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Have you updated your buyer personas?

Who are you selling your product to? It’s great to have a rough idea of your target audience - but do you really know how your customer thinks, what makes them tick, what drives them to get out of bed in the morning?

Creating your buyer persona is curating a customer avatar, a model which has a specific set of qualities and attributes that all point towards your ideal customer. Every marketing plan needs a buyer persona. It is your guide, your point of reference for when your marketing plan goes off track, or for when you need to make those crucial ‘going forward’ important marketing decisions.

A buyer persona is more than just ‘predicting your audience’. It considers the specific details of your customer’s lives, and acts as a prototype on which to build your whole marketing plan, and inbound marketing strategy. Essentially, your buyer persona informs every decision you make down to aesthetic choices, stylistic decisions, and even the way you speak to your customer. It sparks a chain reaction of decisions - a domino effect of marketing steps which ultimately contributes to lead conversions.

But there’s a couple of notables which businesses or marketers should keep in mind -

  • You need more than one buyer persona

  • Your buyer personas are most likely to change

So, let’s analyse the importance of quantifying your buyer personas - how many does your marketing plan really need? And when should you update or 'reposition' your buyer persona?

The importance of having multiple buyer personas

Your buyer persona is the first place you need to start. It dictates the rest of your marketing plan. However, if you have only one buyer persona, then you are going to end up on the other end of the spectrum, and you’ll be too niche. You want to funnel down your target audience to be specific - but of course, your audience aren’t all complete carbon copies of one another, so you’ll need to consider a couple of differing variables among them. By only having one buyer persona, your marketing plan will be too broad.

Try and strike a healthy balance: create buyer personas which consider all potential pain points (these are the customer problems that your product seeks to solve,) whilst simultaneously covering all your customer qualities and attributes.

So, this begs the question: how many buyer personas do you need?

How many problems can you fix?

Flip the cards around. Position yourself as a buyer persona, for a product you already love and enjoy using.

Somewhere, in the pool of buyers with the same product, someone will have purchased it for a different reason. A single product can be bought for a variety of different reasons, and they can hit multiple needs depending on the individual needs.

Apply this mentality to your own buyer persona curation. How many problems can your product solve? Which people are you going to be targeting your product towards?

Choose your demographic, qualities, and customer attributes, and then compartmentalise into several different buyer personas depending on the different pain points you have.

For example - take a product like Fitbit. People buy Fitbits for different reasons. A 30-year-old male with a regular income might purchase a Fitbit to keep track of his nutrition and daily steps, in the hope that tracking his health might motivate him to exercise more. But a 45-year-old long distance female runner with a disposable income might purchase a Fitbit purely because she wants to track her bi-daily runs. You’ve got two different 'problems' here, and the product satisfies both. The product offers identical features for both customers, yet different aspects of the product are more appealing to one, and not the other and vice versa.

So, consider the different customer variables which might affect your customer. Consider interests, dislikes, family life, demographic, gender, financial position, and geographical location.

You may have to reposition your buyer personas

Be prepared to change or reposition your buyer persona. Either, you might not have gotten it right the first time - or the nature of your business may have changed. Your flow of your business and your buyer persona are symbiotic, which means that every time a major change occurs with the development of your product, or changes within your business - your buyer persona will reflect this accordingly.

And vice versa, your target audience might be influenced by competitive products, or simply by other current events.

The nature of your business and the buyer persona are symbiotic. Changes in the market will ripple changes to your buyer persona, and perhaps your brand as a whole.

Or perhaps, you’ve become successful at targeting your original buyer persona and your business is expanding to sell a new product or additional service. Again, the field of buyer personas will reflect this fittingly, and you’d add another buyer persona avatar to your marketing plan.

Take Apple, for example. Apple marketed their products in a tech-focussed fashion, targeting customers who consumed the freshest, cleanest tech products. But it didn't take long for rival tech giants to soon catch up with Apple, technologically outdoing them. Apple repositioned their buyer persona to a more status-focussed individual, and mirrored this persona repositioning by rebranding themselves as a lifestyle brand.

The longer you operate your business, the more your buyer personas will change.

It might take time to formulate a finalised list of buyer personas. Sometimes it’s just trial and error. Use your research, customer analysis, and data to curate your buyer persona list and tweak them accordingly. As you operate your business, start conversing with leads, and form networking relationships with potential customers, you may acquire customer pain points or attributes which you simply hadn’t considered before.

When is it time to update your buyer persona?

If your conversions are falling, or your leads don’t seem to be biting as much as they used to, then it might be time to reconsider your buyer personas. Ensure your knowledge of the industry is always sharp and keep well up to date with the latest trends in your market. Listen to your audience feedback and stay in the loop with the conversations circulating around your industry. The world moves on quickly and so will your audience.

Download Buyer Persona Guide