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Personas for your business – Why you need them

Let’s take a moment to talk about personas and why you need to develop buying personas for your business.

Imagine you are wanting to catch a fish. What would you do? Simply get a rod and place it in the middle of the ocean? If you are lucky you might catch a fish but it’s definitely not the most effective way!

To make sure you catch the right fish more effectively you would do some research right? What type of fish are you wanting to catch, deep sea, fresh water, what type of bait is preferred, where are the best fishing spots etc.

So, to get things straight, this is not your hunting and fishing channel and I am not a fishing pro! Sorry wrong website, move on! haha 😀

But what I am trying to say is: the more you know about the fish (your customer) the higher the chances, that you can find them and get them interested in your products!

So where is the connection between fisherman and marketing your products to your customer? If you want the best return for your marketing efforts you don’t want to rely on luck, you need to know exactly who your main customers are. This is where buying personas come into play.

What are personas? According to Hubspot buying personas are ” a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers”. So in other words the personas you create are your perfect/ideal customers or clients.

Everything you do, from marketing messages, to social media marketing right through to specials and packaging will be dictated by your buying persona. The more data you have the more specific your marketing activities can become and the higher the return of your investment.

How to define your buying persona:

The most important step is to gather demographic data, are your clients mainly female or male, what are their interests, do they use social media-if so what channels, income, level of education, where are they from. Demographic information is a good starting point to define your buying persona.

Let’s take a look at one of our buying personas at Marketing Fuel:

Her name is ‘Small Biz Suzie’, she is a mother of two kids, is married and works from home where she has a small business selling her crafts. She lives in Cambridge, New Zealand and she has an annual income of $40,000. She uses Facebook to post her products twice a week and stays in touch with her “fans” but doesn’t use any other social media accounts, she has a website that needs upgrading but doesn’t have the time to do so and has been disappointed in the past by a marketing agency that has promised her a great website but took months to finish it and the end result was disappointing and expensive. Most of her clients are friends or friends of friends.

The next step would be to identify your buying personas challenges and what would they like to achieve? A great way to get in-depth information for your buying persona is to interview past customers or to do a survey.

As Steven Wright once said “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” , if you don’t want to just stand at the shore then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and learn more about your customers.