Do you know your customers: a quick guide to creating buyer personas
Do you know your customers: a quick guide to creating buyer personas
We live in the eCommerce era and while we might be consumed with technology and impressive software developments, we also like to keep a close eye on our customers. Most likely you’ve heard this hundred if not thousand times before. The customer matters. Our customer is our king. If the buyer wants it, we need to hand it over. In theory, it all sounds incredibly simple, but in reality, you discover that it’s not a snap your fingers kind of thing. It’s much more than that. Building a relationship with your customer is something that can be achieved in time and it comes as an acknowledgment of all your work and struggle. It all sounds great. So, to have a strong bond with the buyer, to achieve all the customer service goals, one simply needs to be patient, correct? Yes and no. In fact, the correct phrase would be, one needs to be patient among other things until strategies start kicking in. But what sort of strategies are we talking about? Because, by the looks of it, no one is going to share the actual step by step manual to connect with your customer.
No one ever will, so you’d best know this upfront and instead of going on wild goose chases, you could start working on something truly constructive for your business, something that has been shared. The Buyer Persona template is the tool that can help you structure any customer-oriented strategy. And may we remind you that any customer-oriented strategy is really a growth-oriented strategy.
So, let’s get on with the things that actually matter. A guide to creating your buyer persona is what makes the difference between assumptions and knowledge. Buyer personas define successful marketing and sales strategies. They connect the customers with businesses.
Why go through the trouble?
Buyer personas are a handful, we’ll give you that. Given the amount of time you need to dedicate to this ordeal, as well as the patience and meticulosity, it’s only natural to ask yourself the big WHY question. So, it’s best to answer it now, instead of having you wondering late at night, under the light of your lamp, covered in papers, trying to complete the template.
When you have a buyer persona template, you have a starting point in terms of strategies, all kinds of strategies. When setting up promotions, you might wonder what products or services you need to add in the cross-selling or upselling section.
Because they need to be relevant, right? A buyer persona will tell you what your customer is struggling with, what his pain points or delights are and you will know how to make the right choice in terms of promotions. And here is another fairly good reason. Buyer personas are good to have from the very beginning, which is slightly impossible, given the fact that you have no real feedback from your customers. Still, if you consider launching your website in a test version and improving it along the way, adding essential facts to your buyer persona, you can establish a targeted pricing, you can improve your content approach, you can even personalize your design.
Buyer personas help you reach out to your audience in a more personalized fashion, which ultimately helps you convert better.
What does your buyer persona stand for?
Generally speaking, when creating a buyer persona, you are in fact creating a profile of your ideal customer. Now, before we go any further with this discussion, it is important to mention that ideal does not mean imaginary. You will not be thinking about imaginary characters and put down every little detail that crosses your mind.
Ideal means the customer for whom you have designed the product and the buyer persona template is designed on actual data such as their industry, gender, location, age. These should not be your fundamental data, but rather the starting point.
Through buyer personas, you are looking for something else. You don’t want to get to know your customer intimately, but rather the reasoning behind the decision to choose your product/service. If you know what makes your customer choose you, you can start advertising those exact reasons through all existing channels and convince an even greater number of customers. That’s why buyer personas are often considered the secret sauce of any solid marketing campaign and not only.
How can you build your buyer persona?
It is clear to anyone that the only method through which one can create buyer personas is by means of research. So, you need to settle in pretty nicely in your office chair and start digging. Here are the insights that will help you achieve this goal.
You need to establish where the need for your product/service type comes from. In this phase, you do not want to make things too personal. Try to answer the following questions.
What makes clients search for a product/service like your own?
What are the challenges that have made your buyers research the market for a solution like yours?
So, they are in need of the product. But what do they hope to achieve as a result of purchasing it? Expectations are of a huge importance because if these are not eventually met, you might discover that you are not making customers happy, but rather frustrated. So, figure out what the expectations are.
We all face doubt. It’s that monster that appears in front you, completely out of the blue, just when you were on the verge of making a decision, making you reconsider. Sometimes, it’s there just as a practical joke. Other times, however, doubt really makes sense. Your customers might be faced with this monster, but it’s your job to understand who in the world summons it.
What are the elements that might make your customer reconsider? Is your competition offering something more appealing? If so, what exactly is that offer and how does it fit better with your buyers?
One of the most important insight sources for your buyer personas is the actual journey of your customer. You need to know what happens behind the scenes. How does your buyer do his research? Surely he has certain websites, influencers, online magazines he trusts. How does your customer feel about the manner in which you have presented your solution?
The last layer of your buyer persona construction is the decision. Ultimately, after researching the entire journey, your product, the need and obviously, expectations, you need to look at triggers. A buyer invests in your product because something convinced him to do so. It could be anything, from your price to your features, but it’s important to know what has motivated your buyer to invest in your product and not in something else.
The correct manner in which you need to approach the entire buyer persona ordeal is through interviews. These are the ones that offer the information you need. However, don’t hurry up or grab that black book with all your customers. Because even though they are very important, they are not the only ones that matter. The customers who have decided to take their business somewhere else or the customers you decided not to approach are just as important. The negative parts are just as relevant as the positive ones.
So, set up interviews with buyers from each category and start collecting information. You will need to think of a few relevant questions, based on the insights previously presented. Make sure that through your questions you properly identify the need, pain points, challenges, strong points, overall customer journey impressions, and expectations.
Once you have your answers, you should consider grouping them, and do so, based on similarities, even if these might lead towards having multiple buyer personas instead of just one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having multiple buyer personas because these give you plenty of material you can test. And as you know, testing is the lifeblood of any sustainable campaign.