What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona (sometimes referred to as a customer persona or marketing persona) is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on an understanding of your existing customers and market research.
A buyer persona includes information about the buyer’s background, demographics, goals and challenges. It can then go on to suggest ways in which your company can personalise its offering to that persona.
A detailed buyer persona informs your whole inbound marketing strategy including what content you write, the style of the content, how you present it and how you follow up your leads.
Why are buyer personas important?
Buyer personas are important because they help you to understand who your customers really are. The idea is to identify what your customer’s biggest challenges are, what their goals are and what their main objections to choosing your company are likely to be.
From this information you can start to develop the way that you showcase your products and services to meet your persona’s needs. You can personalise your marketing for each different persona. For example, instead of driving all traffic to the same landing page, you can drive different personas to different landing pages each with a tailored message according to your understanding of that persona.
Negative personas are similar to buyer personas but are a representation of exactly who you don’t want as a customer rather than who you do.
For example, negative personas might include companies that are too small to afford your fee, customers that keep changing the goalposts or customers that are too expensive to convert because of long drawn-out procurement processes.
What makes a good buyer persona?
The best buyer personas are based on market research as well as your understanding of current customers. You can use existing customer data, surveys and interviews to gather the information you need. Including your key customer facing staff in the persona mapping workshops will be helpful as they will have a different perspective to bring to the discussion.
How do I Identify different buyer personas?
You can have as many buyer personas as you like but it’s often best to start small and grow over time. In our experience each company or department within the company will have between 2 and 5 buyer personas to begin with.
- Identify the departments within your company
- Identify the services that each department provides
- Identify the ideal target sector for each of these services
- Identify the ideal persona(s) that you want to sell the service to
When you’re considering surveying or interviewing your existing customers you need to speak to “good” and “bad” customers. “Bad” customers can give you insights into areas for service improvement or improving the way you communicate with customers in the future. They can also help you to form your negative personas.