Unfortunately, it's easy to lose sight of the individual consumer in an effort to reach the masses. Over time, a campaign can easily veer off track, which means by the time it's seen by audiences, it focuses more on the product or service than the end user.
In recent years, marketers have begun using buyer personas to retain that original focus. By creating profiles of a brand's intended customer, marketers can make sure every team member is reaching directly out to the people most likely to buy. Here are a few reasons your 2015 marketing strategy should incorporate buyer personas.
You'll Study Your Market
The first step in creating personas is to carefully research the type of people currently buying from your brand. Through the use of analytics and market research, you can learn about your average buyer's gender, age, occupation, regional location, hobbies and interests, and more. In preparing to create personas, you'll also be doing in-depth research into your target market and this research will likely stay with you for years. Getting to know your customers better means improving your ability to grow your business in the direction that will most appeal to them.
You'll See Your Product Through Customers' Eyes
Businesses often spend so much time building and refining products or services, it's easy to lose sight of how customers are using them. In building a buyer persona, a company can begin to see its offerings through the eyes of a customer. If an app generally attracts busy professionals with limited time, the business may see that the reason activity has declined is that new updates make it too complicated. By improving its product to meet the needs of the customers most likely to use it, a brand can be sure that when new buyers arrive, they'll have a good experience.
You'll Have Consistency Across All Efforts
Unless you're a one-person start-up, chances are your marketing efforts require at least a small element of collaboration. By creating personas, everyone from your customer service representatives to your writers to your social media managers will have a consistent view of the target market. This will ensure a similar message is portrayed in every blog post, social media update, paid advertisement, and sales letter created on behalf of your brand.
You'll Avoid Wasted Time
Every day you spend driving a marketing campaign down the wrong path is a day wasted. Your messages are being sent but ignored and you're probably wasting money on paid campaigns and work hours from team members. By refining your strategy to focus on potential buyers, your brand is less likely to waste time and effort on campaigns that don't connect with their target audiences. Each campaign will have better results, with the improvement visible in click-thru rates and conversions.
You'll Learn to Segment Your Campaigns
Once you start creating personas for your marketing efforts, you'll likely find your business attracts more than one personality type. An electronics manufacturer may have one group of customers who only purchase items when necessary and yet another who enthusiastically purchase equipment whenever something new comes out. These two market segments should be handled very differently in campaigns, yet often ads try to be all things to all customers. Through personas, businesses can learn to target different audiences with different ads for better results.
You'll Create a Conversation
How well do you know your customers? Do you interact with them on a daily basis? If you're like most busy professionals, you simply don't have time. Through creating personas, however, you and your team will likely feel the need to reach out and communicate with those customers, whether through social media or in person. Market studies are a great way to learn more about how customers interact with your product and, when combined with research on your own customer behaviors and demographics, can help paint a full picture of your buying audience.
Personas are a popular tool in marketing today. As you begin developing your 2015 campaigns, consider implementing this technology into your efforts. You'll get to know more about your customers and find a new way to connect with them.