The adage “the customer is always right,” dates back to the early 20th century, but a growing trend in marketing is taking the same approach.
A buyer persona takes real-world research to answer the who, what, when, where, why, and especially the how of your customers.
- Who your customer is
- What is the motivation for buying/using your product
- When they need to make the move to purchase your product
- Where you can find them
- Why they need your product
- How they think
Rather than focusing on your product, focus on the buyer. By digging deep into the mind and motivation of a customer, you understand the decisions that go into choosing to work with your company. Knowing that motivating factor will allow you to design targeted marketing strategies.
So how do you concoct a buyer persona?
It’s all about asking the right questions. As stated above, it all comes down to the buyer’s motivation. The interview process is the most important step in developing a quality profile. You can’t create something that will inform your strategies without the base information gathered in the research phase. Not sure where to begin? If you don’t have the resources to hire a company to conduct interviews for you, there are plenty of templates online that will get you started.
Interpreting your interviews is the next step. It’s important to focus on the commonalities of the responses. Don’t focus too much on specific details or you risk missing out on the big picture. A key is also following the buyer’s lead. You may even be surprised at where it takes you. You and your team may be excited over features you think set your product apart. But if it doesn’t mean much to the buyer, it shouldn’t be a focus in your marketing.
The usefulness of a buyer persona doesn’t end once your marketing strategies are created. Continue to refer to the ideas and data to remind yourself – and your salespeople – what is driving your customers. As the market evolves, it’s also worth revisiting the interview process to update the persona.