How To Develop A Buyer Persona
Targeting your ideal customer/client can be quite tricky, but having a buyer persona can help you get to it so fast because it helps you craft content targeting your potential buyers and people who need your products /services.
The buyer persona has several other names given to it. Customer persona, marketing persona and audience persona are the same as buyer persona. With buyer persona, it’s your customer's needs first, not your own needs! You could be wondering what a buyer/customer/audience or marketing persona means; let us look at it in detail.
A Buyer persona means a full elaboration of someone who bears all the characteristics of your target audience and potential buyers. However, that person might not be your real customer but behaves or acts like them; such a person can help you know what the interests of your customers could be, what their goals are, what they do, where they stay, the media platforms they engage with most, how often do they buy and a lot more information concerning what your potential customers look like or might look like.
The whole round idea about buyer persona is that it allows you to speak to someone or a person pretending to be your customer, which guides you to do what is in line with what your real customers expect from you, for example drafting the right marketing content, branding, producing products that are in line with what your customers want, the right social media channels to use while advertising to them and a lot more of any other information that you might want to know about your customers and their corresponding behaviors, interests, likes and preferences.
As an entrepreneur/businessman/woman or owner of a small startup, you have to recognize the fact that people are different in races, tribes, beliefs, backgrounds, cultural aspects, and needs and also preferences; therefore that means you can’t simply rely on one buyer persona perhaps you need to have more than one so that people of different races, tribes and cultural background are all represented.
Buyer personas are essential for your business but do you know how to design one? Let us look at how to do one.
To create or develop a buyer persona, you don’t just wake up and have one ready, but rather, it requires you to do it through a process of doing several interviews, research, conducting individual surveys and group discussions between 10-12 people. The group discussion participants have to be a mixture of those who could be your current customers, leads, prospects, contacts in your database, contacts outside your database; you could as well include people within your surroundings like neighbors, companies producing same or close products, you can also include friends and partially family to pick all their ideals about a product that you are due to develop. This will give you a clear view/ direction of what to do, how to do it and what to expect.
Crafting a buyer persona, the requirements and how you can do it!
1. Record and capture your customer persona’s background information
Capturing and recording your customer’s basic background information helps you to know more about them that is what he or she does, how much he or she earns, where he or she stays, marital status, age, gender, their likes, and so much more information concerning them that you might want to know. Knowing more about a person helps to act in a responsive way to what your buyer persona wants from you or similarly produce goods that are in line with what that customer wants from you since you are now fully aware of their tastes and preferences.
2. Find out about the challenges of your customers
Finding out about what your customer's challenges are; helps you to know what problem they are facing and how best you can try to solve it, this will help you to appropriately design your product in a way that will address their concerns, and you will be able to catch their market on the spot. Ask the persona what is holding him or her back and the barriers he or she has interfaced that don’t allow her or him to reach their designed goal. You can find out about this by conducting an interview with the person or listening carefully as the person tells his story, giving them a questionnaire to fill or by engaging the person through social media. While having such engagements, you can try to ask them about your brand, how it performs on the market, what they think should be improved, what is working better and what is not working. That research will highlight what you should do next, for example, the key areas to focus on and many others.
3. From the conversation you have heard with the persona, share what you think could be their inspirations.
Sharing with the persona what you have learned from them and what you probably think that could be inspiring them simply helps you to create clarity of what their needs are, for example, where they wish to be, why they are not getting there, how he or she can get there and how long it may take them to get there? What you mention is not right, the persona will probably tell you that it’s not right, and they will put it in the right wording or the proper way for you,u and hence you won’t be misled while addressing their issues or concerns.
4. Identify what your customers’ goals are
Knowing what your persona wants to achieve is very important because it helps hit the direction of where they want to be, but this depends on the kind of products and services you offer. If you offer products/services that are in line with the customer's goals, you have to go in the direction of their goals to help them achieve what they want successfully. If your persona’s goals are directly close to the services you provide to them; well and good, you can go ahead to help them get where they want to be; however, if their needs are not closely related, you can benchmark on them and use them for something else maybe as your marketing or campaigning platform. You can find out about your buyer's goals by social listening or from the interviews you hold with them; you can also ask your sales reps since they directly interact with people in the buyer’s field; you can also inquire from the customer service desk to find out what customers are always looking for. All those places will help you to gather the right information about your customers’ goals and what you can perhaps do about them.
5. Get your sales team ready to meet your persona
Train your sales representatives about what they should expect from personas, especially when they go to the field. While visiting the field, sales representatives should find out more about the personas and what they want, for example, who they are, their challenges, what they want to achieve, how they want to get there and what they expect to meet ahead. Sales reps should be ready to answer all those questions and are supposed to tell a client how your products/ services can help them addressed all their challenges and achieve their goals as well; in this way, a client will be convinced to become a real customer.
6. Be of help to your persona
Well, now, assuming that you clearly understand your customer’s challenges, goals and motivations, find out how you can help this persona. Find out how the products/ the services you offer can help your customer, sit down and analyze the benefits of your services to the customer one by one that will give you a glimpse of what you can handle and what you can’t handle. Alternatively, you can ask your sales reps that are always in the field with customers about how certain issues should be handled/addressed, or you can directly ask those customers about how they want their issues addressed.
7. Have a similar language about your products or services.
Tell the whole company about how they should speak about the services/ the products you offer so that you all can have a similar language. Consistency regarding giving out information is vital because it acts as the foundation of building trust in your products/services. If you and all your employees speak the same language in regards to marketing and selling your products, then it becomes easy to gain public trust as compared to when each person/employee speaks varying information about a product. Similarly, you can also tell your personas about what they have to talk about your products while outside there in public.
8. Last but not least, create your buyer persona
When you are done putting together all the information you wanted from a customer, now you can put down that information in its chronological order, starting with, for example, the demographic information about a persona, their inspirations and goals next, their challenges, how they can address their challenges to achieve their goals, and lastly how your products/ services can suit in to address their concerns.
In conclusion, creating a buyer persona is not just important, but a necessity for you as a businessman, entrepreneur; as earlier said, it helps you get the target audience that will need to use your services/products without being misled or to waste resources on the wrong group/people.
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