What is a Buyer Persona and How Do I Create One?

Creating Buyer Personas

Start by Knowing Your Ideal Customer

Who is buying your products and services? How old are they and where do they live? What kind of problems do they have, and are you in a position to solve them? If you run a business of any kind, you should be asking yourself these questions. After all, if you don’t understand who your customers are, how can you reach new ones and encourage them to purchase more?

A buyer persona is essentially a profile of your target customer, and it is an invaluable tool for business. Putting one together is not that time or labor-intensive but can have a huge effect on the future of your business.

Elements of a Buyer Persona

The more detailed your buyer persona is the better. The more information you can put into the more it will guide your actions moving forward. And don’t write off any detail as being irrelevant. You never know what insight(s) will shift your way of thinking. These are the elements that most commonly get included:

  • Demographics – Age, salary, marital status, etc.
  • Values – Morals, ethics, worldview, and goals of the buyer\
  • Desired Experience – What is the buyer looking for from your business?
  • Problems – What problems does the buyer need to solve?
  • Role – What is the buyer’s role in their business, family, community etc?
  • Day in the Life – How does the buyer spend their day? Where does your business fit in?
  • Info Sources – How does the buyer get the info that informs her purchasing decisions?
  • Common Objections – What prevents the buyer from using your business?

Keep in mind, too, that you can build a buyer persona around an individual, or an organization, depending on your needs.

Easy Steps to Create a Buyer Persona

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a mind reader or a private investigator to put together a detailed and effective buyer persona. Follow these five steps and you are well on your way.

  1. Identify Your Top Customers – You probably have a fairly detailed customer database. Identify the top 20% of your customers based on revenue generated or frequency of purchase. If you have a lot of customers, you can narrow it to the top 5-10%. These are the buyers you will focus on.
  2. Build a Foundation – Write down what you know about your top customers. Based on the level of detail of your records, you might be able to make some important conclusions based only on the data you already have.
  3. Look for Commonalities – Take another close look at your records and try to identify patterns and shared characteristics. It’s more than likely that a healthy portion of your top customers has something in common.
  4. Put Yourself in Their Shoes – Imagine that you are one of your own top customers. What kind of pressures do they face? Why do they really choose your company? Why don’t they choose your competition? If you keep an open mind you can determine a lot during this step. If you’re not satisfied with your results, you can even consider interviewing several clients/customers directly.
  5. Create an Identity – Using all the information you’ve collected, begin to put together a buyer persona with specific characteristics. One surprisingly helpful tool is to assign a picture to each one of your buyer groups. Once you have the information assembled, use it to further refine your portrait and help develop the buyer’s back story.

Meet Your New Customers

Now that you have a buyer persona put together, use it to refine your marketing strategy, innovate your products and services, reach out to new customer bases, and plan for your short, medium, and long-term future. There is no limit to what you can do with a great buyer persona. If you need help putting one together or turning your insights into revenue, partner with the data-driven marketing specialists at Studio C5.

Request a free digital marketing consultation.