Hit a Buyer Persona Bull’s-eye: Ask Target Markets the Right Questions
Many business owners erroneously believe that gathering information about target markets is enough to build their buyer persona marketing arsenal. Not so! Think of getting to know buyer personas as slicing through a cake- you can’t cut a perfect piece without cutting through all the layers first.
The usual marketing questions don’t suffice when creating buyer personas. Using educated guesses can have your marketing team working overtime and just plain guessing can leave you confounded. While knowing certain descriptors of your target market (age, sex, location) can get you started in the right direction, you’ll need to go that extra mile to get that information that can help you hit the buyer persona bull’s-eye.
The number of buyer personas that you need to create and understand depends on how many you want to reach and how many you identify. Segmenting your current target market into neat personalities can help you refine your marketing campaign and increase conversion rates, but why stop there? Identifying what personas you want to reach and crafting your marketing campaigns to appeal to them ensures that you’re investing in the future of your company’s profits.
Let there be no misunderstanding.
When creating buyer personas, you don’t have to learn everything about your customers. But what you do need to learn is everything about them that can be used in a successful marketing campaign. You should be looking for specific nuggets of information that go above and beyond simple target market statistics. These can help you make a very solid connection with your prospects as part of your first impression.
The first step should be obvious. You should learn what your buyer persona’s immediate problem is and how your product can remedy it. These two fundamental questions can build any marketing strategy.
But here’s the meat of the buyer persona world…
You need to learn about buying processes and what makes your buyer personas tick when in a buying scenario like Goal Centric illustrates. There are a few different ways you can do this, but you can start by:
- Looking at purchasing habits. Do they discuss purchases beforehand? If so, with who? Do they refer to trade industry literature? Belong to any organizations that may influence who they buy from? Do they confer with current or ex-customers, read reviews or smart shop?
- Learning what types of media they best respond to. What are potential customers’ attitudes towards different types of media? Does your buyer persona consider print advertisements more legitimate than television ones? Is your buyer persona more likely to click on Internet ads? To go further, and as an example, do they click on plain text Google Ads or complex flash graphic ads?
- Understanding what resonates with a buyer persona. How do they speak? What kind of words, phrases and slang do they use? In addition to helping you create copy that will appeal to them, David Scott points out that learning these speech pattern details will help you implement even more focused marketing campaigns by predicting search engine entries. These specific search engine entries can then lead them to pages full of marketing content you developed specifically for the buyer persona.
- Understanding how they think. Are they visual people or are they more likely to buy something based on a cute jingle or a no-frills written description? What are their key purchasing motivators? What do they expect from your product or by purchasing from you, aside from the obvious?
Of course, when asking questions, you’ll have to find the appropriate conduit for answers.
If your website is in the pre-launch phase, try building buzz for your website and then keeping your website lean with enticing copy on the front page. Encourage visitors to opt-in into your mailing list so that you can simultaneously open the channels of communication with your prospects and keep them apprised of your products like Raed Malhas did. The traditional routes of online surveys, interviews and polls are great standbys for established websites and can serve you well if you ask the right questions.
Because each buyer persona is so specific, asking the right questions largely depends on the buyer persona itself. Consider each question you pose to buyer personas a jumping off point for more detailed information. But do remember to be aware of where and to who you are directing your questions. You don’t want to confuse a buyer persona with a user persona and have your hard work go to waste.
Note from Ayat: this is a guest post by Samantha Gonzales
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