Using Buyer Personas For More Effective Internet Marketing
The term “buyer persona” is a fairly recent addition to marketing jargon, though the concept of a target customer or audience is as old as marketing itself. It’s easier than ever before access the information needed to create an accurate and effective buyer persona, but many businesses are starting at a disadvantage by misunderstanding what, specifically, a buyer persona is … and what it’s not.
Research Versus Reverse Engineering
A buyer persona is a fictitious, but very specific, individual, created from hard data. Creating a useful buyer persona, or more likely, a few of them, requires analyzing your current buyers, their behaviors, and their motivations, and combining that with data from other sources. This is a point many businesses fail to understand or fully appreciate, and a place where too many websites give away opportunities for success.
Before readily available website analytics, it could be difficult and costly for smaller companies to gather and analyze this kind of data, which left them with few options beside reverse-engineering a more generalized target: “We know what the benefits of our products are, we know that people are buying them, so we’ll start with the benefits and extrapolate to make an approximate profile of people who would buy based on those things, then go forward, pitching to that generalized target.” This process paints a fuzzy target, and it’s never going to achieve results as strong as using a properly developed buyer persona.
Paint A Precise Target
Begin with your company’s own customer website analytics, and consider polling your customers on specific points like what factors prompted them actually make a decision and buy your product. Don’t overlook additional resources like your social media accounts, and your competitors’ website analytics and social media audiences. This can help you form an accurate picture; not only of the customers you have, but also of the customers you may want, as well. You can also purchase or commission market research that examines your specific vertical, to help build an even more effective buyer persona. The more fact-based details you’re able to include, the more useful that persona will be in informing your marketing decisions.
Once you’ve formed a clear picture of your buyer persona, you can place a precise target on their pain points, their heart, or their mind, whichever one (or combination) is most likely to move your buyer persona to action. You’re no longer aiming your Internet marketing and sales efforts at the general area of pain points you’ve reverse-engineered. Now, you’re using a laser to aim at a spot you’ve precisely mapped out with realized facts, not assumptions.
Avoid Costly Mistakes In Developing Buyer Personas
Creating accurate buyer personas and using them effectively in Internet marketing is a research-intensive process. Beyond the initial research, it requires careful analysis and adjustment to fine-tune each persona, and understand how best to use them in combination to achieve your specific marketing objectives. At Design and Promote, we have the experience and professional tools to help your company avoid the expensive mistake of building your branding, website, and marketing campaigns on inaccurate buyer personas. Whether your business operates locally in Naperville, regionally in the Greater Chicago Area, nation-wide, or internationally, Design and Promote’s variety of services can help you take advantage of every opportunity to expand your reach and grow your business.