When you run your own business or carry out the daily tasks of a marketer, you fight to attract new customers and keep the ones you already have. Objective? We know – constantly increasing sales and developing business. However, in this reel, do you not forget about the most important of the more and less successful ideas for new products, promotional campaigns and discounts? So, answers to the question of who am I selling to? You know? If not – this publication will explain comprehensively why clarifying this issue should be an absolute priority for you. It’s a waste of time, we set out to answer the question what a Buyer Persona is!
Every company, regardless of the industry, assortment and number of employees, has at least one common element. It is the customer who is the main component of the company’s financial success. No wonder you strive for his interest every day! It is an extreme offer that meets expectations, looking for the most satisfactory solutions, hundreds of e-mails and hours of telephone calls … A person can get tired just reading, let alone talking about action!
However, when the transaction is finalized or a positive opinion is received – fanfares resound in the ears, and the corks pop out of the champagne bottles by themselves. Could the celebration be performed more often? Yes it can. What to do to make it happen? Know who the recipients of your products or services are. Personalize messages and advertising messages, and then collect information on why customers decide or NOT to use your suggestions. On this basis, you can build really solid foundations for sales and image!
Worth remembering … If you want the best tips on how to refine your offer or service, ask your customers for advice. Nobody will be a more valuable signpost for you!
Buyer Persona – definition
If you want to be effective in a business environment, you need to be familiar with maps. And if you don’t have them – invest in creating them. One of the first materials enabling efficient navigation through company processes will be the definition of your client’s profile.
Who is the Buyer Persona?
This is a fictional person who personifies the typical audience of your content. The features included are determined on the basis of the analysis of demographic and geographic data, monitoring of online behavior, information obtained through surveys and direct interviews. It is taking a closer look at all the behaviors and purchasing decisions of our customers in order to divide them into stages of the entire decision-making process.
Buyer Personas are not the same as the Ideal Customer profiles, but they do use this useful information base. It supplements it with additional data:
– Recipient’s expectations and selection criteria.
– Problems encountered on the purchasing path.
– Benefits will receive.
– The shopping paths he follows before he makes a decision.
Buyer Personas are not customers either. For now, these are people interested in your offer. To convince them to accept it, we need to clarify the habits, needs and values that determine their positive purchasing decision. It is worth mentioning here that the phrase “by them” may not be right at all!
Very often, people considering the purchase of a good, the price of which will significantly reduce the budget (company or home) and affect the daily functioning, ask a loved one for advice. Or they depend on the approval of the supervisor. So we are dealing with a so-called purchasing committee. Creating a navigation map and clarifying the Buyer Personas will allow us to develop communication and a list of arguments that will be key at the last stage, i.e. closing the transaction.
As we read on the Prowly websites, when creating a purchasing persona, it is necessary to establish:
– What is the most important from the point of view of our recipient.
– What motivates him to make a decision.
– What do they want to achieve by deciding on our product or service.
– What can be a barrier to the relationship with the brand.
– What criteria are taken into account when making binding instructions.
This will allow us to better meet the expectations and respond with a personalized offer to the needs of a potential customer. Sounds like more than half the battle!
When creating a Buyer Personas, do not focus on the division into segments (taking demographic data as a distinguishing feature), but on how and why the customer buys a specific product. A common mistake that people make is over-focusing on who the audience is. However, it must not be forgotten that it is also about why he chooses us.
How many person do you need to clarify the purchasing process? There is no clear answer to this question. However, it is worth considering whether you will have the processing capacity to implement separate marketing strategies for several separate people. That’s quite a hint, isn’t it?
In addition, there is a doubt as to whether each market segment really needs to be distinguished. It may turn out that recipients from different segments have the same purchasing habits or motivations when making decisions. Then you don’t have to treat them separately.
Good to know… It may turn out that your product or service reaches a very wide group. Then you will probably need to create several Buyer Personas. However, do not try to be for everyone – otherwise you may end up counterproductive. So just “change to small”.
Answer before your client asks
We already know who the Buyer Persona is. Now it is worth considering why its definition is so important from the company’s perspective. You can finally assume that traders know the recipient of your products perfectly and have all the available knowledge about this species. You don’t have to be wrong, however… as a rule, people like to take shortcuts.
In sales practice, this means that we operate quite schematically and often make assumptions. After gaining some experience, we fall into a routine and without proper polish, we resort to pigeonholing, judging by previous experience and closing to feedback. And the texts “it does not work with us”, “it is impossible with this client” or “our product is just too expensive”?
Regardless of the market in which you operate, you probably know these slogans of the sales team by heart. However, it does not have to be that way. Just start asking questions. In-depth and allowing the client to obtain information on why they became interested in your offer and why they ultimately (did not) use it. Especially since I have a certain information gap at the very beginning …
According to Paraphrase Online research, a salesperson gets to know the customer when he is already at an advanced stage of the purchasing process. We can talk about a decision made in 57%! Nay. According to Paraphrase Online, the customer can independently complete the shopping path up to 90%!
Before he comes to you with an inquiry, he will first ask for “Uncle Google” instructions. He will collect initial information himself and based on it he will form opinions. What will the network learn about you and your company? It is worth having control over it. But that’s a topic for another article.
How does the Buyer Persona fit into this? It is helpful in supplementing the knowledge about nearly half of our client’s decision-making process. By analyzing the information collected during the interview or in the survey, we will find out how “your story” began, what barriers the client encountered on his path, how he assessed the offer and what criteria he took into account.
What and how to ask in order to collect valuable material?
First of all, bet on relational honesty. Ask directly and don’t be afraid to “go deeper into the topic”. What do you need to know?
– What are your client’s priorities. So what he will definitely not give up, and where there is an area for possible negotiations.
– What is the biggest problem on the way to achieving business goals? Thanks to this, you will be able to refine your offer to make it the best recipe for corporate problems.
– How they have already tried to deal with the problematic issue. And where they were looking for help then.
– Why they decided to test a given solution.
The role of a trader is to enter the recipient’s world. The signposts on this path will be questions that will help to make key decisions. You don’t have to conduct an extensive interview with each client. Experts cited by the Buypersona.pl portal suggest that even 8 half-hour talks are enough to collect substantively valuable material.
How else can you collect data, if not by means of an interview and a survey? There are many tools. Below are some of them:
– Social media – it’s a real bottomless bag when it comes to basic information about the recipients of your content and the users of the services you offer. By analyzing your profiles on SM, you will easily find out what the demographic profile of your client is (his gender, origin, interests). In addition, you will “get” news about what he is interested in and when he is active. Thanks to this, you will plan your post publication hours well. Follow the comments below and learn from your ratings!
– Google Analytics – this tool will work well for practically every analysis. This is valuable information about the sources of website traffic and customer behavior. You will also find out if they browse your website mainly on computers or on mobile devices. This can make a big difference to the type of ad campaigns you’ll invest more money in.
– Google My Business card – the opinions that go there may turn out to be a real mine of knowledge and signposts on the way to improving your business.
– Information from sellers or customer service offices – Your sales representatives and customer service employees are the first front line on the company-customer line. They know your recipient’s profile really well. Sometimes even too good! When collecting information from them, however, remember that people like to take shortcuts, they often generalize and generalize. When creating a Buyer Person, you must rely primarily on data, which you can possibly enrich with a comment from a trader and an ideal customer profile.
– Ethnographic research – is an in-depth analysis and description of the group’s behavior in its natural environment. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do them personally (as a company) – you can just outsource them.
– Focus groups – small but representing the target market. They are representatives of the environment to which you want to direct or direct your offer.
Opinions and information collected in this way are a solid foundation for proper communication and clarification of the offer. This, in turn, may translate into facilitating the work of salespeople and significantly affect the growth of sales bars. And the customer will be satisfied. Everyone wins.
Buyer Persona: Importance for content, PR and… trader!
As we have established, building a purchasing persona is very important for the optimal use of your sales potential. This is the foundation for creating communication, more advanced PR, promotional and marketing activities, and ending with clarifying the offer.
The aforementioned personalizing the message and improving the product or service at the dictation of customers is not everything. It is also good to raise the issue of the sales funnel. Careful and thoughtful segmentation of its individual stages allows taking actions aimed at increasing the chances of a positive transaction closing. Not only that – thanks to funnels, we can forecast income and set the budget on this basis.
Having knowledge of the barriers to contact with the brand faced by a potential customer and what stops their purchasing impulses, we can act accordingly. By using the human element – in short … a trader or the magic of machine operation (for example, automatic sending of e-mails with an offer or reminder about discounts).
Buyer Persona also improves the flow of information between departments. Why? Because we create it based on cool calculation and in-depth data analysis. Dressing them in the form of a fictional client makes it easier to transfer numbers to the real world, better understand the needs and “getting into the shoes” of our recipient. On this basis, we create guidelines for individual departments and narrow the scope of their activities to specific stages of the funnel. So we simply standardize the client’s vision and define the form of communication with him.
What else do we gain?
– Reduction of advertising spending – we know what message will interest our recipient and what channels we have to use to reach them. We can let go of the rest and use the saved funds for the next campaign.
– Image consistency – by introducing a new product, we can quickly verify whether the form of its presentation (in terms of graphics and words) meets the expectations of the recipients.
– Hints about new products – we get the knowledge what our customers need, what we should enrich our offer, and what we simply give up in the world.
Buyers Persona – how to create? Good advice always included!
A. First the content, then the form – the graphic design is important, but the DATA is a solid foundation and foundation. Their proper sourcing and analysis will allow you to understand your client. His needs, purchasing barriers and motivators that influence the purchasing decision.
B. The Buyer Persona grows with the business – the customer model is not created once and for all. Remember that the company is evolving, therefore its recipient naturally also changes. From time to time, make an “x-ray” and check whether the proposed product or service still meets his expectations. Thanks to this, you will never miss the moment of transformation of your client, and, consequently, overshooting the form of the message. It could cost you a lot – literally.
C. Let go of your gut feelings – your visions may be different than what you actually are. Generalizations and stereotyping distort the facts. Pause galloping fantasy horses – rely on reliable data.
Buyer Persona Institute – methodology of influencing the decisions of B2B customers
Adele Revell made the creation of persona a subject of her professional activity. Their fruit is the Buyer Persona Institute (www.buyerpersona.com), which covers the entire methodology of proper persona building, adjusting the product and marketing techniques to the real needs of the recipients of our content.
Ravella suggests that only qualitative interviews with clients (current and potential), careful questioning and, above all, the ability to LISTEN, allow for drawing far-reaching conclusions that translate into a precise sales process. Techniques for conducting a conversation and obtaining information as well as real listening to customer needs are also described in her book “Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business”. Thanks to this reading, we will learn, among other things:
– How to collect and analyze data.
– Build 3D profiles of real customers.
– How to classify needs.
– How to save (time and money) when creating a Buyer Personas.
The Buyer Personas concept presented by the author of the book is based on 5 pillars of the purchasing experience. They are:
A. An impulse to act – that is, an attempt to find an answer to the question of what happened that made the client consider purchasing a given product or service.
B. Expected results – what are the effects of the investment? What did the client want to get by choosing your offer? This knowledge allows you to build a message on the basis of individual benefits for the client. It then becomes a ready-made recipe for his specific pain. If you don’t do your homework at this stage, you’ll always only talk about the overall benefits, and that has far less driving power!
C. Decision barriers – based on the customer’s attitudes (for example, his trust in opinions about your product that he found online) or factors inside the organization (for example, the supervisor’s lack of consent to continue negotiations).
D. Decision criteria – important when building communication. Knowing them, you will point out the advantages of the product in your content, the most important from the customer’s perspective.
E. Purchase path – steps taken by the recipient during the entire journey after the offer. From getting to know it, to the purchase decision (positive or negative), including the situational context. At this stage you will find out who and to what extent is involved in making the final disposition.
Buyer Persona – template from HubSpot
HubSpot can also prove to be another useful tool in the process of getting into the shoes of customers. Software dedicated to inbound marketing, sales and customer service, which has been taking the market by storm since 2006, offers the Make My Persona option. Buyer Persona Templates by HubSpot are free templates to build your marketing, sales, and customer service teams with a customer profile. The generator allows you to create professional and free buyer personas.
Using the Buyer Persona templates, HubSpot supports the creation of an ideal customer profile. This makes it easier for the team to personalize the collected data and save it in memory. It’s also valuable for organizing your flowchart.
Not all of them have to be your customers. You don’t even want everyone to be! To grow your business, you need to define your ideal target group and direct your personal message to it. Thanks to this, you will create more precise content that your recipient is looking for. In addition, you will facilitate the work of marketers and traders!
Buyer Personas – SUMMARY
We hope that the Buyer Personas issue has been described comprehensively by us. Due to the fact that the publication and the topic itself are quite extensive, at the end we will allow ourselves to rank the most important information.
The Buyer Persona is a fictional character embodying the characteristics of your ideal recipient. However, it should not be confused with the profile of the ideal client, which in this case is supplemented with data provided by an in-depth direct interview. Thanks to it, we gain additional knowledge about the expectations, problems, selection criteria, benefits, but also the entire purchasing path of our client. The one who decides to put the product into the virtual basket or gives it up at the very end. Feedback, which was a purchasing barrier, will allow us to refine the entire process and avoid failure in the future.
Remember! Nobody will tell you more about the pros and cons of your offer than the customer! For that to be the case, you must discard your beliefs and private opinions. Collect reliable data, ask questions, LISTEN (which is not always obvious) and properly interpret the collected material. Then everything will go smoothly.
The information you have will make your marketing and sales more effective. Communication will be personalized and dedicated to a specific group of recipients. You will provide them with valuable content that they are looking for and need. All kinds of blog entries, expert articles in the trade press, e-books or other videos. Still hot and served on a tray.
Not only that – you will be able to save a lot of money by investing them only in those channels that really ensure you reach your customers. Only create a publication schedule, strategy and… you can act. With panache and due daring. Good luck!