Trying to determine the right buyer personas can be as challenging as celebrity judges trying to determine who the masked singer is. That popular Fox Network show thrives on keeping everyone guessing. However, that’s not a good place for marketers to be in. As diverse as the two may be, there is common ground between them. Making the correct identification is the key to winning.
For marketers, good buyer personas inform marketers on not just who their best customers are or might be, but what challenges, issues or problems they have, and how they’re presently trying to resolve them. In some ways, they are identifiable, memorable and almost fictional characters from one’s daily life.
The collection of demographics should include age, education, and income, as well as risk tolerance, geographic location. Finer specifics aligned with an industry or brand can also be extremely valuable in the brand’s targeting and segmentation of messages. Also good to know are the buyers’ preferences. Do they prefer going online for information or rather have printed materials in their hands? Whom do they rely on as trusted sources?
Knowing whom to target and how is one thing but equally important is knowing the opposite. That’s the value of negative buyer personas that signal the type of customer least likely to buy the brand. Having this information informs marketers of where they shouldn’t be directing their attention or budget. Seeing the differences between the two can also be valuable in further refining who the brand’s target customers truly are.
Successful speechmakers do a lot of the same homework and know their audience, their concerns, values, goals, fears and interests before taking the podium. Marketers who have good buyer personas are able to better target customer needs, address their pain points and guide them to their company’s products or services that fill their interests or solve their issue.
Ramp things up a notch by conducting research, surveys or interviews of the brand’s target audience. What do they like? Why? What are their goals? Analyze the current database to discover trends on how customers find the brand’s content. Ask the same on the brand’s website and social media platforms.
By combining both approaches, marketers should have a wealth of information to generate credible buyer personas to work with. Armed with all this data, the next step is to segment it. For service-related companies, segmenting by goals can be very valuable. For others, segmenting by those personas that best represent the brand are effective.
It’s not advisable nor feasible to create personas for every type of customer. Narrowing them down to four or five is better and more doable in reaching out to them. But do retain the rest of the data and information as things and people can change over time.
The primary purpose of creating good buyer personas is to use the data to create an exceptional content strategy. Let the personas be the guide to identifying content topics. Many of the answers gathered earlier point to appealing content topics. That same data should be like a roadmap in helping marketers keep content relevant. A way to cross-check this is to monitor comments and other feedback on the brand’s platforms. Be sure that every department in the company is familiar with the personas so they can better serve customers. And, as in most strategies, make it a point to review and assess the strategy annually.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of America’s leading pr firms.
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