What is a buyer persona and why do you need it?

picture of people reflecting buyer personaYou may have heard marketing people wax lyrical about the “buyer persona”, but what exactly does this phrase mean and how can developing a buyer persona bolster your business?

What is a buyer persona?

Buying personas are fictional, data-driven profiles of a company’s current or target consumers. In essence, these are used to ‘get inside the customer’s head’. This allows businesses to make informed decisions on a range of marketing options, such as advert placement, blog post content, social media usage and key products to promote.

Your buyer persona should focus on the following three elements:

1.Who is your customer?
It may be that you develop one very specific buying persona or several personas if your business has more than one strand. You may also wish to create a desired buyer persona for prospective customers. Your buying personas should include a name, job title, income level, demographic information and hobbies or interests, all of which must be based on real data you have gathered through website analytics and social media monitoring. You may wish to review and revise these personas as time goes by.

2.What do your customers need?
You can use these personas to anticipate what information your customers are looking for and what needs they might have. Keep track of which website pictures, blog posts and special offers attract the most hits and click-throughs.

3.How do your customers behave online?
Get to grips with your customers’ online habits. Which social media sites do they use? Which type of page do they visit before buying a product or service? What do they like to buy online and what do they buy in store?

Why do you need buyer personas?

Once you have developed your buyer personas, you can use them to make a range of marketing decisions. This will help you to:

  • Clarify what your customers need and want
  • Develop new or improved products and services
  • Improve the way you communicate with you customers
  • Allow you to target each persona with specific offers
  • Attract new customers

Knowing your customer base can help you to interact more effectively with your customers, allowing you to building trust with them and meet their needs more effectively. Ultimately, this should lead to increased traffic and sales.

Hubspot have some great resources for helping businesses work out their typical buyer persona.

Did you find it easy or difficult to define your buyer personas? Share your tips below.

If you want help developing your social media strategy and buyer personas, get in touch.

Image  credit:Copyright: kurhan / 123RF Stock Photo

This entry was posted in Content Marketing, Digital Marketing and tagged , , , by Rob Thomas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rob Thomas

Rob lives and breathes Social Technology, Social Media & Mobile Marketing. He will show you how to use them to improve many areas of your bottom line, not just Marketing! He’ll show you how to enhance and protect your reputation, whilst generating increased sales, reduced costs and improved customer acquisition and retention. Recognised as an expert in reputation management, digital and mobile marketing, Rob is a professional speaker both in the U.S. and across Europe. In addition to consultation services, including the “12 step process to achieve Social Proficiency” programme, Rob also coaches, trains and provides implementation services to help business owners, organisational leaders and their teams. If you want/need Rob to speak at one of your events please email him rob.thomas@wsi-emarketing.com You can follow me on Google+