“The key is to understand your customer on a deeper level. For example, we understand that some of our clients want jewelry that’s sentimental in value and unique to them, so we created customized options. All our choices are based on customer needs.” -Raphi Mahgereft (founder and CEO of jewelry retailer Allurez)
Have you noticed a lack of connection between your business and potential customers? If you don’t fix this then I have bad news: you and your business are in big trouble.
Luckily, the information in this post and in a following Wednesday post are for you. The way to fix your problem is by creating and using buyer personas. These are also known as marketing personas, user personas, customer profiles, and many names all meaning the same thing. A buyer persona is a “semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers based on data and research. [It will] help you focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development to suit the needs of your target customers and align all work across your organization (from marketing to sales to service).”
These will help your business by giving your marketing a specific direction to go in and an easy way to make marketing decisions. Research shows that using buyer personas to target groups of customers increases open rates [for email marketing] by 16 percent.
Here are 2 examples:
1. “Our target market is women ages 18-35. The marketing plan is to post about our product on all the social medias, using flowery images and pretty calligraphy to draw women in this age range to our product.”
2. “We just created our first buyer persona. We named her Active Amy. She is 30 years old, has 2 kids, is married, loves hiking, and painting with watercolors in her spare time. She has a bachelor’s degree in art and works part-time as a phlebotomist during blood drives in her area. Because of how active she is, she is most worried about spending quality time with her family. She only uses Instagram and Pinterest.
See the difference?
Unfortunately, you can’t just google a buyer persona and use it as your own. You can’t steal one from your competitor either—you must create one yourself. It’s work, but it’s inexpensive and not terribly difficult.
The most important, and hardest, step of creating your buyer persona is to use your real customers as your data. Your buyer persona won’t be useful to you unless it accurately represents the real people buying your product.
This means you can’t make assumptions about your persona or your customers. You need to gather evidence to create your accurate details.
The best way to do this is through market research and interviews or surveys you complete with your actual customers (for example, Active Amy enjoys hiking and painting because 30% of your customers enjoy hiking and 25% enjoy painting).
Remember to talk to customers who aren’t thrilled with your product. You’ll learn more about patterns you hadn’t noticed, and you’ll gain a better understanding for your personas.
For example, you might find that your customers have less time to use your product, and are therefore unhappy with how long it takes to assemble/charge/etc. Or maybe many of them are unimpressed by the look of your product and want something more modern and elegant. This is information you can only get from unhappy customers, and it’s worth the discomfort to obtain it.
You may also want to create a negative persona. While a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, a negative — or "exclusionary” — persona is a representation of who you don’t want as a customer.
For example, this could include 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. The potential customers may be too expensive because of a low average sale price, their propensity to churn, or their unlikeliness to purchase again from your company.
Start with one or two personas. As your business grows, you can add more and alter them as needed.
And there are several websites dedicated to buyer persona creation. They have wonderful interview/survey questions to help you get started.
Once you have your personas in front of you, your marketing decisions will be much, much easier. You’ll know if you should pay for Google advertising or pay a TikTok influencer to review your product. You’ll be able to connect with your real customers and make your marketing efforts and budget count in ways they haven’t before. It’ll take time and effort, but I promise it’ll be worth it.
Grab a pen and paper and start creating your buyer persona now!
Spencer, Jennifer. “Buyer Personas: What They Are, Why They Matter and How to Best Build One.” Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, 3 Apr. 2020, https://www.entrepreneur.com/growing-a-business/buyer-personas-what-they-are-why-they-matter-and-how-to/347886.
Vaughan, Pamela. “How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Persona Template].” HubSpot Blog, HubSpot, 4 Oct. 2022, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-research.
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