Money matters in business, but your customers matter more. They are the reason you’re even in business. Look at it this way. Every company, big, small or medium, is constantly working towards winning over clients. In order to win yours over, you must invest enough time to understand how they work, learn their issues and establish a meaningful relationship. This is where buyer persona (also known as a customer profile) comes in!
”A buyer persona is a research-based profile that depicts a target customer. Buyer personas describe who your ideal customers are, what their days are like, the challenges they face and how they make decisions…It’s common to have multiple buyer personas for a business (and) each individual involved in that decision is a separate persona. They'll have different criteria for evaluating your product, and you'll need different strategies to address those needs."Amy WrightSocial Media Today
Take care not to confuse customer persona for a target market. Though quite similar, they have their differences. Your target market is the overview of the variety of customers whose problem your business aims to solve. A persona focuses on the traits of a specific ideal type of customer for your business. The persona is purely fictional although it could be based on a mix of traits from people you have associated with in business.
Even so, you can still have more than one persona. Especially when your business deals in more than one product targeting different audiences. However, the persona must be relevant to what you’re selling and should be integrated in your marketing strategy.
Why a buyer persona matters.
Developing a customer persona helps you to:
- Deduce where your client’s pain points are and find the best solution to address them
- Have a deeper understanding of what your client needs and strive to achieve maximum client satisfaction
- Build a rapport with your customers because you understand them
- Improve the product development process because you will be aware of which areas to improve on
- Become aware of which projects and campaigns the company should financially invest in
- Acquire new customers with a clear acquisition strategy
- Improve your overall conversion rates
There are different buyer persona templates you could follow. In general it should include: demographic details, pain points, goals, behaviours and buying patterns. Take Kapu Digital for example, we have different clients from diverse industries. Check out our sample buyer persona.
Elements of a Buyer Persona.
This comprises of both qualitative and quantitative data about your buyer. In other words, it refers to the basic information that just barely scratches the surface. However, remember to stick to only the information that is relevant to the buying process.
Drivers and motivators
Motivators are useful in discovering what your persona considers important. Drivers also indicate what they are more likely to prioritize. This could prove useful in packaging your product in a way that would instantly feel relevant to your buyers without much persuasion.
The other question is: What is holding your buyer back from making a purchase? You need to discover the doubts or uncertainties that make them hesitant to buy what you are selling. These help you prepare in two ways. First, you’ll be able to come up with suitable approaches to addressing these fears beforehand. Second, we’re not all gifted with the ability to diffuse difficult situations. This could cost you a lot of business if left unchecked. However, knowing your persona’s possible fears helps in training your whole team to address these concerns. This would make them better equipped to handle the situations when the need arises.
Another aspect of a buyer persona, possibly the most important, is the challenges they face. More specifically, investigate the obstacles that keep your buyers from reaching their business goals. This is where you’ll find your buy in. All businesses exist to solve a problem. Your solution needs to be tied to a pressing challenge that the buyer faces. Note down all the challenges that your solution seeks to address, either wholly or partially. From there, it’s a simple matter of ensuring that you are communicating this information to your buyer in the way they relate and understand.
Role in buying process
Choose your persona wisely. Note that the buyer persona isn’t always going to be the decision maker. Regardless, they still play a vital role in the decision making process. Take the case of marketing a product that is used by children. They are definitely not the ones holding the money. But the packaging, messaging and even positioning of such products is usually designed to appeal to children. They may not make the purchase themselves but their preference usually means picking one product or brand over the other. The critical role of these types of persona is evident in both B2B and B2C. As in the case of our persona outlined above.
Customers rarely ever buy because of the physical qualities of a product. In fact, they assign their own value to a product and then base their decision on this prescribed value. Therefore, find out what your buyer values most when considering your product. Then give a superior offer in that aspect.
”Customers buy for their own reasons. Not yours. Find out what they are and excel at them tremendously."Orvel Ray WilsonAuthor
Goals and priorities
Often times, goals form the basis for a lot of the motivators of a person. They could be personal in nature or occupation-related. The key is to distinguish the ones that influence the buying process.
How they can find us
What are the different ways that your persona is likely to find you? Define the various points of purchase. Basically the platforms and places where your buyer spends a lot of their time. For you, these are potential opportunities for buyers to come into contact with your brand.
Developing a buyer profile assists a company to make informed financial decisions, strengthen client relationships, improve trust and reputation. Not to mention the overall profitability boost it gives your business. It helps you breakdown your customer’s needs, wants and challenges. These are critical to any business. Either way, as Franz Kafka puts it: “..better to have and not need than to need and not have”. Take time to create a few (not many) personas based on the different clients you have. Make sure to answer the question ‘why should customers choose me and not my competition?’. If you need a more exhaustive persona description, have a look at this.
Does your business have a buyer persona? Drop a comment below