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LEAD Innovation Blog

Read our latest articles on innovation management and innovation in a wide range of industries.

Date: 15-Jan-2019
Posted by: Angela HENGSBERGER
Category: Inbound marketing

Definition Buyer Personas - Who is behind your target group?

 

In this article you will learn what is behind the term "Buyer Personas" and why it makes sense to intensively deal with it as a marketing or sales department.

Those who generate their customers through inbound marketing must be an excellent listener and know their target group more than well. In order to meet customers' needs in a tailor-made way and to be reliably found by potential buyers, it is very useful to work with the concept of buyer personas.

 

What is Buyer Personas?

Buyer Personas are semi-fictional persons who represent a certain group of buyers, giving them a face, so to speak. These buyer personas are attributed certain characteristics, interests, needs, (online) action patterns, motivations, etc. on the basis of real customer data and thus get a precise picture of their customers. The aim is to learn who the buyers are, what problems they are dealing with and how to help them with their products or services. So you take a very close look at where the "shoe pinches" at the respective personas and then find the perfect solution for each of them.

Instead of working with the entire target group and "blindly fishing in cold water" with the sheer number of different profiles, it is possible to get to know one's own customers "personally" by creating 3 to 4 buyer personas. Once you know who your customers are, you have completely different marketing opportunities and a much better chance of success. The creation of buyer personas is best done by a team from marketing, sales and possibly customer care, but at least by those employees who are very close to the customer. Once you have worked out the personas, you can derive the Buyer's Journeys, which provide guidelines for future marketing measures.

The following video provides a brief summary of what is meant by a buyer persona.

 

But how do you find out who his buyer personas are?

The creation of buyer personas is a time-consuming process, but it is worth it. No more than four Buyer Personas profiles should be developed from the total target group, otherwise the effort will be immeasurable. Because for each buyer persona you have to create your own content and advertise it. It goes without saying that the personas that represent the majority of the buyer base are worked out in detail. Smaller user groups, which comprise only a few people, are not prioritized here. If these are nevertheless covered without washing out the other profiles - all the better. The main focus, however, should be on the broad masses.

Who benefits from Buyer Personas?

On the basis of the identified buyer personas, it is possible for marketers to prepare the information in such a way that it is perfectly tailored to the respective personas and then very likely to reach them. The area of content management benefits enormously from this. Especially in inbound marketing you want to create benefits with content and have the possibility to generate significantly more leads with buyer personas. The knowledge of your buyer base is of course also of greatest use in sales, because if you understand your customers better, content can without question be planned quite differently. In all these areas, the existing product can be adapted in such a way that it does justice to the customer or develops a new product on the basis of the newly acquired knowledge. Last but not least, the customer also benefits from this. It is important to note that the finer the profiles, the more targeted the content can be addressed.

 

How to create Buyer Personas?

In order to obtain meaningful results and create accurate profiles, it makes sense to perform the following three steps:

1. Collection and evaluation of existing data

2. Closing gaps through detailed customer surveys and interviews

3. Subsequent creation of 3 to 4 Buyer Personas

 

1. Collection and evaluation of existing data

First of all, extensive research and a very precise analysis or evaluation of real customer data such as socio-demographic characteristics, online purchasing behavior, customer surveys already carried out, etc. must be carried out.

Possible material to be evaluated could be:

- Data on user behavior from Google Analytics

- Data on user behavior from all social media channels

- Data from the Service Area/Complaint Management

- Information from customer reviews, if the function is activated in the online shop

- Data from previous customer surveys

 

2. Closing gaps through detailed customer surveys and interviews

In the next step you should ask yourself and determine which relevant information is still missing in order to be able to create accurate profiles. These gaps in information are then used to generate questions for a customer survey or a guide for telephone interviews.

A mixture of quantitative and qualitative results is important in order to align the content at the end in such a way that it adapts precisely to the needs of the respective buyer persona. The interviews should not be dropped under the table under any circumstances, they only lead to getting to know the persona properly.

Possible questions you should ask yourself or your customers:

 

Sociodemographic characteristics:

- Which sociodemographic data are still missing? (name, age, sex, marital status, job title, type of company, education, place of residence, income, role in the company, etc.)

 

Further information about the person's life:

- What wishes, interests, preferences does the respective person have? How does he spend his free time? What hobbies does she have? What do you enjoy? etc.?

 

Challenges and problems:

- What problems/needs/goals does the person have privately/professionally? What are the person's daily challenges? What worries do they have?

- How can I help her solve her problem/support her with the challenges?

- What can the person achieve through me?

- How does the person currently feel about my product?

- What alternatives does the person have to my offer?

 

Fears and barriers:

- What fears/barriers/insecurities are there with regard to my offer/product?

- What stands in the way of a decision for the offer/product?

- What is important for the purchase decision?

- Who is involved in the purchase decision?

 

Online Behavior:

- Which channels are used to reach the person? Does the person use social media platforms and if so, which ones?

- What are the person's interests? What blogs/websites does she read?

- Where can she find information about your product range?

- Is she digitally native? How naturally does it move/act/buy online?

 

3. Subsequent creation of 3 to 4 Buyer Personas

Once analyses and evaluations as well as surveys and interviews have been completed, the most strenuous part of the project has basically already been completed and the final creation of the buyer personas can begin.

It is important to give each persona a name. Usually a first name is assigned, combined with a surname that has a descriptive effect. Examples would be e.g. cakes Toni, do-it-yourselfer Hermann or marketing Moni. The name should be given in such a way that employees who work with the personas do not have to ponder for a long time, but it is immediately clear who is meant.

Detailed instructions and support for the creation of personas can be found, for example, in the Take Off PR article or the template in our download area.

 

Conclusio: For whom are Buyer Personas indispensable?

 
All those in marketing and sales who want to address their target group even more precisely from now on should deal with his buyer personas. After all, those who know exactly who their three to four main customer groups are and what they need have a significant advantage in the market. In this way, you can look forward to even more leads and the resulting business deals in the future!

Innovation Check

Angela HENGSBERGER

Born and raised in Vienna. Since 2012 she has been in charge of Business Development at LEAD Innovation with the functions marketing, sales and communication.

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