customer lifecycle
  • Customer research focuses on the customer experience.

3. Create market segmentation
Step one:
Once you have gathered your research, combine your customer and consumer research and organize your data. Then review and investigate the patterns and correlations that emerge in parts of your population.

Step two: Filter the data by demographic to identify clustered buyer characteristics. This is so to establish correlations between demographics and data points. Additionally, it shows the differences in the buying behavior and motivations of each cluster.

Having said that, you don’t need to identify every single segment to create powerful buyer personas for your most valuable segments. Obviously, not all businesses have more than one or two market segments. Likewise, others have dozens.

4. Give each segment a buyer persona At this stage, you need to find the average age of the segment’s buyer. Their household income. Whether or not they have children or live alone. These insights are usually the basis for creating buyer personas.

Once you have all that, add data points that illustrate the buying behavior of a person in the segment. Make sure to include the decision time to make purchases. Whether they consult with others before purchases, and if so, how are those people involved in the decision-making process? Does the buyer shop for products online or in-store?

The next thing to do is to dive into the psychology of the buyer persona by examining the qualitative data. Here, let the customers speak for themselves by including real quotes from your research.

Lastly, you want to create the fictional elements of persona building, such as a name and a backstory to make the persona “human.” It is imperative that a strong buyer persona combines being specific and generic. In other words, it connects relevant demographic information such as location, age, and income with their buying behaviors, such as making seeking the approval of peers before purchasing a product or making impulse decisions. This also dives into the buyer’s psychology – shedding light on their behavior and motivations.

In summary

Conducting a buyer persona-based approach to marketing and leads allows you to not only understand what your customers want and needs for product development but it also enables you to create strong content that speaks directly to them. Good luck with your research and persona creation, and have fun!

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