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Why Your Marketing Strategy Is Struggling Without Buyer Personas

October 28, 2019
Why Your Marketing Strategy Is Struggling Without Buyer Personas

Are your marketing efforts not performing the way you expect them to?

There are a number of reasons why your marketing might not be hitting the right marks – but in our 30+ years of creating and implementing marketing strategies for our clients, we’ve found one of the most common causes is a lack of defined buyer personas.

The first step in creating any solid marketing strategy is to define your audience by identifying who your target customers are. Simply put: if you’re not sure who you’re talking to, how can you talk to them? How will you know what their problems are – and more importantly, how can you show them how your company can make their lives better?

What’s the most effective way to define your audience? Buyer personas.

With buyer personas completed, you’ll have a better understanding of what appeals to your target audience and how they’ll react to different adverts, marketing messages and social media posts. 

So, What Is A Buyer Persona?

In their simplest form, buyer personas are basically a profile of the type of person you would like to have as a customer. Your ideal client. Your target audience represented by one person.

Why Your Marketing Strategy Is Struggling Without Buyer Personas

Creating an accurate buyer persona takes in-depth research – it’s not just a bullet point list of who you think you appeal to and how you can sell to them.

A buyer persona should be built as if they are a real life person (yes, you can even choose a name for them!) Depending on the level of detail you would like to go into, you can include details like: job position, family, car, house, pets, vacation destinations etc. All of these details add up and help identify the problems, issues and goals they need your help with.

If you’re a large-scale business, it’s impossible to get to know each of your customers on a personal level and if you’re mainly an online business, it can be even more difficult to see the customer as an actual human being behind the screen.  

Creating customer personas that help represent each of your client demographics will make it easier for you to see them as more than just a number or paid invoice. It will help you really consider their wants and needs - which will in turn help build your messaging and marketing strategy, connecting with your audience - and in turn boost your sales. 

How Do You Create A Buyer Persona?

Get the data

The strongest buyer personas are built using data and research from your current customers and research into customers you would like to attract.  

This data can include things like:

  • In-depth customer development interviews
  • Where your website visitors have come from, what keywords they used to get to your website and which pages they spend the most time on
  • Information gathered from employees that have talked to customers about their experiences
  • Observations you’ve made during discussions on forums and websites. Here you can figure out problems that customers are having along with any questions they ask online
  • Trends on social media in relation to your industry
  • Conversations with unhappy customers. Unhappy customers are the best sources of information on how to better your service. They provide invaluable (and honest) opinions.

When gathering data for your audience profiles, you should think carefully about what questions you want to ask your customers.

  • Why did they choose your company?
  • Why did they buy your product/service over anyone else?
  • How does your product/service solve their problems?
  • How will your product/service improve their life? 
  • How often do they buy/use your product/service and why?
  • What would stop them from buying your product in the future?

Building your buyer personas

Ok, research done – now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and begin to craft some buyer personas. Creating between three and five buyer personas is usually enough to cover your main target audiences.  

When building out buyer personas, it’s useful to stick to using a few main groups of data. Using a guide template can help you phase out any unnecessary information and keep you focused. You can download our buyer persona workbook for free here.

Why Your Marketing Strategy Is Struggling Without Buyer Personas

For example, your personas could include the following:

  • Name: You can give them a regular first and last name or you relate their name to their overall role or likeness. For example, Private Pete, from this you know he served in the army or has a military background. 
  • Demographic Info: This usually covers the person's location, their occupation, what age group they fall under, their gender and what their interests are.
  • Goals, Values, Fears and Problems: When writing your buyer personas you should imagine what these people struggle with day to day, what their priorities in life are and what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning.

How do I use buyer personas to help my marketing?

When you have your buyer personas fully developed, you can truly understand what the underlying thoughts and feelings are that make your target audience tick. When you understand why people do what they do and what their motivations are, you can then create marketing materials addressing those motivations.

The result? You connect with your audience on an emotional level – and we all know that’s the secret to creating life-long, loyal customers.  

Buyer personas help you create messaging that speaks to your target audience directly - marketing materials can often get lost in corporate jargon. Using buzzwords and business language really doesn’t mean much to the average consumer. By understanding the words your customers use (and prefer), you can create effective marketing messages that will engage with and persuade your audience.

If you’d like to know exactly how to build your own buyer personas step by step then download our workbook today to get you started. 

If you need some extra help, have any questions or just want to take a step in the right direction to getting your business running the way it should, then book an appointment today with one of our experts.

Want to talk more about how we can help you? Click the button below to book a time to talk with us, or give us a call at 916.608.8913

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