The Importance of a Buyer Persona

Our businesses and organizations offer services and design products that help our customers. This particular individual is your buyer persona - though you may not know it yet. It is important to know your buyer persona because all your programs and initiatives build from it.

 

A buyer persona helps you express a clear and concise message by giving you an individual to focus on. An individual that, you know, needs your product or service.

Imagine you are about to post on Facebook. In front of you is the profile of Nurse Nancy, one of your buyer personas. Nancy works 12-hour days and has very little time to read long posts on Facebook. You are now thinking “how can I shorten my post and use different words that will catch Nancy’s eye as she scrolls by fast."

In addition, you have Nurse Nancy’s needs, pain-points, and hobbies in front of you. Knowing these specific details can help you connect with her on an emotional level. Personally, if someone takes the time to know what I like and dislike, and to understand who I am, I form a bond with them. That is the point when your audience builds trust with you and your organization. 

 

Large corporations have been using buyer personas for some time. All internal customer-facing departments (marketing, sales, customer service) receive the same copy. This assures that all employee outreach initiatives are on the same page.

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a man walks while looking at his cell phone
a women walks with her friend

What is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional character profile created to help you better align your marketing outreach initiatives (e.g. social media and blog posts, advertisements, etc.) with the type of person who benefits the most from your product or service. The objective of a buyer persona is to understand buyers on a personal level. When you know who your buyer is, it helps you generate better-qualified leads for your business.

 

To create a buyer persona, you will need to discover common traits among individuals from your current customer base. After identifying these common traits, you sort them into categories and form a profile. If you are familiar with the tale of Frankenstein, we are, in essence, bringing your buyer to life! Your buyer will have a name, hobbies, likes, and pain-points.

 

The next time you are about to post on Linkedin, or Instagram, you will post as if you are writing to this fictional character. 

This process of building your buyer persona requires time, research, and creativity. But once you have a buyer persona in place, choosing what type of content to create (i.e blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.), where to post your content (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.), and what to say becomes easier than ever before.

Discover how big brands are using buyer personas.

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Buyer Persona:  Nurse Nancy

Meet Nurse Nancy, a resident nurse. Below, see how when we better understand Nurse Nancy, we can better help her with our products and services. In doing so, we create a more genuine experience with our brand. 

a female nurse wheres a mask

In this scenario, Nurse Nancy is a buyer persona we created for your business, ABC Nutrition. You are launching a new product line of meal-replacement protein shakes. These shakes are completely plant-based, 400 calories per drink, and are intended to be consumed on-the-go. 

From numerous interviews with past customers and cross-analyzing competitors trends, we have created Nurse Nancy.

 

Nurse Nancy's profile tells us about our buyers:

  • Between the ages of 35-44,

  • 2 children, who play sports

  • Work long,12-hour days at the local hospital in Milford, MA.

 

  • Enjoys running.

  • Loves to read. 

  • Consumes most information through a kindle and blogs online. A popular blog is Dr. Mark Hyman's food blog.

    • Follows Dr. Hyman on Twitter and Instagram. ​

After someone research on Dr. Mark Hyman's blog, we found that Dr. Mark Hyman is a Director of Cleveland Clinic and is leading the movement in functional medicine, where food is used as medicine.

What Can You Do With a Buyer Persona?

Because we did our research and did not rely on assumptions, we were able to be very specific and form Nancy from a sample of real people with that have these specific details.  

Today, ABC Nutrition is planning to launch its new line of protein shakes.

 

Knowing what we know about Nurse Nancy, how should we position our marketing?

How do you position your messaging? 

We know that Nancy follows Dr. Hyman on Twitter, and Instagram, so we know how we can reach her organically. 

We also know she reads Dr. Hyman's blog.

 

This tells us a lot. It tells us the language and style we should write in.

Note: Writing in your buyer's language, humanizes your content, building trust, and a genuine experience for the viewer. 

 

We also can conclude that healthy eating is a big part of Nancy's life based on the fact that she follows Dr. Hyman, and is an active runner. Highlighting the plant-based meal-replacement protein shake connects to two of her interests: her running, and healthy lifestyle.

 

But wait, Nurse Nancy is also a nurse, and needs something healthy, preferably plant-based, that she can consume during her hectic days at work. This is another way we can position your marketing messaging. 

Where do you post your content?

This will depend on your budget and your strategy. For now, let's assume we have a flexible budget, and our strategy is in development.

 

Our goal is to get Nancy to engage with our content. We want her to relate to it, but be curious enough to click the Call-To-Action to learn more. 

 

We know from our persona, Nancy is on Twitter and Instagram and reads Dr. Hyman's blog. We should be using our newly defined messaging to talk about our new launch. All the content we build will be catered to Nurse Nancy's interests, and needs, while we mention the launch of the new product line. 

Action Question:

As the owner of ABC Nutrition, how does your new meal-replacement protein shake help Nurse Nancy? 

What was your answer? That will should be your messaging. 

 

Also, If we plan ahead, we may be lucky enough to have Dr. Hyman review our product on his blog, or tweet about it. 

Building Your Buyer Persona

To build your buyer persona you will need to do some research. Here is my approach to building effective personas. 

1. Pick a specific product or service you want to promote. 

2. List 10 key-benefits of this product/service. 

3. Find 10 customers who have used this product/service frequently by looking back through your purchase history. Your goal is to understand why they use it so frequently. The "true why" is never obvious. 

*If you are launching a new product, try and find a similar product on the market and analyze its customer base. You will have to be creative with your research since your competitor, most likely, won't hand over internal information on its customers.

 

A product launch has a lot of research that comes after you Go-Live, but being some-what targeted is better than taking a chance and hoping you hit something.  

4. Develop a survey of 15-20 questions that consist of work-related(i.e. occupation, company size, commute to work, etc.), and personal habits (i.e. marital status, children, favorite way to consume information, etc.) 

Tip: Do you have a sales-direct team or a customer-facing team? Talk to a few of these employees. Here, you are looking to uncover common concerns and traits that these employees have noticed talking to past-, and current - customers. 

 

This should help form questions that are better suited to uncover key indicators of who your buyer is.  

5. Interview these 10 customers.

Note: The survey questions should be seen as guidelines. You should engage in a conversation with these 10 people. Understand who they are, what they like and dislike, and how do they see the world.

Tip: If you're having trouble reaching them, offer them an incentive offer, such as 10% off your next purchase. 

6. Once you've finished your interviews, review the information you've gathered. You are looking for similar and overlapping traits across all 10 of these customers. 

7. Creatively consolidate and organize this into a profile page.

Complete this profile with a picture of a person to humanize the profile. Then distribute it to your marketing and sales staff. 

I hope this helps your furture marketing efforts!

If you need anymore help, I am happy to create your buyer persona(s) with you. 


nancy cantor business coach smiles in her black blazer and navy scarf

"When I decided that I wanted to appeal to a new audience, women leaders in the workplace, for a curriculum that I had designed for women solo entrepreneurs, I worked with Stulac Marketing to create a Buyer Persona called Corporate Carol. 

 

 Now as I am adapting my curriculum, I have guidelines and ideas that help everything I do be directed toward her style, interests, responsibilities, and goals."

Nancy Cantor is a business coach. Her women’s empowerment curriculum, used in the Dream Factory Community, has impacted 1000s of women over the past 15 years.  She is known for helping women have a clear vision, a plan of action, tools for disarming their private saboteur, and a community that stands for their success.  Because of her women-focused work, she received the Small Business of the Year Award in 2008 from the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce and in 2019, she was nominated for the prestigious Athena Award for Women’s Leadership given by the United Way of Tri-County.