Your Guide to Creating the Ultimate Buyer Persona
Marketing 360º
Mar 12, 2020
Patricia Peñalver
Digital Project Manager
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Your Guide to Creating the Ultimate Buyer Persona

Home > Your Guide to Creating the Ultimate Buyer Persona
If you know who you’re targeting with your marketing campaigns, you’ll boost your chances for success on the market. How can you get there? Create a buyer persona or two or three.

What is a buyer persona

The most critical part of a 360º Marketing strategy is to comprehend who we’re looking to target to appropriately adapt the messaging and tactics we’re going to deploy. A buyer persona is a critical tool for getting there. Do you want to know how to define it, and what do you need to develop one for your organization? 

What’s a buyer persona?

The buyer persona is a representation of a brand or specific digital marketing campaign’s ideal customer.  

Hubspot defines the buyer persona as: “...a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” They play a crucial role because “[p]ersonas help us all -- in marketing, sales, product, and services -- internalize the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans.”

The Buyer Persona Institute notes that the buyer persona tells us what a specific customer is thinking or doing when they weigh their options when tackling a problem or satisfying a need a brand could step in and resolve. 

In essence, we could say that it’s an “identikit” of a potential customer where we include as much information as possible. We have to consider their psychographic profile and their behavior on social media and through the purchasing process, along with their demographic information. 

 

Why do we need to define a buyer persona? 

The goal of creating a buyer persona is that the firm or brand has a clear idea of who their ideal customer is and to plan, focus, and deploy tactics and 360° Marketing campaigns that are the most effective possible with content and messaging tailored to them. 

You need to create your buyer persona to: 

  • Gain a better understanding of your current and potential customers.  

  • Develop and plan relevant campaigns that include content specially catered to them.

  • Know when, how, and where you have to communicate with them. 

  • Define how you have to create the type of products or services that can meet their needs. 

Not only will the buyer persona help you know who your target is but to grasp other critical aspects about your target market such as their motivations, goals, challenges, etc.  

 

How to create a buyer persona 

Defining your ideal customer is not an easy task, and it becomes increasingly complicated when the marketing campaign is specific. You’ll have to consider a more significant number of components and be more precise with the information you gather when developing your buyer persona. 

Follow these steps to make creating your buyer persona as smooth of a process as possible: 

1. Name your buyer persona

There are two reasons for giving your buyer persona a name: 

  • It will make it easier to identify it. 

  • A brand will have more than one ideal customer archetype. 

You can have a marketing campaign targeted at two buyer personas who, despite different characteristics, could be interested in your product or service. That’s why you need to give them names to help you better identify them. 

Buyer Persona ArchetypesSource: Fece.org

2. Determine their work and family situation 

When crafting a buyer persona, you have to answer specific questions: 

  • If they’re working, unemployed, or still studying. 

  • If they work, what do they do?

  • What’s their monthly and annual income?

  • What does their professional career look like?

You also have to examine their family life: 

  • Do they have kids, and how old are they? 

  • Are they married, single, or separated? 

  • Do they have elderly parents? 

These questions will help you better define your buyer persona and better understand their needs.  

3. Define their demographic data

Demographic data is a resource we usually fall back on when creating buyer persona profiles in marketing. This section should include information like age, gender, socioeconomic class, and location (Do they live in a big city or a small town?). This information will be useful when segmenting audiences to qualify leads better and implement ad-hoc strategies, especially in Paid Media campaigns. 

4. Online behavior 

Online behavior: how to create a Buyer Persona 

It’s fundamental you examine your buyer persona’s typical interaction in the digital space to grasp better what the best channels to reach them, as well as determine their interests are, find out what type of content they consume, and more. Try to answer the following questions: 

  • How do they behave online? 

  • Are they an avid reader of blogs?

  • Do they prefer multimedia content? 

  • Do they frequently use email? 

  • Do they prefer more direct actions like phone calls? 

  • What social media platforms do they use, and what groups or communities do they belong to?

5. Define your buyer persona’s goals, challenges, and dreams 

The real value in this ideal customer archetype lies in that it analyzes components that traditional marketing profiles overlook. Examples include our consumer’s goals, worries, dreams, and desires. These details will let us connect with them with a stronger bond, and as a result, we should work on them and try to define them as precisely as possible. We should answer the following questions to get there:  

  • What is the buyer persona looking for? 

  • What goals do they want to achieve? 

  • What goals are they going to tackle?

  • What dreams have they not achieved? 

  • Can our products or services make their lives easier?

  • Can they help them satisfy a desire? 

6. Move on to action questions

Once you’re familiar with their motivations, try to determine how your product or service can help them, whether it be by solving a problem, satisfying a need, or improving their day-to-day life. Here are some of the questions you should ask at this point in the process:  

  • How can the brand or company help the consumer reach their goals? 

  • What are the roadblocks facing a potential customer wanting to buy your product or service?

  • What can your competitors offer consumers to make them choose them over you?

  • What product best meets your buyer persona’s needs? 

  • Can you create or adapt a product to your customer’s needs? 

7. Walk in your customer’s shoes 

When defining and developing the portrait of your buyer persona, you have to include their questions or concerns that your firm could solve. Some of these insights could consist of: I can’t lose weight, my e-commerce site is not well-positioned; I can’t find an excellent SAT prep tutor for my child. Walking in your customer’s shoes will help you define a more accurate buyer persona. 

8. Set product expectations for your buyer persona 

If the ideal customer could have any questions or complaints about your product or service, what would it be? Would it concern the price, the quality, or another issue? Staying on top of potential caveats or buyer persona questions will ensure you produce more-refined campaigns that better meet their expectations. Once you prepare this set of questions, you have two fundamental things to craft: 

  • Develop a message or a sentence geared towards your ideal customer, defining the product or service. 

  • Craft an elevator pitch: a brief, concise description of what the product or service offers the buyer persona.
     

Where do I get the information to create a buyer persona?

As we previously noted, we have to provide a series of information to produce a well-defined buyer persona. But how can we derive that information? We naturally have to get this information from reliable data sources if we want our work to be useful. There are a variety of ways to get the details you need: 

  • Directly gathering it from customers: you can carry out field surveys, questionnaires, ask questions on blog and website sign-up forms, etc. 

  • Gathering information from company employees, especially from those who have direct contact with consumers or who are in Customer Service. 

  • Analyzing the keywords that are responsible for bringing traffic to the website. You can figure out what are the most frequently used keywords, discover the search engines, and more. 

  • Determining how they found the content you published and how they consumed it: Did they leave comments? Did they share it? Did they recommend it?  

  • Analyzing the feedback customers leave on social media and online forums. 

  • Getting to know the type of product (whether it’s the brand or a competitor) they consume, the content they download, etc. 

  • Analyzing the brand or company: market situation, competitive analysis, online reputation.

  • Using external tools that gather this data and analyze it.  

 

Useful tools for creating a buyer persona

Besides the imperative of observing the behavior of your user, consumer, or prospect, there are tools out there that make gathering data even easier:

Google Analytics and other buyer persona template tools 

  • Alexa: You can use Alexa to gain context on a firm’s situation, as well as that of your competitors. You can gather data regarding online relevance, reputation, and more. This information can help you develop strategies and campaigns based on what your competitors are doing or to create opposing campaigns. 

  • Google Ads: Google’s Paid Media platform offers valuable insights for keyword analysis. You’ll be able to see associated keywords and discover new ways of reaching your buyer persona. 

  • Google Trends: Google, once again, gives us the gift of this tool that lets you carry out trend analysis within a particular industry. 

  • Google Analytics: Finally, Google Analytics lets you look at and analyze website visits, their origin, search terms, the devices users browse on, the amount of time they spend on a web page, the bounce rate, and even more metrics.  

 

Never stop working on your buyer persona 

Perhaps you’ve already worked on your buyer persona and have already defined it, but when was the last time you reviewed it? Just as markets change, you need to go back ever so often and update your buyer personas to reflect changes to the market, competitors, or consumption habits. We live in a society where new products and needs arise continuously, and as a result, our archetypes have to stay up-to-date.

How do you update a buyer persona? All you have to do is to go back and follow the steps you to take to create it, ask yourself the same questions, and check if the information you gave in your answers remains relevant. This review will ensure you have the most up-to-date buyer persona possible. 

Once we’ve defined our ideal customer, we can start mapping out their customer journey. The customer journey helps us get to know them even better and get more out of them. The customer journey map reveals all the steps someone takes when looking to acquire a product or service. As such, defining and mapping this journey lets you better anticipate their needs and what type of information they might be looking for every step of the way. 

Based on everything we’ve looked at, properly setting up one or several buyer persona profiles will help your brand or company determine what type of digital marketing campaign you should deploy, and even what products to promote to each of them. Creating buyer personas requires the use of real-life information and data you’ll have to gather from both internal and external sources, and of course, you’ll have to update them to ensure they evolve with your business to ensure they’re used. This exercise is the only way we’ll be able to personalize our 360° Marketing campaigns and offer a top-notch and fully-personalized user experience.

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