Who buys your products?

What are their pains and motivations?

What makes them pull the trigger on a purchase?

What are their responsibilities?

How do they look like heroes?

To attract customers, you need to know the answers to these questions inside out.

You have to understand what makes customers tick so marketing and selling becomes easier and more lucrative. Unfortunately, many companies, at best, have a “lite” or high-level view of target audiences – e.g. males between the ages of 21 and 35 years old.

This approach is badly flawed.

The problem is a one-size-fits-all view of the world groups together people with different interests, needs, motivations, income levels and education levels.

Within our fictional group, there could be a segment that consists of university-educated males between the ages of 25 and 30 who live on their own, while another segment could be married males with children. They may look the same but they’re different.

How can companies develop deep insight into their customers? The answer is buyer personas.

One of the best definitions comes from HubSpot:

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 patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.

With in-depth knowledge of your customers, it is easier to address their needs and solve their problems. You can create marketing and sales collateral such as landing pages, sales sheets and videos for specific types of buyers. It makes your marketing and sales more personalized so prospects slide down the funnel.

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To develop buyer personas, the following information needs to be collected:

• Title
• Roles and responsibilities: what is involved in their job? What role do they play in product purchases? Are they an influencer, researcher or decision maker?
• Goals: What does success look like for them? What would get them a raise or promotion?
• Pains and challenges: What keeps them awake at night? What are their fears or concerns?
• Buying motivations: Why do they need your product? Customers could buy your product for different reasons.
• How they make purchases: Where do they get information? What are the key factors for a purchase – price, features, customer service, etc. How long does it take to go from awareness to purchase?
• Barriers to entry: What would stop them from buying your product?
This provides granular details about different types of customers. While customers my look similar at a high level, they have different characteristics and needs.

Buyer personas are invaluable by putting spotlight on your buyers, what they are trying to do, what drives their behaviour, and how and why do they make purchase decisions.

The creation of buyer personas is a fundamental part of corporate strategy and how you will establish a competitive edge.
There are several approaches to developing buyer personas. If you have an existing business and a Facebook Page, Facebook Insights is a valuable source of demographic information.

Google Analytics Audience Reports also provide in-depth demographic and psychographic information. Talking to your customers is also an effective way to learn about who buys your products.

This information can be gathered through surveys using tools such as SurveyMonkey, or it can be done through one-on-one interviews or customer meetups.

When creating buyer personas, you can use this framework.

Most companies should create two or three buyer personas to represent their customers. To develop buyer personas, start by giving them a name – e.g. Martina the Marketing Director. Then, layer on more details to develop a detailed description. Then, move on to the next buyer persona.

Here is what a buyer persona could look like:

Buyer Personas

Bottom line: Buyer personas are a no-brainer for any organization that wants marketing and sales that is focused, effective and relevant.

Want to create a better answer to “So, what do you do?”

Check my new (and free!) Story Spark training course. It features six videos and a user-friendly framework that will get your elevator pitches focused on who you serve, the key benefits and how you’re different.