Having the tools and techniques to get people to opt into your marketing plan is one thing, but your efforts will be wasted if you don’t know just who those people should be.
So, what is a buyer persona?
As discussed earlier in this blog series, the buyer persona is a key facet of permission-based marketing. The ultimate persona is an actual person—in other words, you’re 100% sure that this individual will want to buy your product. Establishing a buyer persona is a process of acute dissection: you know their problems, their challenges, their sources of pain and pleasure and what their business needs are, right now. That granularity in a persona is rarely possible (though in the age of Amazon and Asos algorithms, it’s not impossible), but it’s a good model upon which to think about your prospect.
There are a series of questions you can ask yourself about what your buyer persona is (which I’ll go into below) but asking questions is just not enough. Much like the “Ronseal moment” discussed earlier in the blog series, it’s really something that should be written down, etched in stone, and then distributed to your entire company. If it changes due to a new advancement in the industry or updated technology, then your entire company should be aware of that change too. There is no way around it: having a solid, structured and well-defined buyer persona is crucial to ensuring your inbound marketing activities can deliver their full potential.
The questions you can ask yourself to put this persona together range from the basic to the philosophical. Let’s start with the easy ones: What does your buyer do in their job? What’s their job title? The size of the company they work in? Who do they report to and what are the main responsibilities and tasks they have to manage? These should be directly related to your product or service, and thus fairly easy to answer. And, of course, if you want to know for sure, these are the kinds of questions it’s entirely appropriate to ask your website visitors via a submission form on your landing page.
The next level is more explorative: What are your buyer’s problems in a work context? What is the one thing they are always working late to make up for? What task would they simplify or get rid of if they could? How is their efficacy measured by their boss? What specialised knowledge and skills must they have in order to get their work done?
A deeper level of understanding might extend slightly beyond the office context, for example: What is your buyer’s education level? What blogs or websites do they read (pertaining to your industry, and otherwise)? What social media platforms do they use the most, and who do they consider as influencers? What are their hobbies, or professional networks/associations and special interest groups they are part of?
It’s important to note that it’s very possible to have multiple buyer personas, or ones that apply to different services or products you offer. The best inbound marketing strategies will be built around several well-defined ones. The key, which I’ll reiterate again, is knowing that everyone in your organisation is working towards attracting, converting, and retaining these kinds of personas. As HubSpot puts it: “Once you've established not only who your persona is, but also how you can identify them when you encounter one or another, your employees will be able to maintain a consistent voice that is still customised to each person they talk to.”
Tip #41: Define your buyer make sure everyone in your organisation is working towards attracting, converting, and retaining the same type(s) of customer.
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