The best in the business commit to understanding every detail about their customers, a.k.a. buyer personas. Call them what you want, but happy buyer personas are happy customers, and happy customers equal revenue, and that should make you happy.
You probably have some idea of who buys your product; whether it’s feedback from Sales or calculated assumptions based on the product you are selling and who it is most likely to help. The truth is, ‘a general idea’ of your buyer personas is likely to be wasting your marketing budget and upping the cost of acquisition. You can’t market to everyone - it’s just infeasible - so why not use the combined talents of your Marketing and Sales teams to craft a company-wide set of buyer personas to give your inbound marketing strategy the green light (..and spend that unused marketing budget on the Christmas party?? #AmIRight?)
Clear direction for your Marketing and Sales team.
These guys historically don’t get along, playing the blame game when it comes time to show results. Bringing your talent together to create an aligned set of goals is the best way forward for everyone, but we need to backtrack here to discuss getting the most out the marketing dollars we put out there. Who are we marketing to give Sales the best chance at closing the deal? Who are we spending our precious pennies on acquiring to be our next favourite customer? Your Sales and Marketing teams will have people they keep in mind, but what about creating something EVERYONE can get behind - for clarity and measurements sake.
How to craft your personas:
On that whole ‘Smarketing alignment’ thing - why not take this opportunity to give these guys a joint project? Set a meeting and get them to bring forward their best customers throughout the buyer’s journey and look at real world examples of the people who they love to love. A persona building session can bring clarity, and a company-wide understanding of who they come to work to serve every day, putting faces to your company's marketing campaigns. There’s no real limit on how many persona's each business can have, though keeping it between 3 and 5 is a good starting point.
Where do I get my information from?
It takes real people to get personas that rock. Your Sales and Customer Service teams will have awesome insights on the real-world pain points and apprehensions your customers have, so utilise their interactions and involve them in the crafting of your personas. It essential to hear it ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ to get the best quality information. Events, forums and Q&A’s are all great ways to strengthen your customer relationships and gain some genuine feedback.
If you don’t have a Sales force, try it the old fashioned way and pick up your phone to call a few customers, just to check in and have a chat. However you get hold of it, that information is vital to truly understanding your persona. Your best customers LOVE to feel included in the development of your product, and involving them will only further their advocacy of your brand.
Documenting your Personas:
When the conversation has happened and you’re ready to document - feel free to use our Persona Builder - an easy to use tool that will guide you through all the questions to ask your buyer persona and give that 'Smarketing' meeting or phone conversation a clear agenda.
When you have it all down, give your persona a face so your team can identify with them. A good example of a completed buyer persona looks like this:
Creating your buyer personas will align company, marketing, and sales strategy and encourage your team to speak to the customers you want to attract, convert, close and delight. Walking in your persona’s shoes through the buyer’s journey can increase productivity of your allowed budgets and ensure you are focused on providing the best products and services for your customers. Ensure you are adapting your new persona information into your buyer’s journey and capturing the information of new visitors to your website via the fields in your forms. This enriches your data with more information to separate and provide value exclusively to each persona.
As with all digital marketing - there’s a bit of trial and error to getting it right (it takes a mind reader right off the bat), but the effort will not go unrewarded! Build your buyer personas out, share them around the office and align your efforts to run a targeted approach to your marketing efforts.