Without marketing, your firm would have a tough time earning customers. However, even if you have the best marketing team leading the efforts, your key service offerings may not be getting in front of the right people.
Buyer personas are representations of your ideal customers. When you’re able to define these personas, you can better market and tailor content to the specific needs of different groups.
Instead of casting a broad (and expensive) marketing net into the world, buyer personas can act as a tool to better hone your marketing strategy — and optimize your marketing dollars.
Why Build Buyer Personas?
“A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona, consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. (HubSpot)”
In short, developing buyer personas helps your firm understand its clients better. Developing a buyer persona isn’t a quick task that should be taken on by a single team member. The process should have multiple opinions involved in the decision and in some cases, your firm may have multiple buyer personas created.
For example, if your company is a wealth management firm, perhaps you have one buyer persona for a traditional executive in his or her 50’s who is preparing for early retirement. On the flip side, you may also have a persona directed towards someone in their 30’s who just sold a multi-million dollar startup and is interested in reinvesting their funds.
Allocating multiple resources in fleshing out target client scenarios is important so consider including a diverse team of your peers to contribute shaping buyer personas.
How To Build A Buyer Persona
Before getting started, assemble a team of team members from your firm to help determine how many different types of personas you need to build. A marketing team member should lead the charge and help shepherd everyone in the right direction during each brainstorm session.
Use the first few minutes to discuss the overall business objectives and goals of your firm then talk to each service line representative for a pared down version of their more nuanced goals as well.
Common questions that can help build buyer personas include:
- What is his/her job? What is their income level? What are their skills?
- Which type of company or industry does he/she work in?
- How does he/she measure success? What does he/she need to reach their goals?
- What types of publications do they read?
- What is their educational background, career path, age, values, family, etc.
- What does he/she typically shop for? Where and how do they prefer to shop?
- What are their pain points?
- Be sure to thoroughly address all who, what, when, where and why questions.
Pro Tip: Be sure to assign a name for each persona to help solidify their unique identity.
Compile the answers and start digging into the data that is already on hand. Review what your current client and leads database looks like by averaging the age range, gender, demographics, income and more for each represented service or product line. The average will most likely be the ideal buyer persona for your firm.
A few other options to consider on how to collect data may be a bit more client-intensive, for example, if your firm has good ties with certain clients, consider interviewing them to gain even more insights about others who have a similar background. Or, if you prefer a more anonymous approach, develop a survey with insightful questions and send it via an email blast to your entire client base.
Once the data has been finalized, think about key areas of improvement that could use additional focus and attention that you could use to grow your firm. For example, maybe your firm lacks in outreach to Millennials, therefore it’s currently your weakest client base. Present the findings to your internal focus group to begin the process of building a buyer persona.
What Are Negative Buyer Personas?
Negative personas, or exclusionary personas, are exactly what they sound like – personas who are not ideal customers fit for your business. Perhaps a negative buyer persona is too young, does not have enough budget or carries too high of an acquisition cost. By identifying negative personas, you can avoid wasting marketing dollars by fine-tuning your messaging and strategy to exclude these personas.
How To Use Your Buyer Personas
Once the buyer personas are built, it’s time to put them into action. It can be easy to forget about all the work put into this project but don’t allow that work to fall to the wayside because these personas will lead marketing efforts and business conversations.
For starters, rebuild marketing to be more strategic. Create measurable marketing campaigns targeted to each persona. This will not only provide more data to your firm but also give your team the ability to learn even more about each persona.
Buyer personas should also be used as a tool for client-facing professionals. Perhaps it’s developing talking points or a tool kit for each segment of people. This makes conversations more personal to prospective clients and ensures your firm provides value every point along the way of their journey with you.
Even though it is easy to think that your firm means everything to everyone, marketing to all people is often expensive, often resulting in high-generation, low-yield results. Building a niche audience will help you build a larger, long term client base. By focusing on specific audiences, your team will be positioning itself for more targeted client acquisition and success.
>> Looking for more ways to leverage your client data? Check out 7 HubSpot Tools that Turn Data Into Action
Have questions about building Buyer Personas? Contact us.