3 Reasons Why Your Company Needs Buyer Personas
Back when you were first learning how to write essays, your teachers would constantly remind you to “pay attention to your audience.” That’s because your book report about The Catcher in the Rye was meant for your English instructor, not your Aunt Sally. The tone you employed, the words you used and the references you made were all chosen to prove to your teacher that you had done the reading and understood the text.
The truth is that we don’t communicate the same way or the same things to different groups of people. This is especially true when it comes to persuading a customer to perform a specific action, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, sharing an image on Facebook or (especially) making a purchase.
At its core, marketing is about communicating the value of a product or service to a targeted audience. You’re not selling to just anyone, but to a specific segment of the population. And the more you know about your potential buyers, the more you understand what motivates them, the better you’ll be at convincing them to spend their hard-earned cash (or their company’s) on your product or service.
Introducing Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are generalizations or archetypes of the kind of customer your brand addresses itself to. They are short, descriptive profiles of your target consumer’s goals and behavior patterns as they relate to interactions with your brand. For example, a company that just developed a new app to help little league soccer coaches manage their team’s match schedule could create the following persona:
Digitally savvy soccer coaches with an interest in using technology to simplify team management.
Coaching is a weekend hobby, won’t put too much money or resources into it.
35-50 years old
Obviously, this is just one (simple) example — buyer personas can be much more detailed the better you research and understand your customer base. Why should you invest time in developing these personas?
Here are 3 Reasons Why Your Company Needs Buyer Personas
1. Ensure Consistent Messaging
Gone are the days when companies could behave like cold monolithic entities. Nowadays even B2B brands must project the image that they’re composed of real humans beings who offer services aimed to improve our lives in one way or another. And one of the best ways to appear more personable is to be consistent. If your friend acted completely different from one day to the next, you’d think she was schizophrenic (and hopefully help her seek medical attention).
With buyer personas, you’ll ensure a uniform voice throughout all your communications (marketing material, social media, customer service etc.) so that your current and future customers feel like you’re speaking to them like a human, not a corporation, creating and reinforcing a real sense of trust.
2. Streamline the Inbound Process
Buyer personas are absolutely essential to executing a successful inbound marketing strategy. Why? Because you need to develop content your audience will find compelling and that’s very difficult to do if you don’t know who they are and what they like. Also, if you have more than just one type of customer, personas can help segment your messaging. For example, let’s assume you sell a revolutionary new lightweight workout bench and your consumers fall into two groups: young men just out of college and older men who are about to retire. Develop buyer personas for both and you’ll easily be able to segment your email marketing efforts, allowing you to write genuine email copy that speaks to the hopes, fears and interests of each target demographic.
Whether it’s writing emails, blog posts, landing pages or any other piece of content driving your inbound marketing efforts, buyer personas ensure your messaging remains focused and targeted on the people you’re selling to.
3. Confirm Sales and Marketing Are On The Same Page
It’s an acknowledged fact that the better your marketing and sales departments communicate, the smoother your business will operate. So schedule a meeting with your whole team on a Friday afternoon and begin development on your personas. Eventually you’ll also need to conduct interviews or run focus groups but this short exercise can go a long way to fix everyone’s attention on your target audience, clarifying confusions and making interesting discoveries in the process. Once completed, those personas will not only make your sales efforts more robust but they can be used to bring a new hirer up to speed quickly and efficiently.
Businesses are more successful when sales and marketing agree on who the target consumer is and how to go about communicating with him. Create buyer personas to guarantee your whole team’s on the same page; they’re ideal educational tools for new employees as well.