What is a buyer persona and how do you define it?

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Buyer Persona

In B2B, and especially in the context of inbound marketing strategy, you need to define a very specific buyer persona, those who will be interested in your products or services. Today we are talking more than ever about marketing personas or buyers personas, which are ideal buyer profiles in the eyes of a company.  Defining these profiles allows a company to understand how to act and behave the type of customers to whom it addresses in order to adapt its speech. Are you wondering what a buyer persona really is and what are the steps to define it? We explain it to you!

What is a buyer persona or marketing persona?

A buyer persona is your ideal customer, that is to say, the one who will buy your products or services: it is your “target”. Defining your buyer’s personas means defining profiles of buyers who have similar purchasing behaviour. We often speak of archetypes, that is to say, models of people and their behaviours.

Today, the simple segmentation that still works in B2C is obsolete in B2B. It does not make it possible to define targets precisely enough and that is why we are now focusing more and more on the notion of a buyer persona. To take a shortcut and claim that defining your marketing personas amounts to achieving segmentation is, therefore, strictly speaking, a mistake.

Many companies, when launching their activity, still neglect this step, which is however not the least. It is at the origin of all the marketing strategies that will be implemented downstream, but above all, it conditions its effectiveness.

Why define your buyers’ personas?

Now that you have understood what a buyer persona is, it seems important to explain to you why it is essential to define them!

On the one hand, defining your buyers’ personas will allow you to optimize your inbound marketing strategy.  Indeed, defining a profile of typical buyers at the beginning of your marketing strategy will allow you to know precisely who you are talking to and how you should do it. Thus, you will know perfectly their behaviour, their habits, their centres of interest, their expectations, their preferences, but also their dislikes. You can then offer them content in line with their profile and their issues.

On the other hand, by producing content adapted to your buyers personas,  you will attract highly qualified traffic to your site,  which you will be able to nurture with the right content, that is to say, the one that meets their expectations. Defining your buyers personas is therefore a step that should not be overlooked if you want to attract as many qualified leads as possible to your website.

Depending on the company, we can identify one or more buyers personas. Each company must define its own buyers personas, none of which are exactly the same for each of them.

How to define your buyers personas?

Put together a list of questions to ask

In order to define your buyers personas, you will first have to ask yourself the right questions. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the main questions to ask yourself.

  • What is their function in the company?
  • Their geographic location?
  • Which schools did they study in?
  • What is or what are their problems?
  • What are their goals?
  • How do they communicate?
  • What type of content are they interested in?
  • How do they buy?
  • What are their obstacles to buying?
  • What socio-professional category do they belong to?

This type of question will allow you to set up a  strategy adapted to the profile of your buyers, but also to define their buyer journey.

Collect information on your marketing personas

You have now listed your questions in order to know your buyers personas perfectly. You must now collect the information that will allow you to answer them. There are several methods available for this. You can conduct interviews with your customers, use social networks to ask them questions or even send questionnaires to your customers.

But above all, who, apart from your salespeople, knows precisely the profile of your customers? Your salespeople are in direct contact with your prospects and customers, so they know their behaviour perfectly and are able to help you draw up these typical buyer profiles. So do not hesitate to conduct interviews with your salespeople in order to collect information on your buyers personas.

Analyze the data collected

In order to define your buyers personas, you will need to analyze all the data collected during the previous step.  You will need to pool information and highlight major trends.  This will allow you to set up the typical buyer profile of your company in order to address them in an appropriate manner but above all to understand exactly what they are looking for and to respond to their problems. Your future customers must feel your interest in them, but you must also show them that you understand and master their problems perfectly. The definition of your buyers personas will therefore allow, among other things, your salespeople to address each of your prospects in a personalized way.

Use a marketing persona template for your marketing strategy

The list of questions to ask is long, as there are many stakeholders in the process of defining the buyer persona. You have every interest in structuring this essential preliminary step of your inbound marketing strategy, to equip yourself with a clear and precise vision, easily exploitable when analyzing the data.

Adapt your inbound strategy

After defining your buyer personas, you will need to link the ideal buyer profile (s) defined with your inbound marketing strategy. By knowing perfectly the expectations of your buyers personas, you can then set up marketing actions to meet them. Thus, you will have the opportunity to create diversified content responding to their various issues, to individualize your emailing campaigns by following their buyer journey thanks to marketing automation tools, to set up an editorial strategy with a coherent editorial line, to adapt the sales pitch of your sales representatives according to the different profiles identified …

How to use personas: our top tips

Now that you know what a buyer persona is and how to define it. let’s take a closer look at how to use personas wisely for your business.

Identify points of pain to adapt the dialogue

You have obtained and analyzed the responses of your buyers personas to the following questions:

  • What is or what are their problems?
  • Their goals?
  • What are their obstacles to buying?

Your goal: to precisely address each problem/objective/obstacle to purchasing, by category of a buyer persona, through web content with high added value – and widely distributed. It’s about :

  • To present a counter-argument to each obstacle to the identified purchase.
  • Explain how your product or service exactly meets each goal.
  • To reassure that you have understood and integrated each of the issues into your products or services.

Your speech, relevant and impactful with regard to your buyers personas, has all the more impact: the continuity of the customer journey is ensured and your conversion rate optimized.

Find inspiration to avoid self-promotion

You’ve identified the type of content that interests your prospects and customers. From there you are sitting on a gold mine!

Remember that inbound marketing naturally brings customers to you, by focusing your communication strategy on your own interests – not yours! Self-promotion is sterile, but how do you fuel your content creation with regular distribution? You risk running out of steam in the long term… The definition of your buyers personas protects you from this risk: you have a rich database to vary the topics to be discussed and never tire your audience.

Understand the consumption patterns of prospects to communicate well

Good content is not only well written, but it is also (and above all!) Well distributed! To increase your traffic, you absolutely need to ensure that your articles are cited and shared widely. This involves publishing on the right channels. It is by using the identity data of your buyers personas (socio-professional category, studies, position in the company, etc.) that you identify the most relevant distribution channels. Your prospects have easy access to information, they read it and share it. Not only do you precisely hit your target, but it also takes over by communicating on your behalf!

Know the purchasing process to optimize the conversion mechanics

Ultimately, you are keen to optimize your conversion rate. The definition of personas is essential for this purpose: you have an informed vision of how they buy, you are able to promote the continuity of the buyer journey. Depending on their habits, you create the most effective content sequences, to move them smoothly through your conversion funnel.

BONUS: mistakes to avoid in establishing your buyers persona

Zoom in on 3 common mistakes to avoid at all costs when defining and using your personas.

Mistake # 1: No, don’t be your buyer persona alone.

We explained it to you above: the intervention of your sales representatives can prove to be invaluable when defining your buyers personas. And beyond your sales teams, consider also involving the other departments of your company …

Marketing and Sales are undoubtedly the best ones to identify the profile of your buyers. For the former, they have the necessary skills, for the latter the best “field” vision. What if the Project or Customer Support teams also had their part to add to the building? They too are the holders of information, which may seem trivial to you at first glance, and yet… The smallest information is important, insofar as data is central to your inbound marketing strategy. Your employees, whoever they are, have in-depth knowledge of customer expectations for some, of the characteristics of your products or services for others: indications with high added value, to be used to make a difference.

Include all of your teams as soon as possible, from the definition of personas, then collect their expert opinions throughout the deployment of your strategy, especially when creating content.

Mistake # 2: No, your buyer personas aren’t frozen in time

Consumption habits are changing, as are the market offerings and the expectations of your customers and prospects. Your definition of personas is therefore not fixed: be sure to update it regularly! How? ‘Or’ What? By measuring the results of your inbound strategy observed over time.

Mistake # 3: No, don’t do all this work for nothing!

The definition of the buyer persona is an essential step, either. But this is only the beginning! It is not enough to have a beautiful Excel spreadsheet that organizes and records your different customer profiles: consult it at each stage of your inbound marketing strategy, to ensure a compliant… and efficient implementation! Are you posting content? Creating an event? Launching a promotional campaign? Building an advertising campaign? Make sure that every action, in substance and in form, exactly targets your audience, in terms of their behaviour and expectations.

Defining your buyers personas is therefore the basis of your entire inbound marketing strategy. Without this step, this one won’t be optimized and you won’t be able to convert as many leads as you hoped. However, these typical buyer profiles are bound to change. This is why you will have to stay on the lookout for any possible change in behaviour (or other) and regularly update the profiles of buyers personas that you have defined. By monitoring regularly, you can then anticipate the expectations of your buyers personas in order to remain consistent in your marketing strategy. Do not hesitate to call on OMT Lahore to help you achieve this crucial step.

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