Why Building Buyer Personas is Good for Your Web Marketing
What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas are fictional characterisations of your ideal client. This data is extracted from real world data about customers’ demographics, online behaviour blended with educational assumptions, age, gender and personal context.
A good example of a persona would be a Facebook personal profile page or LinkedIn page whereby you put up information with a photo of yourself, your gender, location, background, resume information and perhaps a few personal hobbies or things you like.
The personal context is how users interact with you at different levels of the conversation.
What they aren’t
Where people make a mistake is by coming up with fake personas that represent your brand, product and service. This is not the goal with personas.
You want to start off with reliable sources – customer interviews, observations, user testing with existing or potential customers. User surveys can be helpful, but getting out of the building and meeting with real consumers will help you get a clearer picture of your buyer persona.
This information is used to paint a mental model of your users to identify the name, age, context and the behaviours and motivations that define a particular user type.
Take ‘Sample Sally,’ for instance:
- Head of Human Resources
- Worked at the same company for 10 years; worked her way up from HR Associate
- Married with 2 children (10 and 8)
- Skews female
- Age 30-45
- Dual HH Income: $140,000
- Calm demeanor
- Probably has an assistant screening calls
- Asks to receive collateral mailed/printed
What are personas used for?
In reality, personas are used to focus on user-centric design, although you can go greater in depth than that.
Getting key stakeholders involved early on is the key to success when using personas. By helping to develop the personas as a team, everyone can contribute their expertise and get engaged in the buyer persona building process.
The key thing here is to keep the user front and centre in your business as a guide to develop your product or service around.
When the designers, developers and marketing team have a clear image of who their target audience is and what their motivations are, they can develop the right solutions to address their needs more effectively.
When you have identified more than one type of user you can create multiple personas to address the needs.
Why you should use personas
Personas are great tools to be used in the user-centric design of any product, service and solution. They help keep your team on the same page and focused on real users.
The key to successful implementations of personas comes down to two things;
- Be Realistic – Base your data on real users, gather your intelligence from real interviews and observations.
- Buy-In – All team members involved in the project, from stakeholders to designers, must buy into the persona process and be focused on its development from day 1 and ongoing.
Want to learn more?
If you want to learn how personas can improve your online marketing, get in touch with us.