As a small or medium-sized business, it is critical that you have an in-depth understanding of your clients. A buyer persona is a fictional person that has the attributes of your ideal customer. The persona is more inclined towards certain behaviors and they have their own unique problems. When you do effective buyer persona research, you have a very specific representation of your typical buyer that helps you understand your customer better so you can make better business decisions.

Example of a Buyer Persona

Your goal is to end up with a detailed description of your buyer persona. Many businesses even download stock images of people and give them names. For example, if you sell golf gear, your buyer persona’s name can be Director Dave. He lives in Brooklyn Heights, NYC. He has a wife and three children and every morning at 6:30 am he takes a cab to his office. For the biggest part of his day, he works on implementing long-term strategies to boost a company’s sales. When he comes home after work, he will spend some time with his wife and children and ask them about their day.

Dave interacts with a lot of high-profile people in the community and he also has an active social life. On Saturdays, he goes golfing at the Marine Park golf course. He has a healthy sense of humor and is considered by those around him to be a gentleman. He is a bit of a perfectionist and is very serious about managing his time efficiently. He is concerned about politics and follows US military developments closely.

How to use your Buyer Persona?

When understanding your ideal buyer, you can make better decisions about your marketing and sales strategies. As a seller of golf gear, you have to interact with Dave on a regular basis. You wouldn’t cold call him at 9 o’clock in the morning since that is not the time for him to focus on golf. You may be more effective by targeting him on Facebook with a lead magnet, for example, a schedule of golf competitions in exchange for his email address.

Using emails to market your products should also be done in accordance with his persona. This means that you would stick to mailing him during weekends with subject lines that might interest him specifically.

The buyer persona of a housewife would be very different. Her downtime is weekday mornings when her baby is asleep. Unlike Dave, targeting her during this time would make more sense.

As you can see, creating a buyer persona is important to optimize your marketing efforts. But how do you do buyer persona research? How do you create this phantom with habits, a backstory, and a morning routine and how do you know that this is, in fact, the typical person that you are targeting?

How to Research Your Buyer Persona

There are many ways to do buyer persona research. All of these ways consist of capturing information from your existing contacts. They include:

  • Compiling a list of questions that your sales reps should complete after interacting with clients.
  • Including a form on your website that clients themselves can complete after buying your product or service.
  • Asking your email list to complete a questionnaire in exchange for an item of value.
  • Asking customers if you can interview them directly. You can do this either in person or on the phone.

The questions you ask them is critical in gaining an insight into their lives. These questions include but are not limited to:

  • Their job title, job description, experience, and skills.
  • The size of the company that they work for
  • Their personal goals in life
  • Daily challenges that they face
  • Personal demographics and family
  • Geographical area
  • Their shopping habits

Now that you have all these data, you have to create you buyer avatar. There are many templates available online that you can use to derive one single person and their comprehensive information from this raw data. You can also create negative buyer personas. These are people that are definitely not your customers.

A buyer persona is an incredibly helpful marketing tool, and spending time on creating one will definitely be worth your while.