Do you know who you are trying to reach with your inbound marketing? Do you know your ideal buyer's demographics? Do you understand their needs and background? If the answer to any of these questions was "no", then it is time to create buyer personas.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of customers and potential customers. They help marketers tailor content, messaging, product development, and services to the needs and behaviors of the audience they want to reach. According to Forbes, buyer personas make your message stronger because understanding your ideal buyer allows the message to be delivered in a language and via a medium preferred by your target.
They also eliminate advertising waste by making campaigns more efficient. Understanding how ideal buyers prefer to seek content saves advertising dollars from being spent where your message will not be seen.
When creating buyer personas, we recommend analyzing your current contact database as well as conducting interviews with customers, potential customers, and third parties. Conduct 3-5 interviews for each persona you want to create. Use a sampling of people that would represent both your ideal buyer as well as non-ideal in order to paint a precise picture of who you want to target.
Here are a few questions to consider:
1. What is their demographic information? Beginning with a draft of demographic information is a good way to start painting a clear, more personal picture of your target. Are they married? What is their annual income? Where do they live? Are they male or female? What is their age? What is their educational background?
2. What is their career path? Consider how they ended up where they are today, what they studied in school, or if they have served in other roles within the company.
3. What are their communication preferences? Some people prefer email while others prefer a phone call.
4. In which industry their company? Adding high level details about their industry may be helpful as well.
5. What is the size of their company in terms of revenue and/or employees?
6. What is their job title and for what are they responsible? Also consider if they are individual contributor or if they manage a team.
7. Is anyone else involved in the decisions making process or are they able to make decisions autonomously?
8. What does their typical day look like? Think about their routine and what events may change it. Do they have any personal obligations or hobbies after work?
9. What are the ideal skills for their job and how good are they at them? Consider how they obtained their skill set as well as anything they are pursuing to increase their skill set?
10. How do they stay updated on industry trends? Do they read certain publications, attend trade shows, etc.?
11. What are their challenges? Be detailed here. This will help you better plan how you can help any potential customers or get around any future roadblocks in the sales process.
12. What are their goals? How would they define success and that their goals have been reached?
The questions you could ask are endless. Be as detailed as possible. The more you understand your potential buyers, the more likely you are to reach them. Download our Buyer Personas Template to help lay out and keep track of each persona's details.
Having a clear idea of exactly who you are targeting sets you up for success in a multitude of ways. Everything from your inbound sales process to product development is positively impacted. Give buyer personas a try. You may be surprised by what you learn about your ideal buyer.