In any industry, it is vital to understand what buyer personas are, and the importance they bring to the table. Personas are created to provide insights in identifying who your ideal buyer is, what they do, what challenges they face, and goals they hope to achieve and/or accomplish. Buyer personas help you create personalized outreach campaigns that speak to the emotional value your product provides.
Although many companies may have more than one buyer, it is important to re-evaluate and identify who the key buyers are, to deliver forensically accurate, targeted messaging. If you are thinking to yourself “well, everyone is my target buyer because everyone can use my product,” then you don’t understand or know who your ideal buyer is. In that case, we suggest conducting market research, to find out some key questions. These include:
- Who would gain the most value from your product or service?
- Who can afford your product?
- Which segments of your target market do you want to serve and focus on?
This last question ultimately influences your customer base and your organization’s brand image. For example, a furniture delivery company has the capacity to deliver more than just furniture. Their trucks can be used to deliver lumber, drywall, and light machinery equipment, however; it is very unlikely for the furniture company to accept these types of jobs as it is not part of their ideal target market.
After you define your buyers, an optional, but helpful step, is to visualize or draw a picture that resembles your target market. Putting a face to your buyer is a great starting point to commence from.
The best buyer personas are a combination of market research and insights you gather from your existing customers. Ian Brodie, in his book “Email Persuasion”, outlines the structure of a great customer profile. You can create a buyer persona by following our adaptation of Ian’s customer profile.
It initially starts off by writing basic facts and demographics about who your ideal clients are and what they do. These are mentioned below:
- Current job role
- Personality types
- Previous work experience and career path
The next step is to write down the buyers’ roles, and responsibilities within their occupation. This includes:
- Key responsibilities and deliverables.
- The roles they play within the organization. For example, a CTO is both a technologist as well as a strategist.
After completing the first two steps – research your buyers’ industry trends and write down what makes your product an essential solution for their business. This should be completed with the usage of figures, statistical evidence and facts.
A few questions to help you grasp this section are:
- What are the general market trends that create the need for your solution, both now and in the future?
- What are your buyers’ competitors doing?
- Are there any bottlenecks that the business may risk running into?
- Any economical, legal or environmental regulations that may create or hinder opportunities?
The last step, being the most important step, involves putting all the data from the other three steps together to identify the emotional values your ideal client holds. These values drive their buying decisions. Use the following guide to discover these intrinsic values:
- What are the buyers’ pain points and how you can relieve them?
- What are the gains or improvements you help them accomplish?
- What are the impacts of those pain points on both the individual and their business?
- What would the results look and feel like if they achieved their goals?
- What would they need to see from you to believe that you are the right person to work with or buy from?
- What are they afraid of?
- What risks do they see in working with you?
When uncovering a buyer’s emotional values, you must ask several “why?” questions to further help you understand. For example, a Head of Sales wants to grow their company’s sales by 15% this quarter. Why? Do they want to be promoted to VP of Sales? Do they want to hit their quarterly bonus so they can take their family on vacation? Perhaps sales have been slow recently and if they don’t achieve this, their job may be at risk?
Your goal is to understand why your buyer wants to achieve their goals, how their current pain points are preventing them from doing so and how you and your product can relieve them of these pain points. Understanding this will help you personalize your message so it speaks to your buyer’s emotional values, increasing the likelihood of a buying decision.
Here at FiveRings Marketing, we create buyer personas for each customer segment. This avoids sending generic messages and instead creates personalized engagement with your target audience. This is often skipped, despite being one of the most important steps to any outreach. Planning is key in any project, and this applies here too. With planning, you will send messaging that will resonate with your buyers, thus increasing sales.