February 19, 2021

Building an Effective User Profile: Buyer Personas & Marketing

For your business to be successful in its marketing campaigns, you must first understand who you are speaking to and how you are going to craft a message that appeals to them.

Otherwise, the entire purpose of your advertising will be ineffective, as it will not deliver content that is relevant or useful to your audience.

In most cases, a business will look at a target market and view their audience as one large grouping of people that fit into a specific demographic, age grouping, and location, and while this is good, it does not tell you enough.

In order to truly speak to your audience, you must know what drives them, why they interact with you, and who they are at their core. You need to find out who they are, and to do this, you need user profiles or personas.

Guide on how to build user profiles.

What Are Buyer Personas & Why Are They Important? 

A marketing or buyer persona is a fictional and generalized representation of your ideal customers. The profile of this ideal customer is like a composite sketch, it tells you what they value, who they are as a person, and what the best way to speak to them is.

This buyer profile will help you internalize who you are trying to attract, and help you understand them so that you can tailor your content, your product development, your services, and your brand messaging to them. It is one thing to know who your target buyers are but it is another to know what their specific needs and interests are.

Getting a full understanding of needs and interests will allow you to personalize your marketing efforts to specific audience segments. 

Here is why buyer personas are so critical to businesses: 

  • They allow you to create tailored content and messaging that appeals to them,
  • They allow you to segment out lead nurturing emails to different segments,
  • They allow you to map out and create targeted content, 
  • They enable you to filter out “bad apples” or negative personas that you do not want to attract. This, in turn, helps you lower your costs per lead, lower your costs per customer, and enjoy higher sales productivity. 
  • They tell you how to engage with the customer and identifies customer problems/pain points. 
  • They help you discover who your true audience is, which allows you to address more narrow topics around what they are receptive to, where they are most likely to frequent, whether they like specific social platforms over others, and so on. 

A buyer persona ends up being the quick “how-to” guide to your ideal customer.  

A User Persona Profile Checklist: What You Need to Consider When Creating Them

A buyer persona is going to have key pieces of information that, when put together in a profile, tells you who that person is. It will contain information about their job title, their location, their goals and challenges, their name, what your elevator pitch is to them, and even what their values and fears are.

You can also include how your business can help them, what your marketing message is, and even include where they get their news, what types of blogs they read, and what type of hobbies they like. 

With this said, in order to find out the information needed to create the personas, you need to do some research.

Here is a checklist of what you need to consider during the creation process:

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1. Look at Their Job/Role & Company 

    • What is their role and what is their title?
    • How is their job measured?
    • What does a typical day look like for them?
    • What type of skills do they need to do their job?
    • What tools do they use to do their job?
    • What type of education and knowledge is needed?
    • Who does this person report to? 
    • In which industry is their company situated? 
    • What is the size of the company? (Measured by employee count or revenue).

2. Look at Their Goals as an Individual. 

    • What is important to them that drives change? 
    • What obstacles are in their way? 
    • Who do they turn to for advice?
    • What causes them to lose priority?
    • What do they value that pushes decisions?
    • What are their biggest challenges?

3. What Are Their Shopping Preferences?

    • Do they prefer to interact with vendors in a specific way?
    • How do they decide to make a purchase? (What does the evaluation process look like?)
    • What type of experience do they want? 
    • What interests do they have? Are they into sports, food and drink, travel, computers, sports, exercise, fitness, nutrition, history, cooking, consumer goods? 

4. What is Their Personal Background? 

    • What is their age?
    • What is their relationship status?
    • What is their education like? 
    • What is their primary language?
    • Do they have children?

5. What Are Their Watering Holes? 

    • How do they learn about new information?
    • What type of publications do they read?
    • Do they read any blogs?
    • What social networks do they participate in?

Once you have the above questions answered and filled out, provide the person with a name and describe who they want to be and who they are now.

Turn them into a real person, rather than just a list of characteristics.

Then, create a list of how your business can help this specific persona. Once you know how you can solve their problems, you can create a specific marketing message with personalized and relevant content that engages your customer audience and provides an excellent customer experience. 

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