Creating a good marketing plan is a challenge that all marketers face at the beginning of the year or the academic year. This document is responsible for guiding our steps and decisions, so it is essential that it is well thought out.
The first thing you should do to start your marketing plan is to stop and draw up a buyer persona of your ideal customer.
what is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, i.e. the one who is most likely to complete their purchase. It takes into account specific socio-demographic data and information about aspects such as their online behaviour, personal, professional and relationship with the company offering this product or service.
If you have a customer base, that will be the perfect place to start your research to find that ideal customer. Even if you have different profiles of individuals or companies that consume your product, some of them tend to be examples of your buyer persona.
A good definition of a buyer persona involves contacting your target audience, so that in a quick analysis you can identify common characteristics among potential buyers.
With Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing, the concept became even more popular and today the buyer persona is one of the main planning tools for brands that focus their strategies on the consumer.
Click here to learn how to develop your buyer persona step by step.
what is the difference between buyer persona and target audience?
It is common for there to be some confusion over the concepts, but the two terms are not synonymous.
The target audience is usually an encompassing part of the society to which you sell your products or services. The buyer persona is the representation of your ideal customer, in a more humanised and personalised way. The main difference is that the target audience is a more generic definition of consumers, while the buyer persona creates a persona with a well-defined identity.
Also, if you think you've segmented your niche market too much, you don't have to limit yourself to one buyer persona. It's common for businesses to have more than one well-defined one. But don't overdo it. If one ideal customer profile can limit your audience too much, too many ideal customer profiles can make your strategy lose focus.
how do I target my marketing strategy to my ideal customer?
why create a buyer persona for your company, the answer is simple: buyer personas help companies in an infinite number of tasks within our marketing strategy and when setting objectives. Some of these tasks include:
- They help guide your sales and marketing strategies
- They help to develop a common language for each sector
- Inform about new market strategies
- Multiply benefits and minimise efforts
When we define the buyer persona, we are segmenting based on the need that the product or service is trying to cover, so the marketing strategy should be developed based on the benefits implicit in the product, regardless of whether the need is for men or women, young or old, upper or middle class.
You don't sell a product or service to your ideal customer through its characteristics, you must also complement it with what these characteristics will bring to the customer, which is why it is a crucial link in the inbound strategy.
The buyer persona must be present when planning any marketing strategy. When defining the objectives, goals and indicators of a campaign, it is also necessary to define to whom it will be directed. A task in which we can easily see the usefulness of consulting our ideal customer is when establishing the prices of a product, for example, you must take into account the perceptions of the buyer persona about the product and how much they would be willing to pay.
In Inbound Marketing, it is still necessary to consider the different doubts, pains, needs and challenges of each stage of the buying journey, which coincide with the stages of the sales funnel. It is important to do the exercise of putting yourself in the buyer persona's shoes and thinking about what would be consistent for them.
For each stage, there are different content formats to best suit the buyer persona:
- TOFU: It refers to the first stage of the sale, the attraction phase. When users begin to consider that they need to find a solution to their problem or need and start looking for brands. Here we must offer users blog posts, infographics, podcasts, newsletters, our social networks, to get them to stay with our brand.
- MOFU: In this second stage, the user has already decided what kind of product or service they need to solve the problem they have been looking for help with. However, they still need to evaluate several options before making a decision. At this point we can provide them with some more material to make them decide for us. For example, through blog posts (more dense), email marketing, ebooks, webinars.
- BOFU: The user has already become a lead and will make a purchase of our products or services. It is at this point when commercial strategies come into action and we will have to offer the best of our brand to achieve a highly satisfactory sale. We will have to offer our customer: customer cases, sales webinars, product reviews, product demonstrations, conversation with a consultant, in order to create a stronger bond and a more lasting relationship, as well as showing them all our potential for which they should become loyal to our brand.
For each stage, there are also different content production guidelines to solve your ideal customer's doubts. After all, these are the doubts that consumers type into Google in the form of keywords.
how do I know if the customer I am targeting is the right one? Click here to find out if you are defining your buyer persona correctly .
A buyer persona is an excellent tool that can help a company produce more relevant and targeted content. When the audience is represented by a persona, it is easier to understand their wants, pains and needs and how the brand can provide value. Ultimately, the buyer persona is an empathetic marketing tool.