A buyer persona is a fictional person that represents a demographic or segment you’d like to sell to. A persona can be anything as thin as basic demographic information, like age, gender, and race, to a fully-fleshed out person, with narratives, names, jobs, geographic areas, and more. The more completely you can illustrate the small details of your buyer personas, the more effective they can be. With detailed buyer personas, you can find new techniques and more engaging marketing language for reaching those personas where they are.
Start With a Goal
All your buyer personas should start with a goal. The goal is what the persona hopes to accomplish with your product. Do they need to plan a birthday party, increase their team’s KPIs, double their warehouse space, purchase unusual bar stock, or just find the bathroom? Whatever it is, that will shape the rest of their persona.
Once they have a goal, give the persona a name. It can be a common name or a name related to their goal. As you get into demographics, you might rename these characters based on their attributes. Feel free to change the name to better capture the essential features of each persona.
Define Details and Demos
When you imagine a person standing in front of your hoping to accomplish a goal, what do they look like? Are they young or old? Male or female? Of course, we’re going completely off stereotypes now, but that’s okay. The buyer persona process is essentially finding the stereotypes that fit your market. Everyone sounds a little dumb in persona form, so don’t stress if your imaginings seem cartoonish or stilted.
Write down everything you can envision associated with the persona. How old are they? What clothes do they wear? Are they happy or upset? What’s the timeframe for the completion of their goal? Did they just come from work, or from the country club? All those little details contribute to building fully-featured stories about your buyer’s personas. The more fully-realized, the better your results will be.
Map the Buyer’s Journey
As corny as it might sound, conceptualizing the buyer’s path from a problem to a solution that includes your product as a journey is useful and common. The idea is to understand the pathway that this particular buyer persona might take from the first awareness of their need for a solution to their selection of your product as their preferred solution. What roadblocks or difficulties did they encounter that could be simplified? Can you communicate with these buyers more effectively at a critical point in their journey? How far along are they in the journey when buyers first hear of your brand? And who told them about it?
Understanding the journey taken by your personas will help you target them more effectively. Our tips are only enough to build the most basic of personas, but a complete and accurate buyer’s persona will give you powerful insights into marketing segments. By using these buyer’s personas to establish your marketing segments, you can communicate powerfully with interested buyers in a way that’s calibrated to achieve the greatest success.