There are plenty of studies that illustrate the importance of using buyer personas to drive your marketing. For example, one case study by MarketingSherpa found that utilizing buyer personas increased marketing-generated revenue by 171%.
The question is: how many buyer personas should your brand have, and how do you pick the right approach to crafting your personas?
To get a better understanding of how to utilize buyer personas for growth, we should look at why they’re so important and the anatomy of a great buyer persona.
What’s The Value of Buyer Persona-Guided Marketing?
Using a properly constructed buyer persona drives clarity and focus in your marketing. It helps you create the most relevant messaging, choose the most appropriate channels, and set the most realistic goals.
When you have a deep understanding of who your buyer is, you can market to them more effectively. You’re able to make decisions that are based on data and patterns instead of assumptions.
This ultimately leads to a better experience for the buyer–they feel like they’re being communicated with directly.
What Makes an Effective Buyer Persona and How Many Should You Have?
The best buyer personas aren’t built around who a person is; they’re built around what jobs they have to do.
Although demographics (the who and what) are relevant, the most powerful buyer personas dive deep into your audience’s psychographic and behavioral profiles.
Since your buyer personas are structured around jobs-to-be-done, you should have as many personas as you have sets of jobs-to-be-done.
For example, a restaurant might have three personas: the busy professional who seeks a quick bite at lunch, the couple that wants to enjoy a romantic dinner, and the corporate event planner that needs a conference meeting catered.
How to Create Your Buyer Persona(s)
Understanding people is never easy, but with the right approach, you’ll soon be on your way to clarifying your marketing.
Do Your Research
Start by researching your audience to gather data. Here are just a few places to start:
- Interview past and current customers
- Conduct surveys or use focus groups
- Review customer data (purchase history, website visits, etc.)
- Speak with customer-facing teams (sales, customer support, and marketing)
Balance Qualitative and Quantitive Research
With all the hype around “data-driven” marketing, it’s easy to become consumed by vanity metrics. Balance your research by using qualitative data to form hypotheses about buyer motivations then verifying it with qualitative data.
You’ll find that qualitative data will drive demographic information (income, age, marital status, etc.) while qualitative data will paint a picture of your persona’s psychographic tendencies and needs.
You’ll also discover where quantitative research can paint a picture of “what”, qualitative data can help add context (the “why”).
Lastly, with a balanced approach to data collection and usage, you can uncover hypotheses and opportunities that you didn’t account for—and subsequently evaluate them logically.
You should approach this exercise with no assumptions about who your audience is or what motivates them. Let the data speak for itself and build the persona for you.
It’s easy for us to assume we know our customers, and that may be true for demographic information. But understanding a buyer’s motivations and jobs-to-be-done requires an open mind free of assumptions.
Bonus: Free Template
Free Download: Buyer Persona Template
Use this template as a headstart in building a detailed buyer persona that drills into both demographic and psychographic traits.