09 Nov The new buyer segments: From demographics to buyer personas
For years marketers have assumed certain aspects of their ideal customer in order to craft their marketing message. The most popular of these assumptions revolved around what they knew or what they could generate from their customers general demographics.
With today’s technology however, segmenting by demographics alone, is simply not sufficient anymore. Mistaking Prince Charles for Ozzy Osborne when trying to sell your hand crafted leather coats – might just be the reason you’re not getting any sales.
Having a clear picture of who your ideal customer is as opposed to a general idea of ‘Male, between the ages of 40 and 60, with two kids’, is crucial in order to craft the right marketing message, for the right platform at the right time.
What is a buyer persona?
According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
As you can see, demographics remains important but is only a small fragment of your ideal customer. Your ultimate goal when creating a persona, is to find out why these customers choose certain products or brands over others, how they do their research, and what drives them to make that final purchasing decision.
Why marketers only started using personas in recent years
In the past marketers used demographic segments because demographic data was the only data available to them. But today, digital touch points such as google analytics, social media and online buying patterns provide so much more information about the consumer behavior, that when combined with the traditional demographic data – you can create a crystal clear picture of what your ideal customer looks like, what they purchase and how they make decisions.
What your website analytics can tell you about your customers
Website analytics is a very important step in your persona research process. It tells you how people interact with your site, what pages customers look at most, how long they are staying there, what sites are bringing people to your site, which sites bring you traffic and what search terms people are looking for when landing on your site.
From buyer persona to lead and then to sale
When you have insights into what your buyers think about your product, or doing business with you, and how those potential buyers have recently made a decision to solve a similar problem, you’ll have the knowledge to align your marketing decisions. Your marketing decisions from positioning and messaging through to content marketing and sales enablement, with your buyer’s expectations in mind, is what will lead these potential buyers through the buyers journey and get you those sales.
Having a payment gateway on your shop, that is not accessible in a country where half your customers are, will lose you half your sales. Writing a message that could be offensive to a potential customer, will lose you a sale. And sending an email, when your buyer prefers to be called – will lose you another sale.
When crafting your personas, make sure that you keep in mind all aspects of your product and/or services, and how your customers will interact with your business.
The ROI is this simple: When you know how to assist your potential customers to evaluate your product on their own terms and provide them with the right message, through the right channel, at the right time… you’ll build trust that your competitors won’t be able to match.
Image source: Customerthink.com