Over the past three blogs, we’ve explored the importance of creating buyer personas, how to use buyer personas to drive sales, and how to create a buyer persona. Of course, you’ll need real customer data in order for your buyer personas to represent your actual customers, so this time around, we’ll teach you where to get it.
1) Google Analytics
If your website doesn’t already have Google Analytics installed, add it. It’s a free tool from Google that lets you track your website activity and gives you insights on who is visiting it. Although you can’t narrow it down to individual users, you can see demographical information, such as age, gender, location, interests, and what kind of device and browser they use.
2) Facebook Insights
If your business uses Facebook, it’s easy to see general information about the people who visit your page and take action in the “Insights” section. Although it’s not as detailed as Google, it does have one other big benefit: you can often see the profiles of people who have taken action on your page and build a persona from the information you find.
Information gathered from Meetup.com will let you reverse-engineer a buyer persona. Rather than starting with someone who already is your customer, you can search for interests your customers may have or look up information about the consumers competitors have. Start by searching for a group related to the interests someone in your audience may have. Then, look at that group’s member list and choose someone. You’ll usually find a detailed profile and perhaps even links to other social media profiles.
There are lots of different ways to conduct surveys. You can give them out to your existing customers, post virtual surveys to forums and social networks, or partner with a third party provider to collect the data for you. It’s helpful if you let consumers know why you’re collecting the data. For example, you can include a line that says, “We’d like to improve our products, so we can better serve you.” It’s also a good idea to break the barriers that may prevent someone from responding. If you’re asking for personal data, let them know why it’s ok for them to trust you- perhaps that you don’t want any info that will identify them or that you’re not going to distribute their information. Lastly, incentives will make it worth their while to participate. Customers in your store may be able to return completed surveys for a free item or discount. If you’re distributing surveys online, a coupon code for your website may work better.
Your interview strategy should work similar to your survey strategy. You can identify prospects via social networks, your existing customer base, through boards like Craigslist, or use a third party to conduct interviews on your behalf. Again, incentives will play a key role, and you’ll want to make sure people know up front that you’re trying to improve your business, not sell them anything.
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Great stuff! Will be sharing!