Creating Buyer Personas From Real Data

Buyer Personas

We can all agree that knowledge of your buyers is vital when making informed sales and marketing decisions. Targeting specific audiences with relevant messages is essential, but where does the information come from and how do you use it? Buyer personas are one way this can be achieved. It’s a combination of information and attributes unique to a specific target audience. Along with the buyer’s journey, personas are invaluable to inbound marketing.

More organisations are implementing buyer personas as a strategic priority and for good reason. Buyer personas don’t only affect your content marketing, it also affects your digital marketing strategy. Without accurate buyer personas, your marketing efforts lack structure and direction.

How To Create Buyer Personas

1. Conduct Customer Surveys

Identify your customer motivations and needs through online or offline surveys. Use well-structured open-ended questions that enable you to really understand what they are thinking. As a result, your personas are based on real people and not on an assumption of what they think. Survey questions will vary depending on your business but the goal remains the same; getting accurate information.

Here are a few examples of good open-ended survey questions:

  • What are the top priorities in your business at present?
  • What do you think of our product?
  • How does or doesn’t our product meet your needs?
  • What made you not complete the purchase today?
  • Tell us one thing we should do to improve our product?

2. Telephonic and Personal Interviews

Personal interviews tend to be more costly but the feedback can be invaluable. The setup is structured, flexible and adaptable which allows for personal interaction within a controlled environment. Respondents can also be observed which helps a great deal. An obvious benefit is that you can go back and personally ask your audience to elaborate on their responses. This is something not always possible using surveys.

3. Website Exit Surveys

Exit surveys are great in determining why visitors are not converting or bouncing. Looking at your web traffic and returning visitors on Google Analytics, do you know why visitors leave your site? More often than not, the answer is ‘no’. Asking the right questions at the exit point will help your business identify possible reasons.

The questions you ask will depend on your overall goal. Do you want to know if your products/services meet their needs? Maybe you want to identify possible obstacles your visitors face during the purchasing process.

If you’re using a question like, “What stopped you from completing your purchase today?” and it’s not performing as you had hoped, try something like, “What can we do to make you reconsider?” No matter the question, experiment with different types and see which one provides you with the most insightful responses. After all, the more valuable your responses, the easier it is to find appropriate solutions.

If you want to get started with website exit surveys, it’s important to choose the right tool. Just remember to keep your customers in mind and don’t be annoying. No-one likes a pop-up that covers the entire page with no clear way to close it.

Keeping it Real With Buyer Personas

Digital marketing has advanced at such a rate that it can sometimes seem impersonal or even automated. Personas can help keep it real by bringing back the human element. Each persona you setup defines the traits of the audience you want to reach. This helps identify and segment customer audiences more effectively so you can produce and distribute the right content to the right people at the right time.

With the qualitative research and the required information collected, you should now be able to create your own buyer personas.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to know more about how we can help with your digital marketing strategy.

This entry was posted in Analytics, Buyer Personas, Digital Marketing, Networking, Social Media, Websites 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+