By Danielle Manley
Do you have an effective buyer persona? Chances are, you probably don’t – or you aren’t using it right. Only 44 percent of businesses have a buyer persona at all, and 85 percent do not do it effectively, according to Buyer Persona Blog.
An effective buyer persona gives businesses an up-close look at their average buyer, which can be used to target customers more efficiently, decrease customer acquisition costs and increase revenue. It allows you to focus in on exactly who is buying, not just those who could potentially be interested in buying at some point. You want to be as accurate as possible, and with a good persona established, you will see a return on investment much quicker.
Tips for building your buyer persona:
- Analyze your current customer base in-depth. Determine your average customer from as many aspects as possible to create a complete vision – dig deeper than what is obvious at the surface. Are the majority small businesses or large corporations? Where are most of the companies located? Do the majority of your businesses interact on social media regularly? Is the buyer an online business or a physical establishment? How are these businesses structured? What purpose does the customer’s business serve and what population do they serve? Your questions should continue and be based on your business, but analyze everything. You never know what you could discover.
- Create multiple personas. Some companies utilize only one buyer persona successfully; however, there are many that need more, and I recommend at least having two. There are two different ways of creating multiple personas:
- Create a negative persona. While you want to know who your buyers are, it is also helpful to know who your customer is not.
- Create more than one buyer persona. Sometimes two distinct buyers are present. If you aren’t sure if you need two different buyer personas, try it. You might not need it, but you also might find a group of potential buyers that you didn’t realize were there. If you have more than one buyer persona, more than one action plan should be created as well.
- Talk with your sales team. They are the ones selling so ask them for their insight. Work as a team – different perspectives can be eye-opening.
- Ask your loyal customers what makes them stay, why they love you and what makes you better than the competition? A company can state over and over again what they think they do best and where their focus is. But, how do the customers see it? Your customers might see something you don’t. Ask them what keeps them coming back. Your strengths should be your focus. In addition, ask former customers why they left. Whether you plan to “fix” the problem or simply take the focus off your negative aspects, knowing where you are weak improves your ability to succeed.
- Use customer behavior patterns to determine what leads up to a purchase. When do customers typically purchase? What factors influence a purchase? What purpose does your product serve and what requires the need for this product? If you know when a customer is likely to purchase and why, you can push your product and message at the right time with the right message.
- Business goals and values should align. Does your company focus on quality over quantity or vice versa? Do you fit into the go-green initiative? Do you give back to the community? When two companies have opposite views, it can affect buying potential and reputation. When two companies share views, buying potential increases and business relationships can grow.
- Analyze over time. Buyers change. Companies change. Revisit your buyer persona regularly to provide your entire company with the most up-to-date information on your buyer.
An effective buyer persona includes insider knowledge that requires research, analyzation and continuous development. With benefits like increased customer satisfaction, quicker ROI on advertising and marketing, lowered customer acquisition costs and more, you wonder why more companies haven’t utilized buyer personas more effectively. Review your buyer persona and determine if improvements need to be made – most likely the answer is yes.
Danielle Manley is an assistant executive editor at MultiBriefs. Danielle graduated from the University of North Texas in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a focus on technical writing. She is also a regular contributor to MultiBriefs Exclusive.