Using Buyer Personas
Yesterday I got the chance to see Jack Daly speak in person. If you’re not familiar with Jack, I highly recommend you look him up and his book, Hyper Sales Growth, about rapidly growing your sales. Jack was talking to us about attracting and recruiting your perfect sales people. He had a great line that he threw out that was basically, “You can’t find them until you define them.” While he was talking about sales people and employees, I feel like this is what we need as marketers to go out and get our perfect customers.
Most companies start marketing to everybody; they have not clearly defined who their perfect customer is. In marketing we have a tool called the buyer’s persona, which is a fictional representation of our ideal client. This should actually be based on someone you actually do business with, if possible. You may have met your perfect customer and if you put down on paper it’s going to help you find more people like them.
While this is fictional, we like to actually give our buyer personas a name. A buyer persona may be Tom, an upwardly mobile, ambitious VP at a technology company, based in San Francisco, with two kids, who just bought his first house. We may even go further into detail and talk about what kind of car he drives or what kind of school he went to college at.
The more specific you can get, the more real your marketing can become. Without a buyer’s persona, you’re simply wasting money marketing to everybody, hoping that anybody with a pulse shows up. It’s proven over and over again the more specific your marketing is, the more effective it is.
A buyer’s persona is going to help us avoid those arbitrary decisions where we simply look at an ad and we say that’s the color I like, or that’s the language I like. Unless you are a great representation of your buyer’s persona you need to use this tool to keep you honest about the decisions that you make in marketing. Before you go out and spend any money on advertising or design your website or do anything that’s going to basically create communication to your customers, make sure you know who your buyer persona really is.