Creating a buyer persona is the marketing equivalent of putting yourself in the shoes of your most loyal customers. The concept behind buyer personas is to help brands see their products through the lens of people who love them and buy them.
In an extensive online essay about buyer personas, Moosend recommends “to go out there and meet your persona. There’s no way to cut corners. Go to the coffee shops, bars, malls, flea markets, concerts, any event where your target group goes. Mingle. Make friends. Talk.”
Most important, listen. “Take notes of the language they use, their concerns, their worries, what they do in their leisure time.” If you want a bundle of insights, Moosend suggests throwing a party for your target group or hang out in online forums. Make sure to note what your fans say.
If this all seems obvious, it shouldn’t come across as easy or once-and-done. Building credible buyer personas takes serious effort. And buyer personas need constant updating because people change, sometimes on a dime. Maybe the biggest obstacle to creating and maintaining buyer personas is the time it requires to identify their traits and track their evolution as customers.
Moosend offers some additional tips to acquire insights necessary to create useful buyer personas:
Talk to frontline employees who interact with customers to find out what buying customers say about a brand or new product line. Brand personas should consist of the traits, characteristics and views of loyal customers. You may be able to sharpen the edges of a brand persona by finding out why people don’t buy your brand.
Google Analytics offers another source of insights on how customers relate to your website. Moosend recommends installing website tracking and running drips campaigns to learn about customer views and purchasing habits of products. Other tools can trace your customers’ journey on your website.
Social media offers clues to buyer persona identities. Tools exist to listen to public conversations about your brand and your products.
You can engage your most active customers via email or an online focus group. A key focus can be on the source of their emotional attachment to a brand.
Building a buyer persona is only part of the challenge. You also must infuse a customer, and thus a buyer persona, with your brand value. As Moosend describes it, “Your mission and vision must overlap with your persona’s goals, dreams, plans and wishes. There must be a common ground for value-sharing and ethics.”
After the buyer persona creation process, brand managers should know their customers like the back of their hand. They need to translate their intimate knowledge into brand management from product development to marketing acumen, all while keeping faith with the brand promise.
[Thanks to Moosend, a UK marketing and marketing automation platform for large enterprises, for permission to excerpt its essay on buyer personas.]
Additional CFM reading about buyer personas: