Buyer Personas the vital first step for inbound marketing. Some people call these profiles, they are fictional, representations of your ideal customers.
Which character, Hamlet, a comedian or who will walk on your stage? How to target customers.
Personas help us all – in marketing, sales, product management, and customer services – picture the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real people. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.
These are what we cover in our typical planning and strategy sessions you can read about here. It is also the first step in SEO, search engine optimisation, and for focusing you on what to write, and for whom to write with your marketing.
Buyer Personas detail questions to ask
What is the persona job or role? The job or role title?
How is the job measured?
What is a typical day?
What skills are required?
What knowledge and tools does the persona use?
Who does the persona report to? Who reports to them?
How roles, and work is described varies across organisations, companies and sectors, so by asking questions, doing your research and really digging into the persona you get to see, hear and feel what they are about.
What are they responsible for?
What does it mean to be successful in their role?
You may get different information on this from your research and from those doing the work and organisations themselves. That’s why it pays to take a little time on getting your homework done on this.
What are their biggest challenges?
How do they overcome these challenges?
These challenges can be about processes, people, targets, finance all manner of issues. There may be patterns that emerge you will find? There could be best practices that are followed by many in these roles.
What industry or industries does their company operate in?
What is the size of their company (revenue, employees?)
Public or private sector, organisation size by employee and turnover are factors here.
Watering Holes – Networks and Associations
How do they learn about new information for their job?
What publications or blogs do they read?
What associations and social networks do they belong to?
Many people belong to professional associations such as chartered bodies for example chartered accountants or marketers where they will need to complete a minimum number of accredited hours or measured amount of annual training to stay up-to-date with latest best practices.
Family (single, married, children)
Particular profile information may vary for all personas or show patterns in particular fields.
How does the persona prefer to interact with suppliers (email, phone, in person?)
Do they use the internet to research suppliers or products? If yes, how do they search for information? What types of websites do they use?
How people work with suppliers and search for information is another useful piece of background for building the persona.
How to research your personas
When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. For example, if all your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms. You could also gather information on what forms of social media your leads use by asking a question about social media accounts.
Interview customers either in person or over the phone to discover what they like about your product or service.
Look through your Contacts data to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content. Take into consideration your sales or customer service team’s feedback on the leads they are interacting with most. What types of sales cycles does your sales team work with? What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?
Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited