Developing a buyer persona profiles for your firm is critical for running your Inbound Marketing activities or any sales and marketing initiatives. Not only will a buyer persona help you focus on who exactly would benefit from your firm, but also how your communications can resonate with them.
What is a Buyer Persona Profile?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyer based on real data from your actual clients and from market research. A buyer persona leverages the demographic and psychographic data while adding details to bring out their uniqueness.
A buyer persona has a name. They have goals and challenges that they need help with. Most important of all, they have a story to tell just as you do.
Why Buyer Personas?
To truly be successful with Inbound Marketing, you need to first understand who you want as customers before you start running all sorts of activities. Without a buyer persona, all your resources could go to waste. It’s like going into a war zone without knowing who you are up against.
By clearly understanding who your brand is for, your targeting and messaging will be much more focused. You will be able to provide a clear value proposition to your buyer persona that will resonate with their goals and challenges.
My businesses are faced with countless other companies who offer the same or similar solutions as you. If your company doesn’t have a buyer persona, you run the risk of coming across as too general and being just another “me too company”, and as a result, can easily be overlooked by potential clients. Saying that you are targeting high net worth individuals or accredited investors for example is not enough. Saying that you are going for CEOs of companies with over 15 employees is one step closer. This will also help you assess if they are a right fit for your business.
How Many Buyer Personas should I have?
There is no limit to how many buyer personas one company should have. You need to identify your investment solutions and see if 1 persona would benefit from your offerings. If there is a clear benefit differentiator between your products, it may be possible that you need more than 1 buyer persona.
We always suggest starting with one and to really master your sales and marketing efforts for that 1 persona. Once you’ve mastered one, you can add another.
A Sample Buyer Persona
We created a Buyer Persona sample for a financial services firm described below. Let's call him CEO Charlie and here is his story:
CEO Charlie works for a large company with over 200 employees. He has worked for the same company for the past 10 years and worked his way up to become the CEO from VP of sales.
CEO Charlie is between the age of 50 to 65. He is married with 2 kids. He is the sole provider for his family and he makes $500,000 per year. He lives in the suburbs of Toronto.
At work, he has an assistant that filters his emails and phone calls. He is extremely busy at work and hard to reach at times. Even his wife has a hard time reaching him sometimes. He likes to consume content on his own time so when he is solicited, he usually asks them to send over information by direct mail or email.
His goal in life is to be the best father and husband he can be. Unfortunately, being CEO of the company, he has very little time with his family. Also, he wants to ensure that the wealth that he is accumulating will be preserved for his wife, kids and the next generation. He is not sure how to best do that.
How Buyer Personas are Applied to Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing is a necessity for growing your business. Although you may understand the Inbound methodology and start planning out and running the different marketing campaigns to attract visitors, generate leads and close deals, it would be futile without first developing your buyer persona.
Without a Buyer Persona, you wouldn’t know what to blog about because you don’t understand the specific, unique pain points and challenges that potential customers face, which you need to address. The same goes for nurturing your leads. You cannot keep sending them emails to move them forward in the sales process when such emails may not even be applicable to their situation.
Taking the time to create a well-thought-out buyer persona will not only grow your own company’s leads online and help your salespeople to close more deals, but will also importantly benefit your potential customers because you will be able to service them better through a greater, more meaningful understanding of their challenges and needs.