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How to Create Buyer Personas for Your Business

Persona

 

What is the best way to understand who your ideal customer is? How do you visualize your ideal target, be that a group or a specific person, and your not-so-ideal target? The answer is to "personify" your customer base to get a better understanding of them on a personal level. Personification can be achieved by creating buyer personas for each customer base you're looking to reach.

 

What are Buyer Personas?

 

Buyer personas are simply invented representations of different types of customers, both ideal and nonideal. The easiest way to understand your target consumer is to make a persona around that target. The persona allows you to visualize, on a more human level, what their values are, and what motivates them. Buyer personas help businesses to cater their content creation, sales acquisitions, and customer retention strategies around their target buyers.

 

What Makes up a Buyer Persona?

 

A compelling buyer persona typically consists of the roles of that person both professionally (job title) and personally (marriage status, number of children). They also usually consist of the person's goals and achievements, as well as their challenges. Almost all buyer personas also include basic demographics such as age, income, and education. Additionally, a buyer persona should include a story section, which is what adds a personal touch to a document that would otherwise read like a census report. Some things that can be included in the story section is a day in the target's life, how they came to be involved in their current business, what their hopes are for their business, etc. 

 

How to Create Personas

 

You may understand what a persona is, but how do you go about gathering relevant information to create different personas? There are multiple ways to acquire data on personas:

 

  1. Use current client information - Look for relevant similarities or trends among your clients/customers about how they found your content or business.
  2. Use forms on your website or other media that are quick and easy to fill out and that collect personal data.  
  3. Directly interview customers or business prospects - Interview existing customers and ask them what they like most about your product or service, as well as what you can do to improve in their eyes. 

 

The most effective method to gather persona data is through interviews. Using this method, you can get direct responses from both customers and potential customers and create personas around them. Let's go into more depth about how to get people to participate as well as which questions to ask when you do get participants. 

 

How to get Participants

  1. Provide incentives: The best way to attract participants for your interview is to motivate them. Nothing gets people more motivated than a reward. Offer a gift card or something affordable that will motivate them to participate. 
  2. Make the interview as simple as possible: Make your interview simple and easy to respond to. Additionally, make sure your interview is timely and be sure to tell them beforehand that the interview will not take long to conduct. Remember always to thank your participants and tell them how valuable their time is to you. 

 

Questions to ask in the interview:

  1. What is your job title and role?
  2. Who employs you? (if unknown)
  3. What is an average day like for you at work?
  4. What industry or industries is your company a part of?
  5. What are the goals of your position? What would make your role successful?
  6. What are your current challenges/threats?
  7. Ask for demographics: Age? Are you married or single? Income? Education? 
  8. Ask for their interests; why they chose this career.
  9. How do you prefer to interact with vendors? Online? In-person? 
  10. Do you find reviews for products you are looking to purchase as valuable?
  11. Describe your typical buying process. How did you research that product/service, and why did you choose the one you chose? 

 

Bring it All Together

 

Once you have conducted your interviews and have gathered all of the data you need, it is time to form your personas. The key here is to look for similarities among answers from the different interviews conducted. Form at least one persona using the data. If you are having trouble with the layout or template for your persona, HubSpot offers some free templates that you can take advantage of. 

 

If done right, you should be able to draw conclusions from the different personas you formed. You will be able to identify a persona's motivations and values, as well as how to craft a message catered to a specific persona.

 

Conclusion

 

Making personas can really help a business better understand their target audience, and nowadays, it's usually a staple in most sales teams. Some companies may think they know their customer's motivations and values, but the only way to honestly know and better understand is to gather information from them directly.

 

Not only can personas help understand a specific target consumer, but they can also help connect to customers on a personal level that the business otherwise could not have done without a persona. 


 

For more information on growing your business with marketing, contact us for a free consultation with our team!

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