In a 360° marketing strategy, it's crucial to understand who we are addressing to tailor our messages and actions. There is a key tool for this: the buyer persona.
The buyer persona is
"a representation of the ideal customer of a company or a particular online marketing campaign."
In marketing, buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of ideal customers. They help you to define the type of audience you want to attract and convert. Buyer personas help you humanise and understand your customers more deeply.
The Buyer Persona Institute states that the buyer persona tells us what a particular consumer thinks or how they act when evaluating their options or when facing a challenge that the brand can solve.
We can define it as an 'identity kit' to give more insight into the diverse types of customers. Giving us the tools to define as many elements as possible, from their psychological profile to their social media habits and their socio-demographic profile.
Why is it necessary to define the buyer persona?
The aim is for the brand or company to have a clear image of its ideal customer. This is required to be able to plan, focus and implement the most effective strategies and campaigns with the appropriate content and marketing messages.
In short, creating your buyer persona is essential to:
Better understand your current and potential customers.
Create and plan relevant campaigns and content.
Know when, how and where to communicate with them.
Define how you need to create your products and what types of services can meet the target audience's needs.
By doing so, you will identify your target while discovering their motivations, challenges, and goals.
How to create a buyer persona
Defining your ideal customer can be challenging and the more concrete the marketing campaign becomes, the more complex it will become. You will have to consider various aspects and be more specific in the information you collect. Here is a step-by-step process to follow:
1. Name the buyer persona
Naming is important to better identify your buyer persona and to develop ideal customer archetypes.
A marketing campaign can be aimed at several types of buyers who, although they have distinctive characteristics, may be interested in the product or service offered by the company. Therefore, naming them differently will help you identify them.
2. Determine the work situation
When constructing a buyer persona, you need to be able to answer some questions:
Is he/she a worker, unemployed or a student?
If he/she works, what is their job title?
What is their monthly salary?
What is their professional background?
These kinds of questions help to better understand the needs of our buyer persona and to better define him/her.
3. Define the demographic data
Demographic data within a marketing context is a common and fundamental resource in profiling. To define demographic data, you will need to include elements, such as age, gender, social class, and geographical location. All this is useful when dividing groups to better qualify leads and plan subsequent ad-hoc marketing strategies.
4. Analyse online behaviour
Analysing the habitual behaviour of your buyer persona while browsing the internet is essential. The analysis enables you to understand how and where to communicate with them, what their interests are and what kind of content they use. Consider these questions:
How do you behave on the Internet?
Are you a regular reader of blogs?
Do you prefer multimedia content?
Do you use e-mail?
Do you prefer more direct actions like a phone call?
Which social network, group or community do you belong to?
5. Define the objectives, challenges, and ambitions of the buyer persona
The real value of creating an ideal customer archetype is that you can discover aspects that are often ignored in traditional marketing profiling. For example, the goals, concerns, dreams, and hopes of the user or consumer.
These aspects make it possible to establish a better connection and build a stronger bond. It is therefore essential to answer these questions:
What does the buyer person want?
What objectives does he/she want to achieve?
What challenges does he/she face?
What dreams have they not yet realised?
Can the company's products or services make their life easier?
Can they help the buyer realise their goals?
6. Move from questions to actions
Once you know their motivations, try to understand how your product or service can help them solve a problem, satisfy a need, or improve their day. Here are some necessary questions:
How can the brand or company help the target customer achieve their goals?
What issues might the potential customer have when they buy your product or service?
How to improve brand awareness and product development for your product or service?
What can the competition offer to make them choose their product or service over yours?
Which of the offered products is the most suitable for the buyer persona?
Is it possible to create or adapt a product or service to the needs of the customer?
How to improve your sales process, sales team, and customer support to better help customers?
7. Put yourself in the customer's shoes
When defining and profiling the buyer persona, it is necessary to include their concerns and difficulties. For example, a person struggling to lose weight or not finding a good teacher for their child. Putting yourself in their shoes will help you to define them better.
8. Define the buyer persona's product expectations
It's worth thinking about any complaints or doubts the ideal customer could formulate about the product. Anticipating the buyer persona's concerns will ensure that campaigns are more precise and in line with their expectations. Once this x-ray has been prepared, there are two essential actions:
· Design a message: A sentence that defines the ideal customer-oriented product.
· Create an elevator pitch: A brief description that concisely and effectively explains the advantages of the product or service offered to the buyer persona.
Where do we get the data to create a buyer persona?
To define a buyer persona, we must retrieve a set of data from reliable sources.
There are several ways to get the data we need:
By asking the customer directly. Using questionnaires, surveys, website research and blogs.
By obtaining information from the company's employees. Especially those who are in direct contact with consumers or in customer service departments.
Analysing the keywords used to arrive at the brand or company's website to see which are the most used and on which search engines.
Determining how people arrive at the content and how it has been consumed, such as through comments, shares, and recommendations.
Analysing the feedback consumers give on social network platforms and online forms.
Knowing what type of product, from the company of their competition, is consumed and what content is downloaded.
Analysing the brand or company. This includes the market situation, competitor analysis and online reputation.
Using external tools that provide this data and analyse it.
Tools to create a buyer persona
Observing the behaviour of the user, the existing or potential customer is therefore indispensable. Here are some additional tools to help collect data:
Alexa: It is useful to know your company's current situation and that of your competitors. This can help you determine strategies and campaigns, based on what your competitors are doing.
Google Ads: This tool is particularly useful for analysing keywords. You will be able to see associated searches and new ways to reach your buyer persona.
Google Trends: Google provides this tool to allow us to carry out trend analysis in each sector.
Google Analytics: Using Analytics, you can analyse visits, origins, search terms, devices used, user time on the page, and bounce rate.
It is essential that you always keep track of the buyer persona, with regular updates according to changes in the market, competition, or consumer habits. We live in a fast-paced society where new products and needs are constantly emerging, so it is crucial to stay up to date.
Updating the buyer persona involves retracing the steps you took to create it, asking the same questions again and checking if the information still makes sense. With this periodic refresh, you will keep your profile up to date.
Once we have defined our ideal customer, we can start building their customer journey. This process reveals all the stages a person goes through to buy a service or product. Defining and mapping this journey allows you to better understand their needs throughout their customer journey.
In short, creating a buyer persona will help your brand or company determine the type of digital marketing strategy to undertake, and what products to include within each of them. The campaign must be based on real data that must be collected and updated over time. Only in this way, will you be able to personalise your 360° marketing campaign and provide an excellent user experience.
Here are our B2C and B2 buyer persona templates to further support you through this journey. Contact us if you need any help.