If you want a product to be successful, you need to know who you are selling it to. Who are the people that are going to need your product enough to make an effort and purchase it?
Determining this will help you focus your sales and marketing resources towards qualified leads that are more likely to buy your products or services. Having a deeper understanding about who your customers are will reveal insightful information, such as what their needs and pain points are so that you can tailor your products to meet those needs or solve their problems.
All of this is included in a buyer persona, which uses data and research to create a description of your ideal customer. This process is a must if you want to keep a competitive edge and offer the best possible services to your clients.
Below is a detailed guide, explaining what a buyer persona is and how to create one for your business. Keep reading to find out more.
What is a buyer persona, and why does my business need it?
A buyer persona is a detailed representation of your target audience. Basically, it is the ideal person you created the product for. Keep in mind that ideal does not mean fictional, so this is why you will need real data to base your buyer persona on.
This character you are creating will have a name, some demographic details, clearly defined goals, interests, needs, and pain points. You can even give them a face if you want to by using stock photography or asking a digital artist to draw a portrait for you.
Having all this information and treating this persona as if it was a real customer will make the journey through product development and all the way up to marketing much easier, as you have a reference point, to begin with.
Start with the basics – demographic information
Before we go into more detailed characteristics, we need to give this persona some basic traits. While the name can be fictitious, don’t base your buyer persona on instinct or personal choice, but rather on real data you can gather through proper customer research. Consider consulting with a research company that can help you learn more about what customer research means and how to do it the proper way.
Ideally, demographic information should include:
- Financial status
- Spending patterns
If you are building a buyer persona for business to business clients, consider including the size of the business, as well as the person responsible for making purchasing decisions.
To gather this information, you can use customer data that you already have, as well as marketing analytics, such as social media insights and Google Analytics.
Identify your customers’ pain points
The next step on the list is to identify what potential problems or pain points your ideal customers may have. What’s keeping them from achieving their goals? What obstacles do they have to face? This will help you come up with products or services they need and will purchase without hesitation.
Social media sentiment analysis is one of the best methods to do this, as it reveals quite an array of information about your audience. Monitor where and how your brands and products are mentioned, but keep an eye on your competitors as well. These are the places you will find most of the information you need. You will learn what they seek, why they appreciate certain features about a product, as well as what else they would want from it.
Your customer service department is another goldmine for finding out what customers need. If they have an issue, they will call to tell you about it, so dig deeper and find out what are the main reasons people call your customer service department about. Instruct your team to identify patterns and collect feedback from customers, to give more depth to your buyer persona.
Identify their main goals and aspirations as well
Maybe your product is not meant to necessarily solve an issue, but rather help them achieve an aspiration or goal they have. It can be professional goals, fitness goals, or other personal aspirations, depending on the type of industry your business fits in.
Consider what the main goal of your customers is, as well as what motivates their journey. Even if these goals are not directly related to the products or services you provide, they will still give you a more detailed idea of who your customers actually are.
Their goals and aspiration can help you tailor the language and type of approach you take or tell you which marketing channels they respond to. If, for example, their goal is to build a career, then they surely use LinkedIn to network, so it may be worth investing in some advertising on this platform as well.
How can your products or services help?
After you have a better idea of who your customers are, what they want, and what are the main challenges they face, it’s time to determine how your products or services can help them. This is the moment you try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and analyze your products from their point of view. It will be difficult at first, but this type of role-playing exercise can be very beneficial for your business.
Your entrepreneur brain thinks of your product in terms of features, which is what your product does. When a customer chooses a product, they consider the benefits it brings and how it can make their life better.
Take out the list of goals and pain points you identified, then ask yourself how you can help your customers get through them. What does your product do that can make their life better?
Put the pieces together and create the buyer persona
Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to start creating the description of your buyer persona. Look for common traits you identified, group these traits together, and you will have a clear perspective of who your customers are. From this point on, you can use this as reference for the business decisions you make.
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