What are Buyer Personas? | Definition from TechTarget

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a composite representation of a specific type of customer in a market segment. A market segment represents a collection of customers with similar needs. A buyer persona digs deep into a subset of potential customers who share similar characteristics, such as similar demographic data or reasons for buying a specific product.

Buyer personas explain who in an industry needs a specific product or service, what they need and why. They help organizations better understand their customers and prepare for future customer interactions.

Businesses building customer personas should include information such as age, gender and income — any characteristic that might influence a potential customer’s purchasing decision. The personas also include details about the customer’s profession, whether they make purchasing decisions as part of their job and what they consider reliable sources of information when learning about new products. product.

For this reason, a business that sells manufacturing raw materials wants its buyer personas to distinguish between certain customer job titles, such as design engineers, that might make purchase recommendations but not decisions, and procurement officers, who make purchasing decisions.

Why are buyer personas important?

Organizations create buyer personas to create an estimate of what an ideal customer or various ideal customers look like. These customer profiles help companies manage their marketing strategy to attract prospective customers in the real world.

For most companies, their target audience is represented by several personas, each of which is created to address a piece of the overall target market. For example, a persona can represent customers who want to shop online. Another persona will describe the target customers who want to shop in a physical store. Having a better understanding of buyer personas increases the likelihood of a positive customer experience (CX). Some personas focus on various shared characteristics or pain points that attract a group of customers to the products or services being sold.

Buyer personas assist in product development, marketing campaign management and customer support teams that execute product development, marketing efforts and support initiatives. Personas ensure that these efforts follow customer expectations, meet specific needs and align with real people as opposed to fictitious, idealized customers.

Steps to create and analyze buyer personas.
There are four steps involved in creating and analyzing a collection of buyer personas.

How to create buyer personas

Businesses often build large collections of customer personas, creating one individual persona at a time. Facilitates the process of using the buyer persona template. There are four parts to this creative process. Three of the following require gathering important information to include in each persona, while the fourth is a guide for analyzing multiple personas:

  • Demographic information. Buyer personas are created mathematically, using data obtained from market segment analysis and new customer behavior. The first step in creating one is to collect demographic information, such as age, sex, occupation, education level, marital status, geographic location and income.
  • Outstanding personal qualities. The next step is to identify the information that distinguishes this persona from others. This includes information such as the following:
    • If these customers are the ultimate decision makers.
    • How they research products and services.
    • What they consider a source of truth, such as advertisements or word of mouth recommendations.
    • How they want to communicate.
    • When and how they make decisions.
  • Interest in the product or service. The third step is to look at the reasons why this persona might be interested in the products or services offered by a business. This may include the following:
    • What motivates this type of buyer to purchase the product or service?
    • What customer needs does the product or service meet?
    • What pain points does the product or service alleviate?
  • AI and machine learning analysis. The final step involves using machine learning algorithms to analyze their data, extract insights and identify patterns that help predict future behaviors of real customers.
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buyer persona template

Buyer personas are also an important tool for creating customer journey maps, which guide a marketing team on how and when to deliver marketing messages to a specific segment of the base. to its customers. As a company uses its marketing personas to create customer or buyer journey maps, it must consider deeper characteristics, such as shopping habits for related goods and services, as well as payment and shipping preferences.

Examples of buyer personas

Following are two buyer persona examples created based on market research conducted on two different types of businesses. The first is a retail setting involving a fitness center trying to expand its customer base by targeting new moms who want to get back in shape. The second is the business-to-business setting, where a data security company targets IT departments looking to secure their organization’s data.

Example 1: Fitness center targeting new mothers

key demographic

  • Woman.
  • Between 20 and 40 years old.
  • Stay at home full time or have a full-time career with maternity leave.
  • Have enough income to spend on monthly fitness center and personal trainer fees.

Unique identifiers

  • Looking at social media and online reviews for product and service recommendations.
  • Wants a fitness center within 10 minutes of his house.
  • Needs date and time flexibility in his exercise routine.
  • On-site childcare is a plus.

Buying habits

  • Want to start right away.
  • Willing to pay extra for special training unique to his situation.
  • Needs staff to help keep her motivated.
  • Have specific weight loss and health goals in mind.

Example 2: The data security company targeting corporate IT departments

Key demographics

  • IT management job title.
  • Between 30 and 65 years old.
  • College educated.
  • Earn between $60,000 and $160,000, annually.

Unique identifiers

  • Is the final decision maker on IT related purchases.
  • Uses in-house technical resources to help make purchasing decisions.
  • Review industry analyzes from trusted technology-focused resources.
  • Face-to-face meetings with IT product and service vendors are preferred.

Buying habits

  • Upper management is increasingly concerned about critical business data leaking out of the organization.
  • Be willing to look at several options before making a purchase decision.
  • There is a tendency to buy products and services from partners who already work and trust the company.
  • Find a product that fits the department’s overall technical roadmap.

Businesses looking to optimize the customer experience can develop personalization strategies that allow sales and marketing teams to deliver valuable content to customers when they need it. Learn how to personalize CX.

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