Buying Personas – Target Customer
Buying Personas sound much more interesting than target customer don’t they? But the importance of identifying and understanding your target market is so critical to all your marketing activity, it can be scary how often it is not considered.
So what is a buying persona? It is when you slice your target market into individual groups of people and identify them not only in terms of what problem you are solving for them but also the type of language you use to communicate with them, the means of communications etc. For example if you were a hotel, you might have 6 separate ‘personas’. An business person, a training manager/event manager looking at conference facilities, a weekend break couple, a bride to be, a user of the sports/leisure facilities or a family wanting to use for lunch or to arrange a party. How many do you have in your business?
When running marketing campaigns, you will need to adapt your messaging to fit the needs of your different buying personas.
- what is his or her need?
- why would they need your product… what problem are you solving?
- why should they care about you?
- what is your unique value proposition? what makes you unique/special and different…..
There are lots of things you can do when you have the buying personas in your head:
1. Give each persona a name, and put that name and a fun sketch of that type of person on separate sheets of paper. Make it really clear in your mind who that person is, what sort of person they are
2. Think about what questions they will want answered when contacting you, so that you jot these down as an ‘aide memoire’ on the sheet, to act as a prompt for you and your team. Great exercise in which to involve the team. Think too about any extra information you want from that type of enquirer in order to give him/her a really good response to their enquiry. Jot these questions down on the sheet. Think too about the questions they are not asking (developing listening skills!) – for example if you have a very innovative product then kudos could come into the enquiry, being the early adopter etc. The underlying reasons are important to establish too.
3. Think about what type of communications you’ll use for each persona – work out the best path to each persona. Will it be on line or off line or a mix of both. Whatever you choose, make sure it is relevant for your target market. Don’t get caught up in the social media hype in isolation and think it will be answer to all your business needs.
4. Think about your language and style. The language you use to ‘talk’ to your leisure club user, for example, would probably be different from your weekend visitors/wedding enquirers. And if you typically use a lot of flowery language you may want to limit this a tad when emailing an FD or IT person. And similarly if an IT or numbers person, then you could work with a colleague to make sure your typical responses are fully understandable and not coming across as too curt and disinterested.
4. If you are looking for some customer feedback, then it can be powerful to survey
a number in each group of your personas. Or you could start to create a profile of your customers – what would be important for you to know? Perhaps age, profession, financial standing, education, or it could be free time activities, buying decisions shopping habits.
5. When writing blogs then vary the content, so one would be geared to your wedding couple, whereas the latest upgrade in sports equipment in your gym would appeal to the leisure club members. It can also be very powerful to include references to your recent survey – opinions and stats…
6. But you must also mention your other services to all of the sectors, the “cross sell”, so that they are all aware of what else you do. The leisure club member may be looking for a venue for their wedding. And in a legal practice you might be dealing with someone for their conveyance/will etc. but they absolutely must know too that you have an amazing commercial department and what it offers. One of the worst comments about your business would be: “Oh, I didn’t know you did this”.
7. Let your team have copies of these ‘master’ sheets for their reference – and/or pin them on the wall in front of their desk. Make them fun.
Think too about where/when you can use this sequence of information, for example
- answering an initial enquiry or email
- sending a formal proposal
- making a presentation
- attending a networking event
- attending an exhibition or trade show – train your team representing you at such an event into the different typical buying personas and you can be sure that the relevant information will be passed on
This is part of my sales training sessions so if you need help, just send me a mail or call me.