Buyer persona, or simply persona, is a fictional character that is constructed from the ethnography of a population (age, sex, customs, beliefs, among many others), with a psychological profile, qualities and similar behaviors. It should be noted that for the same product or service, a company can create different Buyer Personas profiles.
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Those who work with marketing, advertising or have already announced in the media, surely have ever answered who is the target audience of their company.
Understanding the buyer is essential not only for product development, but also for content production that will guide the acquisition of new customers.
In the production of material for the Blog or for the Social Networks of a company, we use an interesting resource that facilitates the addressing of the topics: the creation of a Buyer Persona, that is, the definition of the typical client , with all the main characteristics of the buyers.
Meeting the challenge of creating and setting up a Buyer Persona, or several Buyer Personas, can be easier when you get to ask the right questions.
Then, you just have to use that information in a productive way so that all action and decision making is directed towards that profile.
In this post, we are going to talk about the concept of Buyer Persona, show its importance for a business and teach how to create an ideal Buyer Persona model to correctly guide the actions of your company.
But if you still have doubts or have not understood the importance of producing content, to educate and attract potential customers to your company, we invite you to download the following guide: “Content Marketing for Results” and take advantage of this great strategy to achieve concrete results.
After all, what is Buyer Persona?
Buyer Persona is the fictitious representation of your ideal customer. It is based on real data about the behavior and demographic characteristics of your customers, as well as a creation of their personal stories, motivations, goals, challenges and concerns.
A good definition of Buyer Persona passes precisely through contact with your target audience, so that in a quick analysis you can identify common characteristics among potential buyers.
If you have a customer base, this will be the perfect place to start your research. Even if you have different profiles of individuals or companies that consume your product, some of them tend to be examples of your Buyer Persona.
An important tip is to focus on both satisfied and dissatisfied customers. In both cases, you will surely learn something about the perception of your product and what challenges your customers are facing.
What would be the difference between buyer persona and target audience?
It is common for there to be some confusion in the concepts, but there is one thing we can say for sure: Buyer Persona and target audience are not synonymous.
Let’s go to a practical example:
- Target audience: Men and women, 24 to 30 years old, single, graduated in architecture, with average monthly income of $ 3,500,000 who plan to increase their professional training and they like to travel.
- Buyer person: Pedro is 26 years old, a recently graduated and autonomous architect. He plans to develop professionally by doing a master’s degree abroad because he loves to travel, he is single and he always wanted to do an exchange. He is looking for an agency to help him find universities in Europe that accept foreign students.
Is the difference understood? The target audience is generally a comprehensive part of the society to which you sell your products or services. The Buyer Persona, as said in the previous item, is the representation of your ideal client, in a more humanized and personalized way.
At first glance they may even sound very similar. But it is different to think of a Digital Marketing strategy directed to Pedro Paulo and not to a large target audience.
Also, if you think you’ve segmented too thoroughly, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one Buyer Person. It is common for businesses to have more than one defined Buyer Persona. But don’t overdo it. If just one can limit your audience too much, many can make your strategy lose focus.
Why create a Buyer Persona?
The creation of Buyer Personas is seen as a fundamental step within a Marketing Digital strategy of results. We create Buyer Personas to send the right message to the right individuals and thus generate greater chances of success.
Without a Buyer Persona defined, in some cases your strategy may get lost and you end up speaking in Spanish with someone who only understands Greek; or promoting cuts of meat for someone vegetarian; or offering your class A product to people in class C; among other examples.
So we list some reasons that demonstrate the importance of creating Buyer Personas for your business:
- Determine the type of content you need to achieve your goals;
- Define the tone and style of your content;
- Help design your marketing strategies by presenting to the audience what to focus on;
- Define the topics you should write about;
- Understand where potential customers look for your information and how they want to consume it
Questions that will help you define a Buyer Persona
After understanding what Buyer Persona is, what are its advantages for your business and gathering some preliminary information, you will have to orient yourself by the profile of your typical client.
In other words, you should get carried away by the majority to answer some questions that will help you define the behavior profile of your Buyer Persona:
- Who is your potential client? (physical and psychological characteristics of the person responsible for the purchase)
- What type of topic would you be interested in about your sector?
- What are the most common activities that you carry out (both personally and professionally)?
- What is your level of education? What are your challenges and obstacles?
- What kind of information do you consume and in what vehicles?
- What are your goals, difficulties and challenges?
- In the case of B2B products, what is the type of company that buys your solution? And what is the position of who buys?
- Who influences your decisions?
In addition, you need to keep in mind what the person responsible for purchasing your product or service is looking for in your company’s area of action.
Think about the topics that may interest you, for example: the problems you face on a daily basis related to your sector.
Once that process is finished, you will have a good amount of raw data on potential consumers.
How to create a Buyer Persona
The next step is to design the customer’s profile based on the responses obtained. With that, you will be able to unify the information and develop the character in a document made available to everyone in the company, so that they can benefit from the study you did.
Some characteristics that we use to define Buyer Personas here in RD Station are:
- Name of the Buyer Person (Fictitious)
- Position / Occupation
- Activity segment
- Level of education
- Means of communication used
- Objectives of the Buyer Persona
- Challenges of the Buyer Persona
We create names for the Buyer Personas because that facilitates internal discussions, targeting the Buyer Persona: « ¿ But you think Would Juan Carlos be interested in that? ».
Another possibility is to use some graphic model to represent it.
Remember to also consider that the Buyer Persona may be a visitor who has just arrived, who does not know or is not looking for your company, but rather the solution to a problem. This often happens on company sites that do Inbound Marketing .
So, ask yourself: how can the approach and exposure of content related to your market be for that Buyer Persona?
The Fantastic Buyer Personas Generator
If you still have a bit of difficulty creating the ideal Buyer Persona for your company, then use our tool designed for this purpose.
The Fantastic Buyer People Generator is a step by step that will help you in its creation. At the end of the stages, the tool will put at your disposal a PDF with all the information of the Buyer Persona documented.
One suggestion is to print that document and share it with the people in your company.
You can paste the images on walls, blackboards or bulletin boards to give them a greater highlight, or also, make it available in a drive so that all employees have quick access.
Among our clients and blog followers, this tool had a great impact and fabulous results, so don’t waste any more time and try “The Fantastic People Generator” now.
How can you use Design Thinking to build people in collaboration with your team?
Have you ever seen those walls full of post-its posted on a photo or on a business? They are part of a technique called Design Thinking, used by innovative companies to facilitate or develop projects.
Although they were not elevated to the methodology, the founders of the American consultancy IDEO, Tim Brown and David Kelley, are primarily responsible for transforming the unpopular world into two businesses.
Focused on collaboration, Design Thinking’s main objective is to put people at the center of the project’s development. The idea is that the participants remain immersed, solving complex problems creatively and focused on the needs of the market. And you can use the methodology to develop or profile your buyer persona!
Tim Brown defends or outlines two professions in T, where the vertical vertex is specialized in his area of knowledge and the horizontal in the ability to relate to other areas.
Working with a heterogeneous team allows us to have different points of view to understand the problem in greater depth. Based on all this information, the watchword is empathy.
Choose the key people who will participate in the creation of the person
Based on the concept of T-profiles, choose within your team all those who can add knowledge.
At the vertical vertex, choose roles that deal directly with your customers. After all, they can provide important suggestions based on their daily work, which involves continuous contact with customers.
From this, you can combine function specialty (vertical) with behavioral characteristics and prioritize people with ease to collaborate and with good relationships between different areas in the horizontal vertex.
Interesting profiles for this step can be: r social networks, designer, customer service and support, as well as the marketing analyst.
If you have BI or data analysts who indirectly collect customer data, include that as well. If possible, invite someone from senior management, such as a director or CEO, but remember: the goal is to collaborate and there cannot be one opinion owner per hierarchy on the corporate org chart.
The 4 steps of Design Thinking to use in the construction of people
Once the group is defined, it is time to get down to work and, for this, the methodology is divided into 4 steps:
This is the moment of chaos, the moment to immerse yourself fully in the problem to be solved.
In immersion, we need to seek as much information as possible, investigate, look at data, seek new perspectives, share knowledge. To get started, call the chosen group and present the project idea and goal, which is the creation of people.
After the presentation, ask the group to observe your clients for the next few days and apply interviews, as we saw earlier.
At this point, all the data collected in the dive phase will be organized. To analyze and synthesize all the information collected, join your working group and ask them to put the information collected on information cards (post-its).
Leave only one piece of information per card and post it on the wall for all to see. From there, start looking for patterns on post-its and group them together. Group by repetition or by type of information.
For example, collect all the cards that contain professions. When the same profession appears two or more times, bring them even closer. In the end, we will have visual clusters that will allow you to see which profession has appeared the most.
After grouping, use the technique called empathy mapping, as shown in the image below:
In addition to the groupings of characteristics such as age, profession, gender and education, define the ones that appear the most and begin to build your persona.
On the empathy map, take the cards that represent each of the spaces on the map: what you think or feel, what you hear, what you see, what you say and do, needs and pains.
Each empathy map will be a person. So take advantage and download an empathy map template to use in this process.
Time to name the oxen, literally. Based on the empathy map, it’s time to shut down our people.
Define a name, a job title, an age, your education and write paragraphs with behavioral characteristics.
After this prototyping, we need validation. So look within your customer base for those who have a profile similar to the people you draw. Evaluate if your people make sense and if they represent profiles of extreme users of the product or service.
If the validation is negative, we can repeat the people creation process. If it is partially negative, we can remove the inconsistent people and use the consistent ones.
Once this process is complete, we can use our people in different ways to generate insights in future projects.
How to avoid falling into stereotypes when building your persona
However, what often happens is that, instead of using real data, from studies and statistical reports, people are created based on ideas and “assumptions”.
That means that instead of targeting your campaigns for your ideal audience, you may be wasting resources with stereotypes that don’t exist. This way, you won’t arouse the interest of the right people.
A great example of this is the preconception, still present in our society, that those who play video games are young men, when in fact, 52% of gamers are women.
The Kim Kardashian: Hollywood , launched by the American society in 2013, is an example of a game that was made thinking in an audience that has an interest in video games, but rarely finds something developed especially for them.
For having created a product focusing its dissemination strategies on an audience that really exists and was looking for that, 200 million dollars was generated in revenue only in the first year of launch.
In this way, to have successful products and Marketing campaigns with good income, it is essential to start the process with an investigation in which as many “assumptions” as possible are avoided.
The Internet is a great tool that facilitates research. You can search for studies carried out by third parties whose results are published on the internet, such as Google Consumer Barometer , university sites and the CEPALSTAT .
Another good option is to interview your current clients, either through forms, emails or phone calls.
In this way, you get to talk directly with them, to better understand who your customers are, what they are looking for, what they like and what they don’t.
2. Do not have preconceptions
Don’t be macho / racist / homophobic / lesbophobic / transphobic / etc .
It sounds obvious enough, but you can still find many companies using offensive content when promoting their brand products.
The clearest example of this are some beer companies that use men as the protagonists of their advertisements and women as background, decorative objects, even though it is a fact that More and more women consume this drink .
3. Understand the moment
To have relevant campaigns, it is necessary to internalize what is important to you now.
In this way, it is important to pay attention to news and trends of what the public is watching today. By not doing this, you run the risk of approaching your audience with an outdated and outdated view of what is relevant to them.
In addition, you lose the opportunity to interact and connect with them at the ideal moment to enchant your Clients, Leads and Visitors.
Next steps: Align Buyer Personas with the purchase process
Verify in practice how to define the Buyer Personas for your company and design the purchasing process for your client
After defining the Buyer Personas, your company will be ready to communicate more appropriately with your potential customers.
The next step is to create a relationship strategy based on the buying process of these Buyer Personas.
Your company can create content based on the purchasing process of your Buyer Persona and then use that process to do a Marketing Automation planning .
To help you do all this, we have a complementary tool: the Buying Process Generator. It is a step by step to define and know, quickly and easily, the paths that your Buyer Personas take until the moment they are ready to buy your product or service.
Enjoy the tool and many successes!
If you are ready to take your Digital Marketing strategy to the next level, start your free trial of RD Station Marketing now.
This article was originally published on March 26, 2018 and updated on October 3, 2021.
- Digital Marketing Strategy