What is Buyer Persona and what does it mean for the business?
Answering TOP questions after creating 300+ profiles
I started creating and researching Buyer Personas four years ago.
I was introduced to this term during my studies in the marketing department. I was thrilled. The samples we were given were so meaningful and simple at the same time that I thought that every business has it already in place.
Imagine my surprise when I started reading about it more and found so many articles on how to create it and what it is.
But with all the excitement I mentioned that it is often referred to as something imaginary, with little to no background to justify all the information that you put on the Profile. I also hardly could find any info about its practical usage.
Along with this, there were discussions that Buyer Profile is a waste of time and doesn’t work. When I hear statements like this I immediately want to ask How much time did you dedicate to creating it? How did you gather info about your customers? Can you show me the sources? How did you use it? and so on and on.
Thanks to my marketing classes, I got one main idea — It should be based on real data, otherwise, it will not work and will eat your marketing budget. It can be based on current sales data, it can be secondary research, or it can be primary research.
And from that moment I can talk about its creation endlessly.
So in this article, I will try to answer 3 beginners questions about this notion:
- What is Buyer Persona?
- What Buyer Persona should include?
- What does Buyer Persona mean for a business?
A Buyer Persona profile is a fictional representation of your ideal client. It is the result of an in-depth study of your customers. Despite the words ‘fictional’ or ‘imaginary’ that are often used in its definition, BP should be based on real data, otherwise, it will be not useful and full of biases.
A typical Buyer Persona profile should give you answers to basic questions like age, challenges, needs — factors that will help you to determine your USP and navigate your marketing in the right direction.
A Buyer Persona profile is a fictional representation of your ideal client.
It is important to understand that it is not a ready-made marketing plan or business development strategy. It is not a secret formula that tells you how algorithms will work for your ads.
I tend to think of Buyer Persona profiles as if they were my best friends. You know a lot about them, you know what they hate, like, their dreams and challenges. You remember when they have their birthday, how old they are and where they live. However, reaching out to them online or offline and putting an offer that will work is absolutely different kind of story.
I tend to think of the Buyer Persona profile as my best friends.
What should a buyer persona include?
In general, at IntroMarket Research we would recommend any info that will help to understand your clients better. Below, is a list of Chapters your Buyer Persona profile can include:
- Demographic part: Age, location, marital status, income
- Pain points
- Dreams and fears
- Platforms they use (FB, IG, TikTok, etc)
- Media they read
- Influencers in the niche
- What have they tried already?
- What kind of experience did they have? positive/negative
- How does the decision-making process look like?
- How does their typical day look like?
The list can be longer, it depends on the niche you operate in. At IntroMarket Research, chapters like Challenges, pain points, needs, demographics are a MUST for each persona that we create.
At IntroMarket Research we are fans of fine-tuned presentations that engage your mind and imagination.
I don’t like to think of the end result as of white A4 sheet with chapters in bold. Buyer Persona creation is a highly creative process and requires a creative look.
What is the Buyer Persona for business?
Imagine that you need to contact a pet store and you do not know how to reach out to it. Or you are invited to a friend’s birthday party and you struggle to find a gift. Or you want to make a dessert, you know how it should look but do not know the recipe. These comparisons are somewhat generalized, but they reflect the essence of what Buyer Persona means for a business. How can you contact your customers, or craft an offer that will resonate with them if you don’t know them?
Creating a profile of your ideal customer is a process of answering TOP questions. Remember David Ogilvy said: Imagine that the customer is your wife and she wants to know everything. So imagine that you are in a relationship and want to know your partner well enough to make him/her happy.
Research on your Ideal Customer profile helps to understand where to keep the focus (for example, which social networks should be developed).
One more benefit, Buyer Persona will help your employees to better understand your clients and as a result, serve them better.
So imagine that you are in a relationship and want to know your partner well enough to make him/her happy.
You can say that you know your client from A to Z because you have been working in the industry for a long time. And what about your sales or marketing team? Did they also work with the type of customers you serve entire their career? How about your Content Writer or even an Assistant who helps to run social media?
Buyer Persona profile helps to unite team members around the goals of your company.
At IntroMarket Research we created more than 300+ Buyer Persona Profiles for B2B and D2C businesses. We have had clients who started a business and needed a profile of their ideal client and they didn’t want to waste time and money on a group that doesn’t need the product.
We also had customers who already had sales but did not have any functional document regarding their audience and needed it because they wanted to grow. In this case, it is worth creating a Buyer Persona that is based on your sales data.
Some customers had already started a business but had no sales. They didn’t know the audience well enough and as a result, they couldn’t create an offer that will meet the client’s needs.
So no matter at what stage your business is in, research on your customers is an integral part of successful marketing strategy and sustainable organizational growth.