If you read this sentence and thought to yourself, "who the hell cares..?," then chances are you haven't put much thought or value into researching and creating detailed buyer personas for your business.
Doing so will make all the difference between a high volume of leads, and a high volume of qualified leads. So...what's the difference?
Unqualified leads: "So what is it that you guys do again? Something about marketing? I think I need a new website...you can help right?"
Qualified leads: "My website just isn't performing. I need more relevant traffic and more leads to achieve my goals. I see you guys specialize in that, what will my campaign look like?"
The result? A shorter sales cycle and a much less frustrated sales team/person. But why should you care about what type of car your ideal prospect drives?
Well...it can tell you a few things:
Disposable income of ideal prospects
What do they value? Luxury? Economy? Big? Small?
Big family? Single?
All of this information will help you to more effectively tailor your marketing activities specifically to the type of buyers your company needs. The challenge is developing accurate buyer personas as they pertain to your company. Keep in mind you can never be 100% accurate, as buyer personas are fictional profiles based on what you know about your customers, but they will provide you and your team with a more targeted approach.
Let us ask you one simple, yet often overlooked question: how can you possibly sell to your customers if you have no idea who your customer is in the first place? The answer is really what creating a buyer persona comes down to. Creating a buyer persona provides you with insight on your customer. You can come up with information such as:
Who they are (age, gender, demographic, socioeconomic status, etc.)
What they’re buying from you
What motivates them to buy from you
The Benefits of Creating Buyer Personas
Having well thought out buyer personas is critical to your business. From our experience, failing to take the time to really sit down and envision these “fictional characters” who are your customers can cripple or even completely destroy your business.
So why do you need a buyer persona? Consider these points:
Knowing who you’re catering to will help you make crucial business decisions, such as where you should go with your product development or what type of products and services you should be offering
If you want to build a marketing message that can actually sell, you need to know who you’re selling to. This will also help you keep your marketing budget as low as possible and streamline the sales process
Your executive management staff will understand who the customer is and how to allocate the business budget accordingly
You’ll make more money because your sales team will actually know who they’re selling to
Researching Buyer Behaviors Buyer Behaviors
So...besides the kind of car they drive, what else should you know about your ideal prospects and buyers.
To name a few:
Job type/role at their company
Urban? Suburban? Rural?
Level of education
The goal here is to try and picture your buyer in a “daily life” situation. We think about how they would likely research and look up information before making a purchase.
We ask questions like:
What sort of products or services do they spend time online researching?
How do they plan on using those products?
What do they do online (i.e. are they social media junkies? Do they read blogs?)
Do they like reading “trend” pieces? Current events? Educational pieces?
Do they watch videos or listen to audio (i.e. podcasts)?
What kind of keywords do they use when performing searches online?
Once we get a good idea of what you think their buying behaviors will be, we’re able to work with our clients to start creating a tailored and targeted marketing plan that will really help you move your products and services.
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About John Bonini
As the Marketing Director of IMPACT from 2013-May 2015, John lead the IMPACT marketing team. He also wrote for the HubSpot Blog, Social Media Examiner, and Convince & Convert among others. In his free time, John enjoys playing guitar, high-fives, and anything with marinara sauce.