Three Tips to Build Your Buyer Personas

Reaching out to your targeted audience has never been so easy—after all, research shows that much of the buyer’s journey these days starts online with quality content. In fact, a recent Gartner survey says that digital marketing spend will increase by eight percent in 2015. What’s more, “the survey found that of the 51 percent of companies who plan to increase their digital marketing budget in 2015, the average increase will be 17 percent.”

Finding out where your potential customers are “hanging out” in the digital space and getting heard in that space can be difficult, thanks to all of the “noise” online and the time-crunch most of us (buyers included) are struggling with. If you begin populating your web pages and social media plans without first identifying your buyer personas, you won’t get in front of the people who are ready to buy.

In a recent blog, Jomer Gregorio states: “While many marketers focus on several demographics to get better traction in their digital marketing efforts, marketers who focus on key buyer persona insights will require half the number to get the same results.”

Pretty powerful stuff, hmm? Here are three quick tips based on Gergorio’s insights that will help you accurately identify your buyer personas and getting the most out of your marketing efforts.

    1. Where Does it Hurt?

Gregorio writes that “buyer personas are developed by carefully understanding the key demographic information as well as behavioral information that would define their consumption trends.” You might have enough demographics to sink the Titanic, but how can you drill down to the level of behaviors? I would start with common customer pain points. Once you realize that your customer has a problem to solve and that they are in some level of discomfort about these ongoing issues, figure out what features and benefits your product or service has to put an end to their suffering.

    1. Massage Your Message

Use the Center for Business Modeling’s free SWOT analysis to run a quality control check on your messaging. Most companies should have a list of fewer than five messages about their products and services to ensure that their brand story is clean and cogent. Get your executives together and decide, in light of your buyer personas, what is resonating and what is not. Make sure you use the insights of your first-line customer service leaders and sales executives. The messages you started with might not be the messages you need to meet them where they live today.

    1. Testing, 1, 2, 3

These days, analytic tools for your content are easier to use than ever—more intuitive and substantially more functional than what we’ve had to use in the past. I know that it feels like finding a quality lead sometimes feels like searching for a needle in a haystack—but if you keep up with your marketing messages, constantly reworking them to improve your reach, testing them and testing them again, you can get better at reaching your buyers. I would add that it’s often useful to test “personable” messages for all of the various buyer personas. That’s because according to buyer persona expert Brian Eisenberg, no matter which persona, “people are easily affected by their emotions and decisions are usually affected by their emotional state that will sometimes make them decide on things based on emotions and gut feel – and not on facts or analysis.” For me, remembering you’re reaching a human being behind that phone or laptop screen remains paramount in crafting messages that really resonate.

Definitely check out the B2C blog when you’re identifying your buyer personas—it’s a good place to start. In the meantime, run that SWOT on your messages so that when you get a chance to “talk” to your buyer, you’re clear on not only what you are saying but also why you are saying it.