What is a persona:
Personas are fictional characters, which you create based upon your research in order to represent the different user types that might use your service, product, site, or brand in a similar way. Creating personas will help you to understand your users’ needs, experiences, behaviours and goals. Creating personas can help you step outside of yourself. It can help you to recognise that different people have different needs and expectations, and it can also help you to identify with the user you’re designing for. Personas make the design task at hand less complex, they guide your ideation processes, and they can help you to achieve the goal of creating a good user experience for your target user group.
You probably know what buyer personas are and the inbound marketing theory behind why they work. But some people haven’t gotten around to using them yet, often because they don’t want to devote the time to writing personas and getting their teams to use them if they don’t think they’ll see a solid ROI.
And you know what? That’s completely understandable! So here are 10 things that buyer personas can do to improve your marketing in a measurable way.
Note: There are much more metrics than the ones below that you can use to evaluate each of these benefits. These are just the most obvious examples.
Buyer personas help you:
- Identify the customer’s needs and wants so you can excite and delight them with your products, services, and content, and earn their return business. Metric: Product/service sales.
- Understand how your customers make purchasing decisions, so you can better target your marketing and move them through the sales funnel. Metrics: Customer lifetime value, length of sales cycle.
- Develop new or improved products and services based on the needs and wants of your current customers, allowing your relationship with them to strengthen and evolve. Metrics: Customer adoption of new products, customer lifetime value.
- Determine where your customers spend time on the web and in the world, giving you insight into how to communicate with them, how to reach new customers, where and how to promote your business, and what types of content to produce. Metrics: Traffic sources, shares, engagement.
- Get everyone in the company on the same page about your marketing goals. Using your buyer personas ensures that every product, service, blog post, marketing email, and customer service response is consistent in message and aligned with your customer’s needs and expectations. Metrics: Internal performance metrics, the efficiency of a sales funnel.
- Segment your marketing efforts so you can target different personas and subsets of personas with the offers and content they’ll be most drawn to, making your marketing efforts generally more effective. Metrics: Email open rate, email click-through rate, smart content clicks and conversions.
- Segment your marketing efforts internally, so you can spend your time and energy on attracting and retaining your most ideal customers, making your marketing more cost-effective. Metrics: Customer retention, marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
- “Pre-qualify” leads by attracting the right potential customers and setting up lead scoring to prioritize them. Buyer personas result in better leads that are more sales-ready because you’re reaching the right people by leveraging what they want, rather than by pushing what you want. That’s why personas also make automated lead-nurturing workflows more effective. Metric: Sales qualified leads, close rate.
- Personas help you humanise your audience. Whenever you have a marketing plan that failed, you can almost always trace part of the problem back to a misunderstanding of who your customer is.
- Personas push you to ask the right questions. Another great thing about buyer personas is that they get your company thinking about the customer in the right way. In order to make a successful buyer persona, you need to ask your current and potential customers the right questions to get a feel for who they are. These questions are things like:
- How old are you?
- What is your job title?
- Who do you report to at work?
- What is your greatest challenge in the workplace?
- What helps you get your job done right?
- What resources are you lacking?
Totally sold? Yeah, I thought so.
Crafting buyer personas comes down to really knowing who you’re talking to and then being disciplined and consistent about giving them exactly what they want. Your experience, website analytics, market research, social media interactions, and much, much more can help you create data-driven personas that will lead to increased traffic and sales.
Get in touch if you’d like to discuss this some more.