Buyer personas – just another marketing buzz-phrase or a business-transforming tool? Here at Bubbl, we believe it’s the latter. This week, we’re exploring the hows and the whys of this brand-boosting exercise, and we’ll also show you how to populate a buyer persona template of your own.
Understanding the buyer persona
Before we dive into how you might go about developing your buyer persona (or personas), let’s first take a look at what the term means and the purpose of doing so…
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona – also known as a customer persona, an audience persona, or a marketing persona – is used to represent a certain business user type. That is, a customer of a brand, product or service, or a visitor to a website. It’s a fictional profile that’s used to represent your target audience. A character – or characters – who embody your customer ‘ideal’. Check out some examples below…
Buyer persona example for a surfing goods brand
Johnny is a 20-year-old, Sydney-based sports enthusiast who spends as much free time as he can on the beach. He has tons of energy and loves to have a good time, but he’s also a conscientious student. He sees surfing as a break from the stresses of college life. Johnny has a part-time job in a bar and, with little money coming in, he needs his surfing equipment to be as affordable as possible, while also fit for purpose.
Buyer persona example for a corporate chauffeur service
Sara is a 32-year-old fashion buyer living in London, who often travels internationally – sometimes at short notice. Her job means early mornings and sometimes very late nights, and she’ll often have back-to-back conference calls, which means she needs to catch up on emails while travelling. Sara has a high salary and a penchant for designer clothes and luxury holidays (when she has the time to take them). She values punctuality and efficiency.
Why create buyer personas?
Buyer personas have the potential to define and inform your marketing strategy. They will allow you to segment your audience and communicate with a particular person in mind, thereby enabling you to create much more targeted and compelling campaigns and content. In other words, they make it a lot easier to connect with those you want to connect with, by offering insights into preferences, behaviours and goals.
Take surfer Johnny as an example. As we’ve discovered, surfing is a major part of his downtime, and he needs a board that’s built to last and affordable. It’s really important then, that via the brand’s comms, these values shine through.
Where to start?
Creating a buyer persona is all in the research, and we’re going to run through some tips for getting as much insight as possible into your audience. The more detailed your buyer personas, the better. You’ll never dominate a particular space or industry unless you know your audience inside out.
Study your existing customer data, conduct qualitative and quantitative market research, and use analytics tools to research your online following. Do all of that, and you can really deep-dive into who your customer is – and, more importantly, what it is they want.
Here’s a checklist of some of the things you’ll want to think about…
Which decades do the majority of your customers sit within? Are they millennials? Parents? Middle-age? Retired with grandchildren?
Where do they live? In affluent or lower-income neighbourhoods? A block of flats or a detached bungalow? Which language do they speak?
Which social media channels do they prefer, how do they spend their free time, where do they go on holiday?
Income & spending habits
What kind of profession do they have? Are they high or low earners? How much disposable income do they have to play with? Are they paying a mortgage or renting? Are they big savers or spontaneous, splash-out types? What would they define as a luxury? Or a good bargain?
What kind of demeanour does this person have? Are they calm and mild-mannered? Humorous? Bubbly? Serious? Talkative?
Is this person a heavy internet user? Do they have the latest tech gadgets or is that not important to them? Do they prefer face-to-face meetings versus email communications at work?
Are they struggling financially? Do they wish they had more quality time to spend with family? Whether it’s a single parent with two toddlers to think about, or an elderly couple with mobility issues, understanding the stresses or concerns of a customer(s) is key.
Are they looking to move somewhere hot and sunny when they retire? Is it a life-long dream to travel the UK in a camper van when the kids leave home? Is this a graduate hoping to get onto the property ladder as soon as possible?
Using a buyer persona template
Once you’ve done your research and have as much information on your audience as possible, consider compiling your insights in a buyer persona template. There are loads of different types out there, but they’ve all got one common goal. That is, to provide you with a framework to organise the relevant information you’ve gathered up, giving you a clear persona to work with moving forwards.
Similar to our list above, buyer persona templates usually kick off with fields for the likes of demographics, geographic location and occupation, then delve deeper into who this person is and what makes them tick, what frustrates them and what motivates them.
To help you get cracking, we’ve created a downloadable buyer persona template for you below. It includes an example of a completed buyer persona, along with a blank template for you to fill in yourself…
All in all, working with buyer personas can really transform your communications, helping you to get your message across to your audience more effectively than ever before. To find out more about marketing effectively to your audience, get in touch with the Bubbl team.