Buyer Persona – The script for your business.

A few days back I went to a well-known eyewear store, to buy myself a pair of glasses. Now I went in wanting glasses which had BLU lenses (lenses having zero power and suitable for people who frequented the use of computers/laptops/mobiles) and were a bit on the lower side.

I also went in thinking that probably I’ll have to speak out these specifications to the salesperson attending me there. After a bit of time was spent on sanitising my hands, and putting the gloves on, I just had to tell him that I needed glasses with BLU lenses. And that was it! He understood that I needed zero power glasses, and figured out that it was probably my first time in buying glasses, and led me to an area which had glasses not so expensive. Bingo! I was flabbergasted.

Reading this, a question may arise. How did he (salesperson) exactly know what I (the customer) needed? Yes. It was because of his sales experience. But it was not just that. It was also probably because the company had spent their time, effort, and budgets on creating buyer personas, which aided the work of the salesperson, generated a lead and led to product conversion.  

This brings me to the point. What exactly is a buyer persona?

HubSpot states that a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research & real data about your existing customers. 

You need to stand in the shoes of your customer to create a persona, because then you will be thinking from a customer (buyer’s) perspective, rather than a seller’s perspective.

What is the basic element of a movie? A script? A story? So, buyer personas are the script on which our movie (business) works. They include everything that a movie script should ideally include. 

Buyer personas enlist the effort we have put in while identifying our customers and their needs. I have already talked about having buyer personas to build your SEO strategy. But I’ll go a step ahead here.

Buyer personas NEED to be involved in EVERY single aspect of your business. Today, businesses and products are not in-silo. You have to focus on every aspect of your business – sales, marketing, customer experience, customer service, product development, which channel does your customer prefer for the product to reach them, what sales pitch and positioning you need to prepare to sell your product – every single thing.

You have to get each and every single bit of information from your customer, the minutest of all the details to create a persona. You have to ask them a variety of questions. A buyer persona is like your virtual audience, whom you create so that you easily develop your product.

It all starts with what they want, and not what you and your business does. Having a buyer persona lets your business align with the needs and demands of your customers. 

Let’s take an example.

Suppose you are responsible for building a product, its marketing and ultimately sales conversions. You’ll probably have different verticals in the whole process. Check out the picture below. You’ll find one common thing in every vertical.

Having a buyer persona for each step in the process will ensure all your respective departments are clearly aligned with each other to deliver a specific goal to your customer. It will then help you determine your future product development, marketing, and sales strategy.

Now sometimes, it may happen that many people are involved in the customer buying process, so you may need to create multiple buyer personas for each and every person involved in the process.

The problem lies in figuring out what questions you ask, and what kind of information do you need to gather to create a buyer persona. Well, you can probably start with basic demographic questions, then move to outline their interests, and then to figure out how your product will best help them. 

Wondering where you’ll get all the data for this? For that, you need to dig deep into your past records (data and analytics). Do a bit of market research. Go ahead and create your buyer persona. It can be as formal as a business document, or as informal as a selling card.

The questions you need to ask, or search answers for using past data – to build a buyer persona.

JetBlue created a primary buyer persona of a low budget traveller – seeking an affordable and a comfortable flying option. This is what they had created, keeping in mind how the customer wants their product, and other factors which they had accumulated through research, they launched a campaign for their target young audience on social media – a targeted campaign. Overall, this drove a 7.9% increase in their 2016 profit over the previous year. See the power of having a buyer persona?

Buyer Personas allow us to know the tiniest of all the details of consumers. To sell your product, you need to be a step ahead of your customers, in determining about them more than what they know about themselves. Your buyer persona should have the soul of your customer, and that is where all the success lies.

Linking this back to the example I took. The eyewear company would probably have created different buyer personas for its different customer segments. And this surely helped the sales person in being effective, and making a sale, while also helping the customer develop trust and loyalty with the company.

Look how having a buyer persona helped this company.

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