Why defining the right persona is so important for your business success

Blog Branding Start-Up Tips

Who’s your ideal buyer persona? Now that’s a question marketers usually ask (and they should) at a kick off meeting with a new client.  So why is it so important for us marketing execs to understand the buyer persona and how do we break it down into pieces to really understand it?

Buyer personas are a major component of any effective inbound marketing strategy. Truth is, you have to know who you’re marketing and selling to before you can make a sale. Today’s customers only pay attention to marketing messages that are highly personalized, and highly relevant to their unique experiences and pain points – the things that tick them off and make their life hard, the things that eventually will move them to take action and contact you for a demo or a call.

So how do you go about defining your buyer persona? 

1. Research

Make sure you understand who it is you want to target, what’s their role, what geolocation, are they the end-user for the product you sell or only the decision maker?

2. Current clients

It’s always easy to start with what you know, by analyzing current clients.  Some of the questions you may be asking yourself are:

  • Who at their company contacted you first?
  • Were they the final decision maker?
  • What does their job look like?
  • Are they your company’s primary point of contact?
  • Do they manage people or processes?
  • Do they make most decisions alone or with a superior?

3. Your competition

Are your competitors seeing success in a certain segment you’d like to penetrate into? You can check out their website.  They’re probably developing specific content and sales offers that speak directly to the same market segment. You can learn a lot about those ideal buyer personas by looking at your competition.

4. Analytics

If you’ve done some marketing in the past (or current) take a peak and analyze your traffic.  Who’s visiting your website, where do they come from, what pages do they consume and what type of content was it.  Did they download any assets from the website? What type of content and messaging was used in those assets?  This will help you understand who’s consuming what you’re trying to sell.

So to reach a definition of who your buyer persona is, you need to define things like: buyer persona characteristics, buyer persona segmentation, how to use buyer personas, buyer persona research.  

Once you define your persona  you’ll be able to attract high-value visitors, leads, and customers to your business who you’ll be more likely to retain over time.

More specifically, having a deep understanding of your buyer persona is critical to driving the correct content creation, product development, sales enablement, and everything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.

After this research, I suggest you move onto what’s called buyer persona segmentation.  If your company serves different verticals/industries make sure you start segmenting by industry.  In B2C, segmentation is usually broken into gender, age, hobbies, whereas in B2B we look at parameters like; vertical type, job title/function, seniority, skills, geolocation, size of organization, and annual revenue (ARR).

Sometimes, especially in B2B, if you offer a variety of solutions, you may have to break it up by solution as well.  R&D job function may be the persona for one solution, whereas a Strategist may be for another!  Don’t be shy to sit and ask questions.

We’ve seen many times where the product user is not necessarily the decision-maker and vice versa.  When going about creating content and materials, you have to take this into account and create your materials with this distinction in mind.  Different materials and different messaging, different case studies that speak specifically to their motivations, pain points and business needs. To give you an example, In some organizations, the agent at a call center is the user of the product but the call center manager is the one who will recommend the CFO/CEO to buy your solution.  Hence, you have three (3) different users you need to impact with your marketing activities. 

Lastly, try and map it out in  a simple chart or document where it’s easy for you to visualize which persona is the right one for each vertical or solution.  Some people like to write it in the form of a paragraph, like writing a short story.  That way you wrote it and you understand it.

5. Roles & Goals

Another good way is by focusing on roles, goals, and challenges of the buyer persona you’re after.  This answers the question of how to use buyer personas?  By understanding the different roles and the goals to be achieved, you can now implement a plan and execute it properly.  

Once you know who your buyer personas are, and you’re familiar with their roles, goals, and challenges, you can develop marketing strategies tailored to just those people who you know are an excellent fit for your company. 

You can now use them in the following ways:

  • Familiarize your sales and marketing teams with each persona
  • Create ad campaigns that correspond to each persona
  • Develop content that speaks to the specific pain points of each persona
  • Monitor ongoing results and test your messaging.  See which ones “hit the spot,” and which ones failed; eliminate the ones that failed

To summarize and leave you with something to take away, I strongly suggest you take all the time you need to understand your personas and understand how to match the solution/s to each one.  If you get this right, the rest will fall into place.  if you get it wrong, you’re doomed to spend a lot of time and waste your budget.

Contact SAGE Marketing for professional advice on how to nail your personas right from the get-go. 

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