If you don’t understand your audience, it’s unlikely that you will ever develop marketing communications or campaigns that offer real results.
Today’s digital age favors businesses that offer consumers genuine value while providing direct solutions to their pressing pain points. The most effective way to create content that engages your prospects on a deeply personal level and offers a healthy return on investment (ROI) is to create buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a profile that embodies your model customer—a blueprint that will empower you to tailor your marketing and branding efforts to meet the exact needs of the audience.
Research shows that three or four buyer personas usually account for more than 90% of a company’s sales. That’s difficult to ignore.
Buyer personas are integral to ongoing business success; here we explore how to create insightful customer profiles fit for the digital age.
1. Conduct Market Research
When creating a buyer persona for the digital consumer, you’re essentially developing a personality that represents an important segment of your audience. For that reason, careful market research will form the foundation of your success.
Employ the following methods to gain valuable insights on who your customers are, what they want and what inspires them:
- Hold surveys and polls across social media channels. Take time to indulge in social listening, gaining insight on how target consumers interact with their peers.
- Conduct focus groups and incentivize customers to attend one-to-one interviews to gather information or feedback on different aspects of your brand, products or services.
- Look at competitors’ marketing campaigns, messaging, communications and customer engagement.
By taking the time to gather qualitative data from a broad range of sources, you´ll be able to breathe life into your buyer personas.
2. Analyze the Data
In recent years, we’ve created more data than in the entire history of the human race. You can make use of this quantitative information to color the picture you´ve started to paint with market research.
Digital data offers insights that can significantly improve decision-making. By exploring website analytics, drilling down into consumer demographics and patterns of online behavior, you´ll be able to see how consumers discover and engage with your website, and uncover keywords they use to find you.
This level of data is vital to fully understanding how consumers perceive your brand and how they behave online, enabling you to effectively target marketing efforts to reach them.
Alongside your website analytics, other sources of insightful data include:
- Social media analytics
- Official statistics, studies, and data from relevant industry publications
- Metrics and insights extracted from your CRM database
3. Build Your Personas
Armed with research and data-driven consumer insights, you´ll be ready to build accurate buyer personas. Using the following fields as a template, create a detailed picture of your key customer types.
Name: Giving your personas names will bring them to life and make them relatable, ultimately helping you market to them.
Occupation: Include as much detail as possible about personas´ jobs and roles to get a closer understanding of their needs and the pressures they face.
- Company size
Key Demographics: The more you know about your personas the better you will be able to target advertising. It´ll also help you with the next step, identifying their goals and challenges.
- Salary / household income
- Current location: urban, suburban or rural
- Level of education or certification
- Family size
Goals and Challenges: What does your persona want in life? What are their main frustrations? How can you help them to achieve their goals and surmount their challenges? These insights will shape the language and design you can use to approach your target customer.
- Primary goal
- Secondary goal
- How will you help your persona achieve these goals?
- Primary challenge
- Secondary challenge
- How can you assist in resolving these challenges?
Values and Fears: A deeper understanding of your audience will enable you to better reach and convert them into loyal customers.
- What are their core values?
- What worries your persona?
- What do they object to during the sales process?
4. Write Persona-Specific Communications
Core Marketing Message: How can you communicate your product or services to each persona? How will you position your brand story when talking to them?
Elevator Pitch: The elevator pitch should succinctly capture the essence of your core marketing message. It can be used across communications channels to reach each of your personas.
Understanding your customers is vital to business success—if you don’t know who your audience is, how can you expect to connect with them? Short answer: you can’t. However, by following the guide above you can develop detailed profiles fit for marketing success in the digital age.
Secure Your Marketing Career
To dive deeper into the world of marketing and gain expertise to pave the way to your future career, take a look at the program for EU Business School Master in Marketing. Available in Barcelona, Geneva, Montreux and online, the course includes modules on strategic, digital and international marketing.