The buzz on buyer personas has been persistent for almost a decade. We’re not talking about anything new. But when important marketing elements become part of your everyday vocabulary, sometimes it can be a lot like saying the word “cat” eleventy billion times in a row until the word loses its meaning. You forget why we started developing buyer personas as marketers and how they can impact your business.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas are characterized representations of your ideal customers. Personas are based on real demographic, psychographic and behavioral data, alongside educated assumptions about their motivations and beliefs.
How do you create buyer personas?
Using research, interviews, and surveys, you are seeking to understand your target audience by answering the following questions:
Who are your buyers?
What are your buyers trying to accomplish?
What goals drive their behavior?
How do they think?
How and where do they buy?
Why and when do they make buying decisions?
The important thing to remember about developing buyer personas is that they must be grounded in research. A gut instinct about who your buyers are — without knowing — can lead to failed marketing campaigns, poor message development, and other costly marketing faux pas that will only make your job as a marketer harder.
To get accurate data in your surveys, interviews, and primary research, make sure you include a quality mix of customers, both “good” and “bad” quality prospects, and those outside of your house list who might also fit in your target audience.
Once you can paint a clear picture of who your ideal customer is and what drives them, you can understand how your product or service solves the problems that keep them up at night.
Understanding your buyer personas is important, but it isn’t everything in the marketing mix. First, you need to understand your Drive. What’s your company’s story? When you understand your customer’s needs and values, and can position your story in a way they will connect with — you’re left with an effective marketing message.
If you want to learn more about Drive, check out this recorded webinar where you can learn all you need to know from TSC founder and CEO Bret Starr.