With more people talking about data driven insights and the need to identifying the audience you are marketing to, “buyer persona” is jargon that we frequently come across.
Personally, I would define buyer personas as fictional profiles identified to represent the buying behavior of individuals or a group of people that a brand markets to. Though this seems like a no brainer, the importance of this concept becomes stronger with the rapid improvements in data collation and analysis that make it more efficient and useful.
Let’s take an example to make this easier to understand. We take the case of a popular brand like Body Shop. Profiling a brand’s buyer persona is a descriptive, end to end process covering all aspects including name, gender, demographics, career, education, financial background, interests, pain points, purchase history, media exposure, available information of buying cycle and so on.
Though it wouldn’t be rational for laymen to profile a brand’s perfect personas, in Body Shop’s case, we can assume it would be something like the following:
“Avantika Sharma is a 30 year old Manager working with a leading luxury leather retailer in Chennai. She is the mother of two and spends most of her day with clients, retail staff and her smartphone. She invests a fair amount of money into personal hygiene, beauty and care as it is an essential component of her interactions with people. She is internet savvy and does shop occasionally shop for school stationery online.”
Though this doesn’t necessarily cover all dimensions, this kind of a description provides a lot of insight as to how Body Shop can craft their marketing content to effectively cater to the very many Avantika Sharmas that comprise its potential audience.
How many buyer personas can a brand have?
This is a very subjective question and there is no one-size-fits-all answer for this. The number buyer personas that a brand can have is completely dependent on their marketing mix, positioning and market size. While some brands can have 10 or 15 buyer profiles, others may be able to narrow it down to one or two.
However, the interesting part remains that brands with fewer buyer personas always have an advantage of crafting more personal, effective and efficient marketing communication.
How to collect buyer information?
There are several ways brands use to arrive at specific buyer profiles. The most popular methods are surveying and interviewing. Shifting to a traditional market research method, brands even today employ surveys or questionnaires to collect consumer data and formulate a concise buyer profile. However with the advent of latest social media tools, analytical software and cloud data, marketers have a variety of innovative non-interruptive methods through which they can arrive at more relevant and reliable buyer data.
How are buyer personas useful?
- Create personalized marketing content
One of the greatest benefits of buyer persona information is how it helps in creating relevant, personal and meaningful marketing content. It helps you address the specific pain points of your customers and showcases your products as most relevant to them.
- Make relevant promotions
Buyer personas also help marketers use the right channels to promote their products and content. It is a great way of controlling futile ad spends and gives maximum value for every rupee spent. With the right amount of information, buyer persona insights can also be an excellent aid in designing online remarketing campaigns.
- Product or service refinement
Buyer persona profiling is a reliable method of understanding the pulse of a brand’s consumers. This when well recorded and audited, can be of great help in refining products or service delivery models to match the needs of their target audience.
- Create a smooth buying cycle
By identifying consumer behavior indicators, brands can work on removing unnecessary hassles in the buyer’s journey making it smooth and easier for them to access, purchase and consume their products and services.
- Provides useful insights for PPC campaigns
Buyer personas are incredibly effective in crafting relevant, personal and impactful paid advertisements both on search engines and on social media. With the large number of paid marketing opportunities online, effective buyer persona understanding and analysis could be a key competitive advantage for brands who aim to leverage online advertising.
Alongside formulating buyer personas and putting it to best use, brands need to understand that consumer profiling is not a one time affair. Even the slightest changes in market, technology, products and prices create significant shifts in buyer behavior. It is crucial for brands to keep their buyer profiles constantly updated to avoid major marketing disasters.
This resource was published by Jeffin Thomas19 October 2015
Jeffin is the Content Marketing Manager at Webdura. He is a Hubspot certified inbound marketing professional with expertise in brand journalism, social media strategy and trashing mediocre content.