The What, Why and How of Buyer Personas
You may have heard about marketing personas or buyer personas, and how important they are to your marketing activities. If you’re panicking thinking “I haven’t got one of those” chances are you probably do in a way – you just haven’t gone through the process of “formalising” them. Many professional services firms have a ‘typical’ customer or have carved out a niche for their services within a specific sector – this is a great starting point.
What are buyer personas?
Hubspot defines buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) as “fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers”. Personas are all about embodying the ideal customer your business is trying to attract. As a professional services firm, there are likely to be different personas who your services are going to appeal to, so it’s a good idea to come up with a number of different personas. You can even give them names to make them seem… well, more of a person.
Here are a couple of examples of our buyer personas. You will note that their profile is made up of demographic traits such as their age, gender and job title. Personas go further than demographics though – they look at what an individual’s motivations and pain points are, and ideally why they would engage with your firm.
Why do I need them?
Quite simply, because if you don’t know who you’re marketing to, you’re wasting time and money with a scattergun approach. The amount of times we hear “everyone is in my target audience, because we offer something for everyone” is staggering, and this is where buyer personas are really useful. If you don’t know where to start, have a look at your existing customers, or go a step further and ask them as part of customer research. Are there common denominators in terms of behaviour or demographics such as age, industry, job title, company size?
Working out what your target audience’s motivations and pain points are is hugely powerful and enables you to refine your general marketing message and create relevant content for the different stages of the marketing funnel. Ultimately, it can lead to better customer acquisition and retention as it enables you to tweak and define your services, as well as your marketing, in line with what they want.
It also enables you to segment your audience and run different targeted campaigns with a really tailored message.
How do I create a persona?
Start small and think of your best customer(s), now write down their demographics and a bit of background information about them. Are there other customers who share some of those traits? If so, pull that information together and voila – you’ve got your first persona. Don’t forget, personas are about embodying your ideal customer so have a think about who you like working with and who genuinely gets the most value from your services.
And once you have defined a few of your buyer personas, do share them with the rest of the team!
Consortium – more than marketing are a specialist marketing agency for the professional services sector. If you’d like to have a chat about identifying your target audience or your general marketing activities, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01903 530787.