How to Create Buyer Personas and Why They’re Important for Branding (Now, More than Ever!)

If you’re involved in marketing in any capacity, you know that understanding your buyer is essential to making a sale. (It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is if you can’t motivate someone to buy it.)

Creating a Buyer Persona (or multiple Buyer Personas) is the best way to understand your customers’ intentions and connect with them in a meaningful way. A Buyer Persona is a fictional depiction of your ideal customer based on real data and market research from your existing customers.

If you’ve got a well-established brand strategy, and you think you’ve nailed the Buyer Persona concept, I challenge you to give it a second look. The year 2020 has turned the world upside down in terms of global economics and consumer priorities. The pain points of your customers a year ago could look very different today.

Read: Shifting Marketing Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Much of the information useful in a Buyer Persona can be obtained from sales data. But some of it may have to be obtained via customer interviews, which should be a part of your regular research routine anyway. By interviewing customers and researching their buying patterns, you can predict what they want to see and cater specifically to that.

Insider Tip: If you’re looking for an easy way to find customers willing to be interviewed, look no further than your company’s Facebook page. Facebook now rewards your most active followers with “Top Fan” badges – these followers are usually more than happy to be interviewed.

Let’s re-evaluate and redefine your ideal customer. As you work through creating your Buyer Persona, you can use this fun tool from HubSpot to bring your persona to life: https://www.hubspot.com/make-my-persona.

To build your Buyer Persona, first consider the following data:

  • Demographic (age, education, socioeconomic status)
  • Shopping Habits (online or brick-and-morter)
  • Location (is he or she willing travel? How far?)
  • Job role / Description
  • Interest in Product/Service
  • Need for product
  • Challenges or frustrations as related to your product/service
  • Goals – What is he or she trying to accomplish as related to your product/service?

Take a look at this Buyer Persona for a fictional art glass company. As the marketing director for this art glass company, would could you glean from this Persona?

Buyer Persona Infographic

Some Ideas:

This customer is now shopping online – make sure your website is up-to-date with all products, pricing and specials.

This customer spends a lot of time on Facebook. Does your company have a Facebook page? Use this platform to post free tutorials, VIP specials and coupons. Consider geo-targeting advertising.

Read: 5 Key Elements for an Engaging Facebook Ad 

This customer has considerable disposable income, but little space. Consider promoting glass-storage solutions for small spaces and smaller kilns, along with one-off project-based glass kits.

This customer loves to cook! Consider finding a way to marry her two hobbies. Could you create a free project guide around an art glass platter or bowl that could double as a serving dish? Furthermore, is this a common shared hobby among your customers? Consider advertising in a cooking magazine or kitchen-supply catalog.

Personalize the Content

Use your Buyer Persona to personalize the content on your blog, in your e-newsletter and in your advertising. Your messaging should speak directly to your buyer in his or her current condition. In other words, the buyer needs to be able to understand and relate to the content. In the art glass example above, you wouldn’t want to use phrases or slang in your messaging that might be more appropriate for a younger audience.

If you have several different Buyer Personas for your company, consider dividing your marketing efforts into different categories based on these personas. For examples, instead of sending a standard email to everyone on your mailing list, you can segment the list by Buyer Persona and tailor your messaging accordingly.

Read: Improve Your Email Marketing Today For a Better ROI Tomorrow

Strategically Create new Products and Services

We now see face masks, shields, gloves and other protective gear gracing the walls of every clothing retailer in America. No one even considered buying or wearing a face mask before the spring of 2020 and now it’s an integral part of daily life. Companies are utilizing this pain point as a way to stay relevant in these difficult times.

Buyers are also purchasing more goods and services online as a result of quarantine. How can you leverage this to benefit your business? Could you develop a DIY kit that can easily be shipped? Can you hold a Live Sale on Facebook instead of in store? Can you offer free pickup and delivery?

Use Buyer Personas to more accurately predict if current products and services are still germane in these rapidly changing times, and how you can diversity your offerings to stay relevant.

About the Author: Jim Gibbs

Vice President of Sales & Marketing at The Dingley Press. Jim has been with Dingley since 2002 and lives in Maine near our Lisbon, Maine plant location.