I have to be honest, I was a different kind of researcher a long time ago – a lab coat and Bunsen burner type researcher. When I first learned about buyer personas I thought, “Hmm. Now that’s a little cheesy.”
Now, as a much older and wiser researcher, I am a converted buyer persona believer.
Here are the top four reasons why I believe in buyer personas:
- A buyer persona forces you to determine who your company cares about most. This sounds simple, but it can be very difficult to do. You might have one persona or six, but each one must be for a distinct audience.
- A buyer persona forces you to get to know your audience.
Where do they go for information? What kinds of problems do they have? Who do they trust and why? These are just a few simple questions that a persona can answer.
- A buyer persona forces you to consider this person in every decision you make. This makes your marketing plan user-centered. We all know by now that a user-centered approach is more valuable. Customers today have too much control and too many options to be bombarded with information about how great your product is. They are already further down the buyer’s journey when their contacted. When they are ready, they are going to go out on their own and start gathering up information. What will they look for? Where? What format?
- Buyer personas are based on tons of hard data points. Lastly and maybe most importantly, we go through a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative process to create a buyer persona. Yes, your persona is one fictitious man or woman that represents your entire target audience. But he or she is the culmination of weeks of work. Develop content for him or her in a format that he or she likes and hit the right channels at the right time. It works and continually brings you back to the core questions of why buyer personas matter.
If it’s not clear yet, know this: buyer personas matter! Building a persona for each audience segment lets you return to make sure any marketing decision relates back to your customers. Knowing their values and concerns is key. So what are you waiting for? Get your marketing on track with building a buyer persona. If you need some help, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.