In marketing, one must focus in order to run a successful campaign. You can't please everyone, so focus on creating the right message and using the right delivery channels. Buyer personas allow you to do just that in many beneficial ways.
What is a Buyer Persona?
In marketing terminology, a buyer persona is essentially a person that doesn't exist. It's a fictional representation of the type of person who is most likely to buy your product or service. Buyer personas are created using as much actionable information about your ideal customer as possible: How old are they? Where do they live? What types of products have they purchased in the past? What do they like? What do they dislike?
If you knew all of these answers about a real person, you'd have a pretty vivid picture about his/her personality and how that person acts. You'd surely have an easier time talking to that person and relating to him or her - which is what buyer personas are all about.
Why Are Buyer Personas Important?
By creating a fictional representation of the person who makes up your ideal customer, you always have something to refer to when crafting your marketing materials. Say your business' buyer persona is Jane, a 35-year-old mother of two with a combined household income of $150,000. Instead of "throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks," you have something with which to compare your marketing campaigns. How does your product or service fit into Jane's life? How does it solve a problem that she has? How does it align with past purchases she's made? The answers to these questions will drive your marketing decisions moving forward.
Crafting Buyer Personas
Creating a buyer persona requires you to be both detailed and accurate. When you've been in business for a long time, you have access to data from market research, current customers, and even your past customers. To a certain degree, this data should dictate the buyer personas you create, which in turn, should dictate the direction of your marketing. Are a significantly large number of your past satisfied customers men between the ages of 18 and 34 who have no kids? Congratulations - you have the basic framework to begin building a buyer persona. Any marketing technique that isn't directly appealing to that specific type of person is one that you now need to re-think.
It's important, however, to not go "too far" when creating buyer personas. If buyer personas are all about focus, having too many personas is a great way to instantly undo all of the benefits that you've just worked so hard to build. Focus on a few core types of customers and craft buyer personas for each; then compare every marketing move that you make against the information you've compiled for guidance on what to do next.
Peter "The Printer" Lineal
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Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.