What Is A Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal target customer(s). Personas are based on market research, data abut your existing customers and educated assumptions about what you believe your personas are. They use psychographic as well as demographic information so that you can embody everything which makes a person tick within your persona. Some common misconception made about personas is that the focus should be on job titles or roles, that a persona is needed for every stage of the buyer’s journey or that the terms ‘buyer persona’ and ‘buyer’s journey’ are interchangeable. All of these are untrue. Your personas should not focus on roles, market segmentations or the actual journey itself. Instead, it should help you understand your customers in a human-centric way which puts their needs first with the goal of extracting insight from situations and gaining knowledge of buying behaviours. That’s not to say that personas must be kept separate to the buyer’s journey as you will use them to help create your content to guide prospects through your workflow and their journey. However, when creating your persona, you shouldn’t be influenced by the journey and content mapping, ideally, it should be the other way around.
Having a clear buyer persona that is created in the correct way is paramount to the success of an inbound strategy as it allows you to tailor your content to fit the needs of those you are trying to attract the most. Although personas are heavily used within the marketing sector, they should be embraced across your entire organisation so that your marketing, sales and customer service teams are all aligned with a clear strategy. If you conduct a marketing campaign without a clear buyer persona(s) in mind, you are essentially taking a shot in the dark with your resources, time and ideas. They should be used in every industry, whether it be:
- Business-to-business sales
- Business-to-consumer sales
- Service providers
- Online businesses
- Brick-and-mortar retail stores