One of the most powerful tools for building a marketing campaign is the buyer persona – or, at least, it is when it’s done properly. Simply put, a buyer persona is a sort of “character sheet” which describes the personality, goals, outlook, pain points, and other important factors influencing the psychology of your target market(s). It’s basically a quick cheat sheet for understanding how your audience thinks, when you’re putting together web content, marketing materials, or other buyer-facing outreach.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating buyer personas. They will be as different and varied as products and audiences. However, there are still some tricks you can use to help ensure that your buyer persona is accurate and useful as a decision-making tool.
1. Whenever possible, base your build on data.
The hard data you collect on your leads and customers will always be the best guideline for putting your buyer persona together. Don’t write personas for the buyers you wish you had. Write them for the buyers you can demonstrably prove you have via data.
Remember, products and services sometimes have crossover appeal, or turn out to be popular in Market B even if the company thought they were targeting Market A. Embrace such discoveries and use them to your advantage!
2. Leverage surveys to gather more info.
It can be hard to get a lot of nuance from raw data, which is why buyer surveys are an excellent tool. Use those to gather demographic information beyond what you can easily pull out of sales figures. This is a good way to get information on matters like their personal buying power, their philosophy, whether they’re religious, and other such personal information.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to ask directly. You can get all sorts of info by presenting a list of activities, then asking if they participate in them Never/Rarely/Sometimes/Frequently. “Go to church?” They’re religious. “Go fishing?” They’re nature-lovers. Etc. Be creative! (And a little sneaky.)
Quizzing them about what websites they tend to visit is another good way to get indirect personal info, if you know the demographics of the websites in question.
3. Ask your sales partners!
The sales staff who are working directly with customers will be another great source of information, even if it’s anecdotal. Partner surveys can be good for finding out information which can’t be asked directly in buyer surveys. One great piece of information to know is whether your audience tends to be swayed by appeals to emotion, or appeals to logic. This will have huge impact on your outreach, and it’s something your sales partners will be able to advise you on.
4. Don't shy away from building more than one persona.
Most of the time, you’ll do better with a precisely-targeted buyer persona than with a broadly-written one. If you find that you appeal to multiple groups, or see some wildly divergent tends in buyer behavior, don’t try to fit them all into a single box! Just create multiple personas as needed. These can be given cute shorthand names like “Mary Middle Manager” or “Alpha Alex” to help you keep them straight.
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As one of the top PRM systems on the market, LogicBay makes it easy to collect, centralize, and analyze data coming in from across your ecosystem. With all the data collected by all your partners at your fingertips, creating accurate buyer personas and leveraging them becomes much easier. Contact LogicBay today and ask for a free demonstration!