You may have the heard the term ‘Buyer Persona’ before and just dismissed it as marketing jargon. Alternatively, you could work in a company where there are cardboard cut-outs of buyer personas strategically placed around the building. Either way, if you are involved in sales or marketing, having a grasp of your buyer personas will make your efforts go a lot further.
So – What is a ‘Buyer Persona’?
HubSpot offers the following definition: “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behaviour, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.”
Why do you need a ‘Buyer Persona’?
As any good marketer will tell you, it’s all about attracting the interest of a potential customer, communicating the benefits of your product/service and convincing that person to take action by way of purchase etc. To do this successfully, it’s very important that you use the right words and tone of voice.
How do you create a ‘Buyer Persona’?
This is actually very easy. To create your buyer persona, you need to talk to people who you have identified as your target customers. You will need to compile a high-level profile of the people in question. You need to get a flavour of who this person is, and the issues they face, so you can figure out how to pitch the content and tone of your communication.
For starters, you will want to know things like age, marital status, location, job title and education of your persona. Then you need to include the type of organisation they work for, an estimate of the budget they may have to spend, the tools they use to do their job and how they like to be communicated with.
You may already know a lot of this information, depending on the type of relationship you have with your customers. Even if you know them well, it is still advisable to reach out to your customer base to verify the details. You could send out an online survey but a brief phone call or face to face conversation will most likely yield the best results.
HubSpot have some great resources when it comes to getting started on your customer personas: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-research
Here’s some we made earlier
To give you an example from our own portfolio, towards the end of last year we designed two very different websites. One site was for a travel company called Magic Hill Holidays and one for a business initiative called Invest Kilkenny. Naturally, we can’t give the away the exact buyer personas for each organisation but we have compiled a high-level snapshot of the buyer personas for each one below.
Magic Hill Holidays is a specialised holiday provider with an emphasis on responsible travel. Using their local knowledge in different countries, its founders have developed a series of personalised cultural and educational packages for people in search of an alternative holiday. The buyer personas here are young professionals and students with an interest in travel and culture, living in North America and Europe. They are more interested in life experiences than materialistic things. Because it’s more B2C than B2B, the tone of voice and style of writing needs to be more relaxed and informal, personal and emotional.
Invest Kilkenny is a business initiative established by Kilkenny County Council to promote and facilitate investment in the county. Kilkenny has long been a hotspot for creativity and commerce and the county council is keen to showcase the benefits to doing business in the region. Its buyer persona is very different to Magic Hill, typically a senior executive, in their mid-40s, in a Californian tech company, looking for opportunities to expand overseas and considering a base in Ireland. Very much a high-level, B2B, corporate proposition, the tone of voice needs to be serious, confident, business-like and professional.
A Strategic Tool That Provides Valuable Insight
By now, we should have put up a convincing argument as to why you need to be on board with the concept of buyer personas. Once you have established your company’s buyer personas, you will need to communicate them back to your organisation or at the very least the rest of your sales and/or marketing department.
Following on from this you should work together to ensure that all marketing material and touch points along the customer journey accurately reflect the language and tone of voice of the relevant buyer persona. After all, there is no use gathering all of this valuable insight unless you are going to turn it into affirmative action.