What is a buyer persona?
In a sea of advertisements and influencers in virtually every industry, it’s not easy to stand out. While some products have a clear target audience, others are more difficult to find.
Businesses have the potential to reach new and valuable audiences they haven’t reached before. But the issue is that they might not know who the right customer is, how to engage them, or where to start to find them. According to HuffPost, 72% of marketers have a difficult time reaching their target audience.
Buyer personas help businesses target the right customer with the right products. Understanding what a buyer persona is points businesses in the right direction to define the ideal audience for their products and maximize their product potential.
In this article, you will learn:
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of a key audience segment that you’ve identified has a particular interest in your product or business. Also known as a marketing persona, customer persona, or audience persona, buyer personas synthesize all of the audience data you collect on your current and ideal customers.
A buyer persona uses research to create the ideal customer for you and addresses the factors that eventually lead people to the most relevant product for them. Most companies will have more than one buyer persona, so that they can effectively target multiple segments of their audience.
Buyer persona benefits
Given that 71% of brands that exceed their revenue goals have defined buyer personas, they must be a useful tool for improving business. Buyer personas help you to understand individual customer needs and can assist in solving problems in the marketplace that are not being addressed.
By developing a buyer persona, you can:
- Attract and retain more of the right type of customers. By identifying your primary client base, you can formulate timely, relevant information more efficiently.
- Connect with customers better. You can take a deep dive into customer backgrounds, job fields, attitudes, goals, pain points, and more.
- Become a more successful marketer. By gaining insight into the customer’s life and decision-making process, you can attract their interest more easily.
- Focus on what the user needs. By responding to user needs, you can improve the customer experience rather than pushing a sales pitch.
How to create a buyer persona
According to the Buyer Persona Institute, using a buyer persona helps your company align its marketing decisions with the expectations of your target audience. It’s useful to understand your customers’ buyer journey, including their decision-making process and pain points.
A buyer persona is more than just a one-dimensional profile — you can think of it as a fictional character with feelings and motivations in addition to characteristics.
While not merely a description or a list of attributes, there is some important information you will need to identify to create a buyer persona, including:
- Demographics. You should know personal information like gender, age, location, income level, education, number of children, and marital status, as well as professional information like job title, industry, company size, and more.
- Personal preferences. What are your ideal customer’s hobbies, favorite media, and communication habits?
- Behavior patterns. What drives a buyer to your brand?
- Goals. This could include both personal and professional goals, as well as priorities, challenges, and approaches to problem-solving.
- Values. What does your ideal customer view as important when looking for a particular product or company?
- Negatives. What characteristics do you not want your buyer to have?
- Motivations. Why would someone choose your product or service over similar ones?
Buyer persona templates
Every company has different needs and goals when it comes to developing buyer personas, but here are some key items to include in your template:
- Career history
- Personality or social behaviors
- Challenges or pain points
- Content preferences
Buyer persona examples
A buyer persona represents the kind of person you want to target. Here are a few examples:
- B2B buyer persona — Director Denise is a middle-aged married woman with two children. She has a senior job and a good salary, is a responsive communicator and decisive, and prioritizes products and services that save time and increase efficiency.
- B2C buyer persona — Student Steve is a B2C persona who is paying his way through college, spends a lot of time studying at coffee shops, and prizes affordability and value most. He prefers using social media to communicate and engages with brands that use a more casual, conversational tone.
- Activist buyer persona — Activist Amy is a young and motivated individual who wants to make a positive difference in the world through her work. She’s tech-savvy, active on social media, and is loyal to brands that show support for sociopolitical issues she cares about while rejecting those that do not.
Define your ideal customer and unlock your product potential
The goal in creating a buyer persona is to organize your data in ways that make your customers come alive, so it will be easier for your team to understand their decision-making process, empathize with their pain points, and offer relevant solutions.
With Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform, you can build out detailed and effective buyer personas for your business. Real-Time CDP helps by collecting B2C and B2B data from across systems and unifying them into real-time customer profiles that are ready for activation across any channel.