Jan 17, 2017

Buyer Personas 101: What they Are and Why You Need Them

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Buyer Personas 101: What they Are and Why You Need Them - JJ Social Light - Alpharetta GA

Buyer personas can take your marketing strategy to the next level by helping you identify who your customers are and allowing you to target them in the way that calls out to their specific needs and desires. Over the next four blogs, we will teach you everything you need to know about buyer personas, from what they are, to how you can use them to boost sales, and how to identify/ create them.

Buyer Persona Definition

A buyer persona is an imaginary representation of your real customer. You’ll use data you’ve gathered about your existing customer base, such as age, interests, behavior pattern, and location, to create an individual portrait or dossier. For example, one of your buyer personas could be “Sue.” Sue is 45, works as an office manager in a busy local dermatology office that clears $500k per month, and is responsible for purchasing the company’s uniforms. She likes to browse high-end uniforms regularly and orders new ones like clockwork every quarter.  

Buyer Persona Versus Target Audience

As you can tell, the buyer persona is highly specific, which is what sets it apart from the target audiences of yore. Up until recently, we might only look at some of the consumer data while compiling a profile, so instead of having Sue, we’d have a hodgepodge. We’d look at it from a broad perspective and determine that our clients are decision-makers in dermatology practices that clear $500k per month. Using the target audience, we could compile a list of offices and mail out a monthly catalog.

Buyer Personas are Heat-Seeking Missiles

We know Sue got our catalog because she’s part of the target audience, but she isn’t going to order now. What’s more, she may not even look at it because she focuses on quality and this particular catalog is devoted to clearance items. Not only are we wasting our time, but we’ve wasted Sue’s. Eventually, she gets tired of receiving junk that doesn’t apply to her and unsubscribes or just tosses our catalog in the trash. On the other hand, we know Sue, so we can easily tailor our approach to suit her needs. Just before her quarterly order is made, we’ll send her a catalog of our very best uniforms, highlight the exclusivity of them, and warn her that we’ve got limited quantities. We know that she’s going to use that catalog to place her next order, but there’s a chance we can convince her to order a little bit sooner than usual or order a few extras because she doesn’t want to miss out on the exclusive offerings.

You Need Multiple Buyer Personas

Let’s say that the practice that Sue works for has a major competitor a few miles away with the exact same demographics. However, the doctor is stingy, and Nancy, the lady who handles the ordering, is always looking for coupons and deals. She needs your clearance catalog! If you want to reach your customers, whether with catalogs, emails, content, or other efforts, you have to understand who they are and what their motivations are. You should have a series of buyer personas drawn up to help you market more effectively.

Up Next…

Now that you understand the importance of buyer personas, we can really dig into how to put them to work. Our next blog will cover the various applications for them and how to use them to boost your sales. We’ll follow this up with information on how to build a template for your buyer personas and detailed explanations on how to extract the data you’ll need to create solid profiles. Pop back in for the next installment or drop us a line and let us know how we can help you with your marketing efforts.

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