If you want to have a successful business, it's absolutely critical that you understand who your customers are and what their motivations are for buying your products or services. The more information that you have about your customers, the more strategic and effective that you can be across many business fronts, including product development, pricing, inventory management, and marketing.
So how should you go about gaining this valuable information about your customers? The best answer is to develop clear buyer personas that make sense to you and your team. As you revamp your marketing efforts for the new year, embrace the following steps to develop clear and concise buyer personas:
1. Assign a name and headshot to every buyer persona.
Your business more than likely has multiple types of customers. To clearly segment each group, assign a name and headshot to each buyer persona that you develop. Yes, this may sound incredibly corny, but you'll probably find that doing this will will bring each buyer persona to life. Find a way to make each buyer persona memorable to both you and your team, such as using alliteration when assigning a name.
2. Define the demographic of each of your buyer personas.
Think about gender, marital status, age, net worth, geographic location, level of education, interests, and any other demographic factor that may impact reaching your buyer persona. Sorting your buyer personas by demographic can help you zero in on the data you need to develop effective advertising campaigns, better branding, and winning content.
3. Know what each of your buyer persona's goals are.
What is the goal of each specific customer type when shopping for your products or services? Does your customer place value on a low price over every other advantage that your product offers? Is the ability to easily purchase your product online with quick shipping a priority? Does your customer only want to purchase something from a trusted authority in your industry? Knowing your buyer's goals is a crucial step for creating a plan of action that isn't based purely on assumptions.
4. Make yourself aware of any objections that each buyer persona may have.
For example, if you are selling a more expensive product than your competitors, you need to be prepared to explain what makes your product superior in a way that would appeal to each buyer persona. Whatever you do, don't lie to yourself. This step will help you identify objections clearly and correctly, giving you the data you need to make important decisions regarding the future of your business, products, services, and marketing.
5. Know where each buyer persona is getting information about your product or service.
Is there a popular website or online forum that your customers frequently go to for information that pertains to your industry? Knowing this can be very beneficial for your marketing efforts because you want to be where are your customers are. Not only will this help you identify where you should be most active, it will give you a sense of what your buyer's other interests are and give you the tools you need to develop better content.
6. Know where each buyer persona hangs out on social media.
Aside from the popular sites like Facebook and Twitter, is there a niche social media site where your audience likes to hang out and chat about your industry? Also, how does your audience like to interact on social media? If sharing pictures is important, for example, being active on services like Instagram or Pinterest could be beneficial to your business. If you serve a more professional niche, you may find it worth your time to join relevant groups on LinkedIn and add value by creating discussions that engage your persona's directly.
7. Build what real customers have said about your business into your buyer personas.
If you have the benefit of meeting with your customers face-to-face, chat with them about what they like (and dislike) about your products and services. What is important to them and what would they like to see from your business? Take quotes from these informal interviews and build them into your buyer personas. It's important to listen carefully and absorb as much of the feedback as you can as constructive criticism. Do not be defensive, they are doing you a favor by giving you information you may not otherwise have had.
Take the time to walk through these steps when developing your buyer personas. The more specific you can be in segmenting each group of customers, the more intentional and effective you will be with your marketing efforts. Good luck!