If you want to understand your audience, identify their pain points and win them over, persona-based marketing is critically important.
Know Your Customer — it’s the First Commandment of Marketing. It’s also the reason why persona-based marketing is so critically important for modern brands. Without identifying who your customers are, you can’t understand what motivates them, identify their pain points and connect with them.
Putting the persona in persona-based marketing
So how do brands get their feet wet in persona-based marketing? First, it’s necessary to create detailed profiles of your potential buyers. These buyer personas then serve as the core of your targeted marketing strategy; they are idealized representations of the audience most likely to purchase your products and services.
A buyer persona is a comprehensive image of a customer that reflects who they are, what motivates them and their propensity to act through each stage of the sales cycle. Some businesses will only need to develop two or three personas, others may be better served by a dozen or more.
These personas are based on a variety of sources, including:
- Market research into probable buyers, including surveys and in-person interviews. This research provides a fuller picture of the wants, needs and tendencies of a brand’s likely market.
- Insights and feedback gleaned from existing customers. The same research process can be applied to a brand’s current client set, and this process often provides unique insights, given that these audiences are already familiar with the products or services on offer. Brands also often work with their in-house sales team to learn more about existing and potential customers.
- Sourced and analyzed consumer data. Customers often say they want one thing, then go buy another. Our words and intentions don’t always reflect our actions, and objective data can help provide another window into what truly moves buyers.
- Broader market, industry and demographic information. This data can provide critical context during the brand persona creation process. Such information allows brands to take a wider angle view, and anticipate looming changes within markets and industries. If you can anticipate these changes, you can also anticipate how customers may be affected.
Buyer persona categorization
Brands developing persona-based marketing strategies should also understand that different classes of buyers require varying approaches. For example, when dealing with individual buyers (someone who makes a one-time retail purchase, for example), you’d create a single persona type with a variety of personas to fit within that type. A persona development agency can help you accomplish this task.
B2B operations, however, are often led by sales teams rather than a single buyer. C suite executives, sales leaders, marketing leaders etc. may all be involved in the procurement/sales process. In such cases, brands create team-based personas. These often include a dedicated persona for each member of the purchasing team — personas that outline the specific prerogatives inherent to each position. For example, a team persona designed for a Chief Financial Officer would focus on pricing issues, ROI and other monetary motivators.
Working with the right persona development agency
Buyer persona development, when done at a high level, requires research expertise, industry knowledge and an advanced grasp of marketing strategy. It’s often a tall order for brands to accomplish this without outside help.
At Bigeye, we’re experts at creating finely targeted buyer personas supported by experience and insight. Contact us today to learn more about what the right agency can do for you.