Today’s post is the third in our series about buyer personas. (if you missed the last two posts, read #1 here and #2 here.) This week let’s look at where to focus while developing your customer personas.
To attract customers, you need to know what their priorities are, why they might not buy from you, as well as why they would, places (virtual or real) where they hang out (so you can reach them there), and what their buying process is. Consider these five areas when you are creating your marketing personas, to be sure you have the complete picture.
Five Areas of Focus
- PRIORITIES and PAIN POINTS: Identify the top goals your persona has and problem areas where they dedicate time and money, regardless of your business with them. That is, don’t just look at areas that affect the business they do with you. Their focus areas will give you insight into how to reach them. If you don’t know where they put time, energy and money, you won’t know where or how to focus your message. Don’t try to figure out their pain points based on the products or services you offer, but rather, ask them what their issues really are.
- MEASUREMENT OF SUCCESS: There is something at stake for the buyer, unless you’re just selling candy bars at the checkout stand (and even then, sometimes — consider immediate pleasure vs. gaining weight). Identify how they measure success regarding your product or service, with either tangible or intangible rewards associated with solutions you can provide. Tangible rewards (increased revenue, reduced costs, job promotion or salary raise, etc.) are easier to measure than intangibles (influencing/impressing their peers, increasing their ability to control something in their environment, etc.), but either or both can influence their buying decision.
- OBJECTIONS: Identify the perceived barriers the buyer has. They will always look for the obstacles that might prevent them from achieving their goals. If you know their reasons to question whether your company is capable of helping them succeed, you can address them in your products or services as well as in your marketing messages.
- CHANNELS: Where on the internet does your persona go to do research, gather information and talk to others in their situation? Identifying their favored “watering holes” (as HubSpot calls them) gives you the opportunity to connect with them and demonstrate your expertise.
- BUYING PROCESS: Identify the process your persona goes through when considering a purchase. What business factors triggered their search for a solution? Consider the people, tools and resources that are critical to making a final decision. Remember that you are detailing the process the BUYER goes through, not the process your sales team uses in your own company. Pay attention to the specific aspects of your product or service that buyers evaluate as they assess the alternatives. This will reveal details about their expectations for features or capabilities they consider most important. This is where your interview with those who chose a competitor over you, or those who chose to do nothing at all can give you real insight into their decision-making process.
Next week we will discuss the interview process and how to get the most important information you need.