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Inbound Fundamentals: What is a Buyer Persona and Why is It Important to You?

Creating a buyer persona for your business may sound like one of those exercises you do in a workshop that you’ll spend a couple hours creating, but realistically, you’ll get too busy running your business to actually do anything with. But buyer personas are different. They aren’t just a snazzy marketing exercise, but tools that can help you build your business.

Buyer personas aren’t about attracting any customer, but rather attracting the right customer. And that distinction is critical to the growth of your business.

Let’s look at what buyer personas are, how they can benefit your company, and how to begin to build out your own buyer personas.

What is a buyer persona?

HubSpot, a leading inbound marketing agency, defines buyer personas as ‘semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer, based on real data and some select educational speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals.’

Essentially, buyer personas help you market to a very specific subset of customers. Rather than trying to ‘reach everyone through every channel’ you can narrow down your focus to the customers who will find your products and services useful to their lifestyle.

Here’s an example of a buyer persona for a housewares shop.

IMG_1259Professional Paula is a 45-year-old woman living in San Diego, and has been married for 15 years. She works for a PR agency and is soon to be made partner. She makes $100,000 a year and her husband owns a construction company. They have a teenage daughter and a 10-year-old son. Professional Paula enjoys nice things and likes to go treasure hunting in small boutiques. She wants her friends to come into her home and ask where she bought something. She cares about her appearance and the appearance of her home. She thinks of herself as a trendsetter for housewares and home goods. She subscribes to Modern Home and Architectural Digest.

Why do you need them and how do they benefit?

Do you sometimes feel you’re throwing something at the wall (usually something that costs money and uses resources) just to see if it sticks? Whether it’s marketing dollars, product innovation money, or employee resources, minimizing waste is essential in business.

Buyer personas help you focus your energies and resources on specific activities that will actually reach your customers. Targeted ‘throwing’ and knowing it will ‘stick’ saves you money and helps you learn more about your audience.

Your buyer personas will help you identify who you want to reach. Every action the company makes is for your personas, whether it’s content, social media, web site, or even billing and finance. Every department should understand the personas and know how to interact with each of them.

How to create your buyer personas.

When creating your buyer personas, the more details you have the better. However, keep in mind that your personas don’t ever have to be ‘done.’ These are ‘people’ who are forever growing and evolving as your business grows and evolves.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your persona.

  • Identify questions to ask to identify your personas.
  • Determine how you’ll research your personas.
  • Compile your research. Look for trends.
  • Create a Buyer Persona Development Worksheet for each persona.
  • Build best practices to transform your worksheet into a complete persona.

If you are having issues understanding or creating your buyer personas for your company, Seapoint Digital can help! We have resources and tools you can use to narrow down your personas and to help you focus your marketing efforts to reach the right customers for your business.

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Rachel

With over ten years experience writing professionally, Rachel Vander Pol uses her long time love of writing to bring flair to Seapoint Digital from our satellite office in Cork, Ireland. When not behind her computer writing, Rachel enjoys traveling, volunteering, and seeing and experiencing as many cultures as possible.

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