It's important to establish buyer personas for your business so that you can segment your audience and create stronger marketing campaigns. But, how do you start researching and creating these personas from scratch?
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WHAT ARE BUYER PERSONAS?
Buyer personas are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. (Note: If you’re new to personas, start small! You can always develop more personas later if needed).
WHAT ARE NEGATIVE PERSONAS?
Whereas a buyer persona is a representation of an ideal customer, a negative -- or “exclusionary” -- persona is a representation of who you don’t want as a customer.
This could include, for example, professionals who are too advanced for your product or service, students who are only engaging with your content for research/knowledge, or potential customers who are just too expensive to acquire (because of a low average sale price, their propensity to churn, or their unlikeliness to purchase again from your company).
HOW CAN YOU USE PERSONAS?
At the most basic level, personas allow you to personalise or target your marketing for different segments of your audience. For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas.
If you take the time to create negative personas, you’ll have the added advantage of being able to segment out the “bad apples” from the rest of your contacts, which can help you achieve a lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer (and see higher sales productivity).
When combined with lifecycle stage (i.e. how far along someone is in your sales cycle), buyer personas also allow you to map out and create highly targeted content.
HOW DO YOU CREATE BUYER PERSONAS?
Buyer personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside of your contact database who might align with your target audience.
Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas:
- Interview customers either in person or over the phone to discover what they like about your product or service.
- Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
- When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. (For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms. You could also gather information on what forms of social media your leads use by asking a question about social media accounts).
- Take into consideration your sales team's feedback on the leads they are interacting with most. (What types of sales cycles does your sales team work with? What generalisations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?)
At Stratagem&Co, we believe that being able to quickly assess and evaluate the 'health' of your sales and marketing pipeline is a key component to you achieving and sustaining your growth. That's why we've created high quality business health check tools to help you to receive the expert advice you need to achieve your business goals in an affordable and easily accesible way.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When you sign-up for a Stratagem Business Health-check you will receive:
- A web link to a detailed online questionnaire - written by a member our panel of subject matter experts.
- Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will instantly receive an overall 'health-score' for the questionnaire that you have completed.
- Shortly afterwards, based on the answers you have in the questionnaire, you will receive a detailed and far-ranging report, again, written by one of our industry experts, that will help you to diagnose the issues that you have in your business and provide you with advice and links to additional resources to help you resolve the challenges that you are facing.
- Within 48 hours of completing the questionnaire, you will receive a call from a Stratagem&Co Partner to arrange your follow-up Health-check Consultation.
- During the Consultation you will be able to discuss and explore any issues that have arisen in the report and address any questions that you may have.
- If any follow-up actions are identified, your Stratagem&Co Partner will then work with you on an individual basis to help you to resolve any further issues that you may have and develop bespoke solutions for you that closely fit your business needs and resolve your challenges.
However we support you, the focus for us is to help you to identify and resolve the blockers that are stopping you from getting you to where you want to go – then it’s our promise to deliver a bespoke solution that fits around you and your organisation to drive your business growth.
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