Are you selling a product?
Is that product a physical item or is it a service?
Regardless of what your product is, your main goal is probably to make sure people are buying it. So, who are you selling to?
It’s surprising – and alarming – how many businesses don’t have a succinct answer to this question. An insurance broker might say a homeowner who needs home and contents insurance, while a party planner might say a family with kids who want to throw a kid’s birthday party.
While these answers aren’t wrong, they could be better. For instance, the party planner might actually be targeting middle-class households with primary school aged kids.
The next questions all businesses need to ask when trying to sell their product is, how do you sell it to your target market?
This question relates to your marketing process and how you reach your desired market.
To better equip your business to identify and reach your ideal customer, a buyer persona will come in handy.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional, generalised representation of your ideal customer. A buyer persona will help you to visualise, and relate to your ideal target market as though they’re a real human.
To make your buyer persona as effective as possible, give them a name and a face. It’s also important to note that a business might have more than one buyer persona, as you might have a few different types of customers you’re trying to sell to.
Another factor to consider when developing and maintaining your buyer persona, is that your ideal customer might change as your business grows. For instance, when just starting out, our party planning business might have only been targeting parents with young children, as they were only equipped to handle these types of parties. However, now that they’ve expanded, they’re able to offer sweet 16 parties and 21st parties as well. This means the age and lifestyle of their ideal customer might have changed.
How Can a Buyer Persona Benefit Your Business?
A buyer persona will prove invaluable to your business, especially your sales and product development efforts.
For instance, if you’re running a party planning business and you’re targeting mums with young children, you wouldn’t try to sell a gourmet menu that is better suited to adult events. You would try to sell them a party package that comes with a child-friendly menu.
If you understand your buyer persona, you’ll be better equipped to know what your customer wants and needs, and how you can meet their needs/ overcome any of their purchasing objections.
How Can You Create an Effective Buyer Persona?
When creating your buying persona, you’ll need to think about your key demographic.
To go back to our party-planning example: our party planning company has identified their key target market. They want to target middle-class stay at home mums who want to create the perfect family lifestyle.
For the purpose of this exercise, they’ve named her Sarah. They want to work with this mum, who wants the best for her kids and likes to spoil them, to throw their child’s birthday party. Ideally, they want input from their client during the process so they understand their needs, however, they also want to work with mum’s who are running a busy household so they don’t get too overbearing.
Their basic buyer persona might look a little something like this.
Now, that’s not to say that this is the only type of client this party planning company will pursue, as there may be discrepancies. For instance, they might also want to work with working mums, who are too busy to throw a birthday party themselves but still want to be involved in the process.
So, how did they reach this conclusion? This list will help you work out what your ideal buyer persona should be? The above example is a basic summation of the below points, however, the more detail you flesh out when looking at these points, the more detailed your persona will be.
- Salary/household income
- Locations: urban/suburban/rural
Goals and Challenges
- What is their primary and secondary goal?
- How can you help them achieve this?
- What is their primary and secondary challenge?
- How can you help them solve these problems?
Values and Fears
- What are their primary values?
- What would their common objections during the sales process be?
You can also get super specific by looking at the following points:
- What are their hobbies?
- Where do they spend their time online?
- Where do they get their news?
- What blogs do they read?
These points will help you work out how to target your demographic audience through marketing.
Once you’ve developed your buyer persona, your whole team will be able to work towards developing your product, your sales techniques and your marketing approach, to ensure you’re reaching the right people and providing them with the service they’re after.