How to craft buyer personas to better understand your target audience

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Do you ever feel like you’re shouting out marketing messages but never hearing any response? Could it be because your messages don’t resonate with your intended targets?

Buyer personas can solve your problem. They can, that is, if they’re well-crafted.

Buyer personas are short profiles of fictional characters who represent each segment of your target market. For example, if you sell software that helps small businesses and independent contractors manage their billings, you’ll have several personas to consider. They will likely include the owner of a small business, an employee at a slightly larger organization whose chief role is to manage the company’s money, a financial advisor who works with many small businesses and a sole proprietor.

While every person who holds one of these positions is unique and has concerns and needs specific to their circumstances, each type of potential customer shares many of the same qualities. They will likely respond well to similar messaging, but the messaging from one type of customer to another will need to be quite different. Creating buyer personas helps you identify their core similarities and shape messaging that makes an impact.

What to include in your buyer personas

When you construct buyer personas, get creative. This exercise is most useful if you go beyond bullet points to draw up a full character — it’s a great opportunity to explore the thought processes of your prospects. Ask yourself:

  • What is their career background?
  • What is their budget?
  • What are their goals, and how would your product or service help them achieve those goals?
  • What are their fears? How would your product or service help them prevent these from happening?
  • Where do they get their information? What news outlets do they read or watch?
  • Who do they consult before making buying decisions?
  • What will initially attract them to your offerings? What might make them hesitate to buy?

You may realize when working through the personas that you need to subdivide them further. Going back to our earlier example, you might realize that many of your prospects are in fact freelancers, but that those who freelance full time are attracted to your software for very different reasons than those who want it to help manage their side gig. If you determine that these differences are substantial enough to merit separate marketing messages, you should create separate personas to help you clarify that messaging further.

Why research is the foundation of strong buyer personas

To create worthwhile buyer personas, you must draw on research, rather than make things up without any backing. If you just include what you expect to be true about your audience members, you may reinforce your own assumptions about your customers, true or not, and miss out on valuable opportunities to connect with prospects.

Movéo can help you strengthen your buyer personas with marketing data from analytics software, customer surveys or customer service interactions, competitive research and more. To talk to a member of the team about how we can help you better understand your buyers, contact us today.

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