When starting an inbound strategy, it is important to precisely define the profile of our ideal customer. Keep in mind that some people may be incompatible with our products or services. Therefore, it is imperative to avoid focusing your efforts on customers with no potential. This is a risk we should not take, as we may find that unpleasant comments have a negative effect on the brand image.
Just as the creation of a brand in the inbound strategy is fundamental, so is the image that your company has of your customers. If you want your company to grow better, we must know the profile of our ideal customer or what is the same: the buyer personas .
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of the ideal customer. We arrive at this profile through data, interviews and educated guesses.
Steps to create the buyer persona profile:
- We need to aggregate information about a specific type of person in our target market.
- Find an avatar that represents him/her.
- Assign a name, usually with simple names.
Buyer personas are a common and useful tool for marketing teams to use as a working guide during strategy creation. They can be a collection of demographic information and personal preferences that help the marketing team create content that a specific category of people will identify with.
The key to the buyer persona is that it is created with the aim of creating content that our customers will identify with and be attracted to our products, services and the brand image we offer. Connected to the products, the company and the people we work with, we need to build trust with our customers. In this way we grow the relationship and strengthen a family bond.
They can be equally valuable to the sales and service teams. If our marketing team targets a particular buyer persona, while the sales team uses an ideal company profile to qualify their leads and our service team has other criteria to measure customer satisfaction, our teams will never be in sync and the audience will notice it right away. If marketers address customers in one way, sales reps restart the conversation when they are transferred and then service teams have completely different expectations of what customers want and need, it is impossible to avoid internal and external frustrations. This leads to inefficient results and dissatisfied customers.
In contrast, creating a single, comprehensive profile would allow us to base marketing campaigns, sales conversations and service activities on a single, complete profile. Customers will have an excellent experience from start to finish. This way, internal teams will enjoy the benefits of being well aligned and in sync. With a good buyer persona template that applies to all teams in the company, we find a solution to eliminate friction in sales.
Define a buyer persona profile that unifies marketing, sales and service teams.
- Who should create your buyer persona
This job should fall to the marketplace team, although it should not be the sole responsibility of this department. Buyer persona creation should include input from as many perspectives as possible within the company. The marketing team should evaluate performance metrics to understand who the potential customers are.
Start with your company's purpose - find out how to define your company's purpose in our blog post. If you know what problems your company wants to solve, you can define your buyer persona's core problems, because you will know the reasons why your customers buy your products. From that problem, you can identify different types of personas that you think might suffer from that problem. You will find similarities between them. With a list of questions sent to you by the marketing, sales and service teams, you will find the best questionnaire to solve your persona's needs.
- Identify the best sources of information
To know where to find this information, it is very simple: you should rely on historical data, interviews with customers themselves, and educated guesses that you have gathered by collecting questions you have asked customers.
Keep in mind that to search through historical data, you must dive into your company's databases. This task can be tedious and slow your teams down. Monitor the databases and organise a good clean-up to avoid friction at this stage.
- Best questions to ask your buyer personas
- how did you discover our company?
- why did you make the decision to buy our product?
- what positive and negative experiences did you have along the way?
- how can we improve the overall experience we offered?
It is clear that building a buyer persona is beneficial for all teams and employees of your company. For the marketing department, it will be beneficial for creating content and positioning it correctly in SEO. Sales reps will use it as a reference point to qualify and understand individual leads and contacts. And finally, those in the service area will benefit from it during their contact with customers and improve their experience. However, we must stress:
what can the sales team discover from building the buyer persona?
- how important it is for prospects to have their problems solved
- the objectives that the problem does not allow them to achieve
- whether they are solely responsible for making buying decisions
- how long they expect the sales process to take
- whether they consider the price to be right, or too high
The first version of your buyer personas will be a starting point. From there, you can improve the template over time. Keep in mind that your buyer persona may change over time. As your company or your products grow, you may change your target audience and customers. You will need to keep renewing your buyer persona template, as well as checking and making sure you stay in touch with your most loyal customers.
Remember that buyer personas do not replace the need to search for information about individual prospects and are not exact to real people. People can be susceptible to change, mood, their personal lives, etc. It's great to have a buyer persona template, but it's important to use the real data of your individual customers as you get to know them better.