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How to Identify Buyer Personas When Starting Your Small Business

03/09/17, 10:39 AM

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What is a buyer persona?

It’s defined as a pseudo-fictional representation of your ideal customer, crafted through research, analytics, and psychological data. Does every small business need to identify buyer personas? Yes!

 Buyer personas…
…help you better target your marketing efforts to your audience
…help you figure out how to solve challenges specific to your customers
…help set attainable goals for your business’ future

How to Identify Buyer Personas

Most small businesses should identify somewhere between 2-4 buyer personas before diving into a marketing campaign, or even before opening their doors. But how do you determine who, exactly, to personify?

Look at Past Sales
In recent history, who is buying your product or service? Particularly without any marketing in place, your existing customers make up the purest customer base for your business. Start there.

Talk to Your Sales Team
Your sales personnel are the best source of information about potential buyers. Ask who they hear from the most often, and what kind of feedback they receive. Is there something about your business that always “sinks” a sale? Or that beats your competitors? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you identify who to target.

Ask the Right Questions
It’s not a bad idea to conduct mini focus groups during the buyer persona creation process. Talking to past customers (both satisfied and unsatisfied!), speaking with referrers, and even interviewing potential prospects can help you better understand your customer base.

Customer or Influencer?
Remember when creating buyer personas that the end-purchaser of your services or products isn’t necessarily who you’re trying to reach. In some cases, especially within B2B operations, it’s smarter to target an influencer who will in turn convince the actual purchaser to look at your brand.

What to Know About Each Buyer

Once you know where to mine for data, you’ve got to compile information about your base to use in persona creation. What should you know about each “buyer?” Their demographics (age, sex, income, location, etc.), their relevant background (company position, sources of information, education level, etc.), and their identifiers (demeanor, decision making process, how they prefer to receive information, etc.). It’s also important to specify what challenges your buyer faces in the marketplace so you can position your business to solve them.

Once you have a detailed picture of your ideal buyer, you’re ready to put together a comprehensive Buyer Persona; here’s a convenient template to use if you get stuck.

Or, better yet, contact an experienced digital marketing firm in your area to do the heavy lifting for you. Marketing professionals are experts at answering the questions you didn’t even know to ask. Synchronicity is where your digital marketing efforts take off, starting with your Buyer Personas.

Give us a call to get started.

Topics: Content Marketing, Branding

Randy Smith