Buyer Persona – how to use this tool so that the results don’t end up in the drawer

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It happens every day in companies all over the world: a member of the marketing or sales department gets the idea that the company's channels should be used more efficiently in the future and that and that messages should be more personalized and individualized. In general the desire to simply understand customers better.

Per se not a bad idea, but many companies lack the implementation. Many the so-called buyer personas, the fictitious representatives of various target groups, the panacea. However, the data collected and the profiles created often end up in the (after they have been neatly pinned to the wall) all too quickly forgotten.

Quite honestly: Unless you and your company have intensively dealt with this strategy and your personal your personal goals of the Buyer Persona, this might be just another initiative that you and your initiative that costs you and your team resources. In the worst case, the idea of Buyer Personas becomes a toothless paper tiger that gets forgotten in the drawer.

Deliberately exaggerated, this article aims to show you avoidable pitfalls in the creation of buyer personas, so that they do not happen to you in your company.
Ultimately, the profiles of customers should help to develop sophisticated strategies for marketing and sales. This development not only benefits the company. The customers also have a personal benefit.

Definition: What is a Buyer Persona?

The term Buyer Persona refers to a representative of a separate target group. This is a
hypothetical customer with defined characteristics and personal preferences, as well as a
concrete usage behavior. The buyer persona is representative of a defined target group.
target group.

First, however, it is important for the creation of personal profiles to define the concept of the target group precisely defined. This includes all the people the company wants to address with a specific marketing campaign. Accordingly, the target group is a subset of the overall market or all existing customers.

The persona is the face of the respective target group. However, since personas differ in their
actions, socio-demographics and also psychological characteristics, it is all the more important to create different buyer personas in order to cover all customers. At best, you give the target group several faces and can thus map wishes, needs and customer journeys much better.

The creation of buyer personas: it's all in the details

The profile of a buyer persona is created with the help of collected data and describes
ultimately the potential buyer of the product in great detail. The procurement of the information is a major challenge for the company. Therefore, a large team from Marketing, Sales and Customer Care is often involved in the creation of Buyer Personas.

The most effective way to create a buyer persona is to directly interview a group, for example for example, the sales staff. This can take the form of interviews or surveys.
However, it is important that you always stay within a target group. Topics that these
Interviews to create Buyer Personas cover are for example:

  • Demographics: gender, age, marital status, place of residence.
  • Professional background: job, career
  • Personal: problems, needs and goals

 

Once you have all the important data together, the interviews are followed by evaluation and analysis. In the In the best case, the buyer persona consists exclusively of personal information about your own existing customers or from market research.

Finally, you describe the buyer persona using concrete characteristics that you have drawn from the previous analysis. These then make the persona tangible. The name of the profile is also important here. In the best case, the persona should be given a name that matches its age and characteristics.

The creation of a buyer persona is never completely finished, as it can always evolve. it can evolve. Therefore, you should regularly add to the personas’ data and modify it if necessary. Use the profiles you have already created and don’t let your work go to waste!

5 reasons to use Buyer Personas

Most companies want to tailor their offering to their personal target group as best as possible.
personal target group. However, this consists of various target persons who differ in their characteristics. The fictitious representatives of a target group are called buyer personas. The advantages of creating such profiles for the marketing and sales of your company are, among other things other things:

  • A buyer persona gives your target group a face. It becomes human,
    more tangible and easier to understand.
  • With this concrete idea, it is easier for you to find the right approach.
  • You can answer the question “What would my ideal customer do?” much easier.
  • The content of the company is now no longer directed at a stranger, but is
    is written for a specific person.
  • Buyer personas are a key component of inbound and content marketing.
 

Creating profiles of target audiences makes it easier for your company to understand the personal
better understand the personal actions, challenges, and needs of existing customers. understand them. But where does the approach of analyzing your target groups in detail and develop a strategy to ultimately drive customer purchase decisions?

Buyer Persona is just the beginning!

Customer Insights Suite Light bright version

A short digression: Buyer Persona and the big question of why? actually?!

If you were lucky enough to grow up as a child and teenager in the 80s and 90s, then you will still remember the good corner stores. A small store where an older lady or gentleman had almost the same assortment that people find today at a discounter today. Only on a store area of about 10 square meters.

The corner shop concept had the following advantage – and without any great marketing strategy or target group analysis: corner shops knew their clientele very well. She didn’t treat all customers identically, no. Rather, it knew the different preferences and types of shoppers and was thus able to cater to the different purchasing needs.

So “Aunt Emma” (as these small corner shops were called in Germany managed to be very good at 1:1 communication. A skill that many companies envy today. One more reason to use the creation of buyer personas as an important goal of inbound marketing in order to positively influence customers’ buying decisions.

Tante Emma Laden
Example of a "Tante Emma" Store, Germany, ca. 1956

3 typical problems with Buyer Personas in practice - watch out for the following pitfalls

Probably the most common mistake in connection with methods such as the Customer Persona or Buyer Persona is that it is understood as a purely theoretical research work. The results with colorful pictures of the various people are then put on the whiteboard or on the wall, and that’s it. Far from it.

This is how it really works: The work on personas, just like the work on the customer empathy map, is not completed with the research. The initial research serves to set up hypotheses, which should then be validated or invalidated through an in-depth interview with target customers and target personas. This helps to better understand the potential buyers as well as the buying process of the product and thus to be able to better target the advertising content of the products to the people.

1. the work with the persona is finished after the research

Probably the most common mistake in connection with methods such as the Customer Persona or Buyer Persona is that it is understood as purely theoretical research work. The results with nice colorful pictures are then put on the whiteboard or on the wall, and that’s it. Wrong.

That’ s how it really works: The work on personae, just like the work on the customer empathy map, is not completed with the research. The initial research serves to set up hypotheses, which should then be validated or invalidated by an in-depth interview with target customers and target personae.

Useless Buyer Persona

2. leading through information advantage - knowledge about the buyer persona remains only in one area of the company

The creation and constant further development do not serve a pure end in themselves. There is no transparency throughout the company, which leads to each department cooking its own soup. That’s a mess.

Here’s how it works better: Customer-centric processes in your company help you create buyer personas. In this way, you enrich customer data with insights from the personas and vice versa.

3. the insights from the persona work do not find any application in your company

As briefly touched upon above, it has become quite hip to put together the beautiful colorful pictures of Customer Personas to pin them proudly on the wall or flip charts.
If this is the end of your work on buyer personas, then you can save yourself the effort right from the start.

Instead, you really apply the insights from the persona work:

  • Customer strategy: Where are your customers heading? And where are your solutions heading? Does in the same direction?
  • Content: What topics do your customers deal with and is your existing content
    existing content tailored to them?
  • Product / Service: Where are the pain points and needs of your persona? Is your
    focus on them?
  • Communication: Where and how does your customer communicate? Do you also
    Do you speak in these ways and in this manner?
  • Design / Style: What do your customers like and dislike? Which aesthetics appeal to them and
    and which not? Do you provide the stylish answers?

Conclusion – In-depth work instead of superficiality

Many company managers have already failed with persona work. It looks extremely easy, but you are usually only working on the surface.

Therefore: Go into the deep work to understand your target group, enrich the personas bit by bit, work with them and, above all, transport them in the company.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about the Buyer Persona

A target group is a subset of the total market that has certain matching characteristics. A buyer persona has a concrete face. It is a fictitious person who represents a target group.

To create a B2B customer, internal data and information must be collected. This can be done using customer surveys and market analyses. Then the results are compiled and updated again and again.

Buyer personas are an important part of customer relationship management, content marketing, social media marketing, sales, and creating targeted landing pages.

The steps to create rather resemble a cycle and should be gone through accordingly again and again: Research. Exchange, discussions and interviews, collection and
collection of customer insights.

Questions about the person himself, the company, information gathering, challenges, goals and procurement processes.

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About Me

As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience every day how important customer focus is for companies.

Integrate the essential customer perspective into your product genesis and marketing processes. That puts PS on the street, that it runs.

 

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