Saturday, September 17, 2011

Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is really nothing more than a detailed list of characteristics for an example buyer that represents the real audience – this individual becomes representative of a target buyer demographic or group of people. What is a buyer? Anyone we want to have connect with our message, whether it be to buy a product we make, or give a donation to our cause or otherwise proactively respond to our signals whether they're an advertisement, twitter feed, website or other messaging medium.

Organizations can use buyer personas to clarify the goals, concerns, preferences and decision process that are most relevant to their customers. Imagine how effective marketers could be if we would all stop making stuff up and start aligning our messages and programs with the way real people think! Creating a useful buyer persona is nothing more than creating a sample person to "talk" to. When we do an excellent job of targeting our buyer demographic groups (women over fifty, urban teens, non-profit executives, horse lovers, etc) and assign each an image and set of characteristics when it comes time to create messages for these people - it is suddenly a whole lot easier to do. We're talking to an actual person rather than a undifferentiated group.

With each buyer persona profile, we want to know as much as we can about this group of people.
  • What are their goals and aspirations?
  • What are their problems?
  • What media do they rely on for answers to problems?
  • How can we reach them?
  • What words and phrases do the buyers use?
  • What sorts of images and multimedia appeal to each?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What do they drive?
  • What did they eat for dinner last night?
  • What music do they listen to?
Armed with this information we can start directing our content right towards these individual representatives!

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