What are Buyer Personas and Why Are They Important?
Buyer personas are data and research-based profiles which summarise the demographics, interests and behaviours of a target audience – and can be very useful in the development of marketing strategies. In this article we explain why they’re important and how they can be used to achieve marketing and business objectives.
Definition of a buyer persona
A buyer persona is a summary representation of a business’ target customers. Profiles are usually made from a combination of data and anecdotal evidence and normally include:
Demographic information (i.e. average age)
Interests (i.e. businesses they may buy from, what they read, what they watch)
Behaviours (i.e. the device they use, the social media platforms they use)
Usually – multiple profiles will be created, which highlight the ‘main’ target audiences for a business. This is particularly likely if a business targets both B2C and B2B audiences, or if a business has products and services which appeal to multiple audiences.
This information provides a focus for marketing activity and can help to identify platforms and channels for marketing spend.
Why are they so important to marketing?
Buyer personas help to focus business and marketing strategies on what is important – and can help to prioritise activity on the channels and platforms which are most related to target audiences.
Benefits of buyer personas
1. Improving ROI
Research by Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those which do not prioritise their customers. Buyer personas play a key role in becoming more customer centric as they enable you to focus business and marketing activity on your target customers’ needs.
2. Reduce expenditure
Understanding target customers can help to reduce expenditure. By focusing marketing spend on the channels and platforms which target audiences are most likely to use – you are less likely to spend on advertising or strategies which do not reach your target audiences.
3. Focus messaging
Customers are more likely to engage with marketing and advertising content which is tailored to their needs. Research has shown that personas made websites 2 – 5 times more effective and easier to use to target audiences. Understanding what motivates your customers to convert will allow you to modify all touch points and optimise them for conversions.
How to create buyer personas
When creating customer profiles – it is essential you focus on the information which helps you to better understand the ‘conversion motivations’ of your target audiences. You can gather information to develop buyer personas by:
1. Reviewing customer data
Look through your customer data – specifically focusing on information such as where a customer is from (i.e. which channel) and the product/service they purchased. In addition to this, identify demographic information of interest – such as their job role, location and how this correlates to typical spend.
2. Referring to feedback and surveys
Have you ever conducted a customer survey – or do you collect feedback? If so – this information can be used to supplement a persona. Feedback on why a customer chose your business can provide crucial data points to add to your research.
3. Speaking to your team
If you have a sales team - or any customer-facing team - make sure you involve them in the development of buyer personas. These members of your team can be crucial in providing insights into your customers’ needs and any pain points they may have.
4. Harnessing social media
If you interact with your target audiences via social media channels – use the data you have to support the development of your customer profiles. Review social media output and identify which posts which resulted in the most engagements or conversions. This type of data can identify which messaging or products are most popular with target audiences.
Buyer personas and SEO
Buyer personas can help to support SEO and content strategies. Keyword research and targeting can be guided by persona development – and can help to ensure focus and priority is given to the strategies most likely to reach target audiences.
This approach is particularly beneficial to those trying to become more visible for niche or low volume search terms. Instead of focusing on specific keywords, content and SEO can target content which will reach target audiences earlier in the buyer journey.
For example – if research identified that your target customer is a decision-maker in a large business with limited time and an interest in growing their team’s skillset – focus can be on creating content which supports this need, rather than content which targets low traffic keywords. This type of content is not only useful to the target customer – but with the correct optimisation, page layout and CTAs can direct them to your business directly.
After creating buyer personas you should look to integrate them into your business and marketing activity. Share them across the business – and use them to identify key factors and points all marketing and customer-facing activity should consider.
At TDMP we have worked closely with clients in the development of buyer personas – and using them to further develop marketing and business strategies. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of using them or are interested in developing personas for your business do not hesitate to contact us.