You frequently read about buyer persona. Many marketing practitioners consider it crucial in their marketing campaigns. Some, however, are not so sure what it exactly means while others, at worst, simply ignore it.
Let us try to come up with a simple understanding of buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
There are many definitions by experts but let us describe one that is adequate enough.
A buyer persona is a hypothetical representation of the ideal customer embodying the target market’s most critical, relevant, and common demographic and psychographic characteristics, and how these influence their perception of a value proposition that consequently results in either a positive or negative consideration.
The characteristics mentioned above are derived from the evaluation of data from research and information gathered from actual current market experience.
Why is it important in marketing?
A buyer persona that is detailed and specific enough can help your marketing team to have a clear target to focus on.
Without a clear target, you have nothing to aim at in terms of product/service development, pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies. As we repeatedly mentioned in our previous articles, all strategies should have a clear target or objective.
You develop a product for a specific group of buyers with common and related demographic and psychographic description. You simply cannot offer a product or service that will likely be used by anyone in the market.
You also develop a pricing strategy that will appeal to a certain segment of the market. Not everyone can afford a product with a high price tag.
Your promotion strategy is likewise targeted at an audience with well defined demographic characteristics as well as behavior, preferences, and decision-making process.
This is similarly the case when it comes to distribution. Some segments of the market prefer doing purchases in physical stores while others prefer online purchases.
The buyer persona pervades every marketing function. It is an unequivocal insight into how your ideal customer thinks, feels, and acts.
The more buyer persona-driven you are, the bigger your opportunity to provide a better experience along your customer’s purchase journey from being a website or store visitor to a buying customer and to being a loyal brand advocate.
How do we create a buyer persona?
Creating a buyer persona is not a one-off process. It is iterative with every cycle strengthening the validation of your buyer persona. I recommend the following process:
Identify demographic data
What for example are the gender, age bracket, educational attainment, income level, and residential location of your target buyers?
Make a profile of behavior, preferences, and decision-making process
What are their preferences in terms of product features (make, style, or color)? Do they follow current trends in product choices? How do they decide to make a purchase – by researching on the internet, asking relatives/friends for recommendations, or do they buy on impulse?
Compile data on reaction and feedback to marketing messages
How do your customers respond to promo campaigns? Do they ask questions first before making any consideration? What problems or issues do they seek clarification on? What terms do they use to communicate online or what keywords trigger their clicks to your website?
Analyze and evaluate Items 1 – 3 above
Consolidate your findings, brainstorm on it, and come up with conclusions.
Fine tune your buyer persona and iterate
Tweak your buyer persona, if necessary, and repeat the above process on a regular basis especially after a major marketing campaign.
A good marketer cannot simply ignore the buyer persona. Marketing success depends on how well it is understood.
I welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions. Or we can also discuss your other business concerns.