What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona represents your ideal customer. It’s a semi-fictional representation of your best potential buyer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It’s also called an audience persona, a marketing persona, or a customer persona.

women wearing fashionable sunglasses
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Some characteristics you’ll give a buyer persona include geographical location, age, interests, and more. Your goal is to understand your customer’s goals and challenges. This way, you can understand their pain points and provide solutions through your products or services.

Why a business should establish buyer personas

It’s important for your business to establish a buyer persona because it helps you focus on the needs of your customers. Having buyer personas also help ensure:

  • The marketing strategies to acquire customers are planned and implemented with your target audience in mind.
  • You provide a customer service experience tailored to your ideal buyer.
  • You appeal and connect authentically with your target customers.

When you present your products or services as solutions to your target market’s problems, it’s easier to convince them to buy from you. Read on for more on the benefits of establishing a buyer persona.

Benefits of establishing a buyer persona

Taking time to create a buyer persona can help you expand your market reach and encourage brand loyalty. Here’s why:

  • A buyer persona helps you understand your ideal customer. Knowing your prospective customer’s likes, habits, preferred shopping methods, etc., gives you insight on how better to connect with them.
  • A buyer persona helps you save on marketing efforts. When you know your target audience, you can design and implement targeted marketing campaigns that will result in more sales without more effort or cost on your part.
  • Buyer personas allow you to use segmented marketing. This means you can send personalized, targeted marketing campaigns to each persona.
  • A buyer persona helps your business achieve cross-departmental alignment. This means your marketing team, sales team, product development, and customer support departments have the same information about your ideal customer.
  • Buyer personas help you connect with your target audience in the right place at the right time. Knowing your target audience means you can meet them in their preferred channel or social media platform.
  • Buyer personas help you stand out from the competition. If you’re a business that puts your customers’ needs first, your customers will notice. And this will establish you as a trustworthy brand.
  • Buyer personas help identify who you’re not targeting. When you know your potential customers, you can also identify who you’re not targeting. And knowing these saves you from spending resources marketing to the wrong customers.

11 Important characteristics that should be included in a buyer persona

Your customers are more than a collection of characteristics. However, it’s important that you understand their demographic information and psychographics to connect and reach them. Below are important characteristics that should be included when establishing a buyer persona.

Name

In terms of creating a buyer persona, “name” refers to descriptive nicknames. Examples are Soccer Dad Sam, Trendy Tina, or CEO Carla. You can use these nicknames to guide your product development and marketing campaigns through questions like:

  • What would CEO Carla think about this offer?
  • What would make Trendy Tina buy this product?

Age

Age refers to the ideal age range of the perfect customer. Examples include the 35- to 45-year-old demographic, toddlers (1 to 3 years old), and millennials (25 to 40 years old). Knowing the age range of potential customers can help you create marketing messages that resonate with the unique challenges each segment faces.

Income

It’s important to know the income ranges of your customers so you can market to them effectively based on their disposable income. Depending on your products or services, you can include an income bracket for your buyer persona, such as someone with an annual income of at least $50,000.

Occupation

The occupation of your buyer persona matters, especially if your products or services are tools to increase productivity or anything work-related. Below are some questions to consider when adding an occupation to your audience persona:

  • What is their job title or role?
  • What company or industry do they work in?
  • How long have they been in their position?
  • What are they responsible for?
  • What is their typical day like?
  • What tools do they use or need?

Location

Location is an important characteristic of a buyer persona because it affects shopping behavior and spending power. For instance, if you sell heavy items that cost a lot to ship, you may want to focus your marketing in specific areas near you. Trends and needs also vary depending on where your customers live. For example, wool clothes sell more in cooler areas.

Background

Background information about your potential customers refers to additional data that will give you more context about them. It could be related to education, marital status, lifestyle, work, and more. Examples include “father of two,” “weekend warrior,” “travels for work often,” etc.

Interests

Knowing what your potential customers are interested in helps you understand them more. It also gives you insight into where they spend their time. Below are some questions to ask to narrow down the interests of a buyer persona:

  • What social media do they use?
  • How do they spend their days?
  • Do they belong to any associations or groups?
  • What events do they attend?
  • Where do they get their information and news?
  • What influences them?

Hobbies

Hobbies refer to the activities potential customers do for pleasure or entertainment. These could be engaging in a sport, making crafts, or reading. Questions to ask yourself regarding a buyer persona’s hobbies include:

  • When did they start—beginner or expert?
  • How often can they participate in their relevant hobbies?
  • What tools or equipment do they use?
  • How can you help them spend more time doing what they love?
  • What are their goals and do they want to get better?

Goals and objectives

The goals and objectives of your target audience may include losing weight, spending more time at home, working less, etc. These are important for you to consider to connect how your products or services can help them achieve their goals. Below are some questions to help you identify a buyer persona’s goals and objectives:

  • What are their personal goals?
  • What are their career or business goals?
  • What challenges do they face that prevent them from achieving their goal?
  • How do they measure their success?

Values and fears

Values and fears refer to the social behavior of potential customers that impacts how they purchase products or services. For instance, your target customer might want products made from sustainable ingredients. Below are some questions to guide you on this characteristic:

  • What are your buyer persona’s personal values?
  • What do they value in their professional life?
  • Why would they not buy your product or service?
  • How can you help relieve their worries?

Product challenges and pain points

Product challenges and pain points refer to objections or reasons your ideal customer won’t buy even under the perfect circumstances. When you can identify your buyer persona’s pain points, you can address it as you design and implement marketing campaigns. Questions to ask yourself to help you identify product challenges and pain points include:

  • How do they shop for products or services?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • How can your product or service help them achieve their goals?
  • What impacts their decision-making process?
  • What does it mean to be successful in their role?