28 Aug 2019

This is What Makes Buyer Personas So Useful

Written by Kristian Rusten

You won’t find many modern marketers who don’t use buyer personas. If you followed our series on inbound marketing, you would have noticed them in the second blog covering how to attract people.

If you want to know why they’re so important and how they can be a major boost for even small businesses, this blog is for you. We’ll go through the basics of wading into buyer personas, how they’re useful, and why they’ve become a huge part of marketing.

Buyer Persona Basics

Developing a buyer persona starts with any existing customer data. Wide data points are a good place to start, such as age, gender, occupation, but most go into a high level of detail.

To access that next level of detail we turn to targeted research. Surveys and focus groups are relatively easy to carry out, even if you don’t have large resources for marketing. They’ll allow you to garner a new knowledge of customer trends, motives, and circumstances.

From here you’ll start to see what types of customers you have. These will form your buyer personas and then you’ll be ready to apply them to your marketing approach. But how, exactly? And what are the key benefits?

Taking Your Relationship with Customers and Clients to the Next Level

Buyer personas add a new depth to your understanding of your customers. One of the most obvious gains from this comes in communication. Buyer personas can inform the kind of social media presence you have and your messaging style and tone of voice. They can help you to make design decisions, choose the type of content you want to produce, or what forms of advertising would best reach likely customers.

It also allows for what marketers refer to as segmentation. Seeing clear divisions between types of customers allows you to target specific groups on their terms. Rather than sending out the same messaging to everyone, you’ll be able to change things up for different demographics.

Marketing Self-Awareness

Buyer personas are about how you understand and visualise who your customers are. But they will also tell you about how those customers see your organisation.

Through the work you’re doing here, you’ll be able to start constructing a more complete idea of your organisation’s role in your customer’s world. Is your advertising working in the way you hoped? Is the content you’re creating gaining traction with who you intended?

Different groups will view your organisation in different ways. Buyer personas offer clarity on what those differences actually are and help you to mould your marketing approach.

Service Delivery and Customer Experience

By this point, we’re diving into customer experience. Buyer personas will add value in your interaction with customers and clients. Building rapport will be easier. You’ll facilitate better one-on-one communication with customers at every level.

Well researched buyer personas include points on what customers are looking for and what they’re hesitant about. Sales or customer service teams will find them very useful. That will improve how customers feel about buying from you and make them more likely to return.

This consistency is priceless. Everyone is on the same page about who they’re reaching out to, and the persona format makes that easy. This means you can foster the coherent application of your marketing approach. And that means all the hard work put into brand development will be more effective.

Buyer Behaviour

Once you’ve got your buyer personas, you’ll be able to relate this to the behaviour of your different customer types. You’ll be able to see how different kinds of customers are using your products and services.

This means insight to sales triggers, what kind of content leads to what actions from different customers. Then you’ll know how to improve the buyer journey. It also means you’ll be able to understand which customer types to prioritise and who might be wasting your time.

What Your Customers Want from You

Buyer personas don’t stop at tinkering with what you’re already doing. They can help you to identify gaps and inform choices on growth and business development.

They will help to understand the needs and wants of your customers. What new products would existing customers be interested in? What kinds of people are you failing to reach? Is what you’re looking to do viable? Are you trusted to be involved in that space, or would your organisation not be taken seriously?

Buyer Personas Solve Problems

With the rise of inbound marketing, customer understanding has taken on a new level of importance. Buyer personas are a response to several, largely universal business problems. What do we have to do to gain a good understanding of our customers? And if we manage to achieve that, how do we present this in a way that works and allows us to get the most out of those insights?

The application of buyer personas can be quite complex. But they’re still an accessible, straightforward way for organisations to better connect with their people. That’s why they’re so useful and have become so popular.

Do you use buyer personas? What benefits did you see? Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know.

Speak to Maureen Shelley

Kristian Rusten

About Kristian Rusten

After spending two years working with Amnesty International in New Zealand, Kristian Rusten worked as a refugee caseworker in Greece and now lives in Paris, while writing, freelancing and volunteering.

View all posts by Kristian Rusten