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How to Create Buyer Personas that Bring You Closer to Your Customers

Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Adriaan

As B2B and B2C audiences continue to demand personalization, marketers and entrepreneurs will need to show up accordingly in order to remain competitive.

If you’ve been looking for more ways to get closer to your audience and build meaningful customer relationships, we can’t stress the importance of creating relevant buyer personas.

As “faux customer profiles,” buyer personas can help you understand more about what your target customer needs and how you can fulfill those needs in a way only your business can.

Let’s clarify the power of buyer personas and how they can help you connect with your ideal customers. Next, we’ll cover how to create your own buyer personas in a few simple steps.

Ready to get started?

Let’s begin.

How Can Buyer Personas Bring Me Closer to My Customers?

One of the best ways to connect with your customers is to make sure you’re addressing their needs. This can be difficult to do if you’re trying to run a small business because it can be hard to put yourself in others’ shoes.

If you’re not careful, you might end up making assumptions about what your audience wants, which can lead to increased overhead costs and lost customers. A great way to avoid these issues is to develop buyer personas that tell the story of who your target audience is.

Let’s paint a quick picture.

Imagine you’re a local Norfolk florist and you’re planning on opening up another shop in a new part of town.

Since you already run a store, you might assume that the buyers in this new area will fall under the same target market, namely, people who have upcoming events, such as weddings, birthdays, and holiday parties.

But, after opening up shop, you might discover that your prearranged wedding, birthday, and holiday floral sets are getting little movement — and your preorders are few and far between, too.

What could be the problem?

After hiring a strategist to do heavy research, you both come across an important truth about the new area you’re in: It’s not conducive to B2C shoppers.

In fact, your new area is in a business and hotel district with new and bustling businesses and hotels throughout.

The good news?

After networking with business owners in the community, your strategist discovers that B2Bers would love to purchase your flowers in bulk for their hotels and lobbies.

While you’re relieved you have a new strategy to help you pivot, you still have your work cut out for you. You’ll need to restructure your new store so that it serves the B2B market and wholesale purchases instead.

But if you had the correct buyer personas in hand before opening up your new store, you would’ve been able to prepare for this new audience segment ahead of time.

And that’s why research is pivotal.

With that said, let’s talk about the most important step: Analyzing data.

1. Start by Analyzing Data

Use a Customer Data Platform (CDP) or an up-to-date CRM to conduct thorough research on your audience.

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Remember that just as the marketing sector evolves, so do people’s tastes. Begin by closely scrutinizing your own obtained data on those who have already purchased your products and services. Then, examine your prospects.

What demographics (or firmographics) do they represent, and what characteristics do various groups share?

For instance, if you’re in the gaming industry, is your Gen Z audience segment obsessed with your Fortnite Spiderman skins? You’ll definitely need to add that information to your Gen Z buyer persona descriptions.

If you’re in the SaaS industry, are project teams gushing over your new in-app messaging features? Again, that’s crucial data you’ll need to add to your project team buyer persona descriptions. (More on common buying habits in a bit.)

Complement this data with new information gathered through surveys and interviews with current and potential clients.

Let’s take a look at some other data points you’ll need to pull to include in your buyer personas.

2. Research and Include a Range of Discretionary Income

Understand how much money your target audience truly has at their fingertips and add it to your buyer personas.

How?

By researching their discretionary income.

Discretionary income refers to the money people have left over after they pay taxes and necessary living expenses, such as rent, utilities, and groceries. The term “discretionary” means the money can be used for “nice to haves” rather than necessities.

By getting a grasp on your audience’s true spending power, you can understand what they can or can’t afford to buy and how to position your pricing to fit their needs. This understanding can also help you uncover which audience segments may be a poor fit for your business.

TL;DR: Noting your audience’s annual income isn’t an accurate way to determine their spending power. Their discretionary income (or disposable income) is what determines their ability to buy your products and services.

3. Consider Individual Audience Segments

As we touched on during the florist business example, you’ll need to create segmented buyer personas if you cater to a variety of audience segments.

For example, if you sell MetLife dental insurance to HR agencies, financial institutions, and restaurant franchises, creating segmented buyer personas is crucial to helping you uncover how to target each sector and effectively communicate how your insurance can solve the unique problems they may be having.

Here’s a framework for what that might look like:

Buyer Persona A – HR agency

<Bulleted Buyer Persona Data Here>

Buyer Persona B – HR agency

<Bulleted Buyer Persona Data Here>

Buyer Persona A – Financial Institution

<Bulleted Buyer Persona Data Here>

Buyer Persona B – Financial Institution

<Bulleted Buyer Persona Data Here>

Buyer Persona A – Restaurant Franchise

<Bulleted Buyer Persona Data Here>

Buyer Persona B – Restaurant Franchise 

<Bulleted Buyer Persona Data Here>

Also, remember that if you serve businesses and consumers, B2B and B2C audiences have different needs — and different data. Create buyer personas for each audience and distinguish between demographic vs. firmographic data accordingly.

4. Highlight Core Pain Points and Aligned Solutions

Step four is the most pivotal step on our list.

In this step, it’s time to get real about the pain points your audience struggles with (and how you can help alleviate that pain).

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In each buyer persona, detail the core struggles your audience members face.

For instance:

Buyer Persona A: Jill McIntire, Solopreneur, Online Business

Pain Points:

  • Feels overwhelmed by daily business operations
  • Tired of missing meetings due to scheduling mishaps
  • Has a solid marketing routine but doesn’t have enough time to implement it

Next, describe how you can alleviate their pain points with your unique solutions.

Continuing with the example above, solutions to Jill’s pain points could be:

Pain Point Solutions:

  • Our virtual assistant service
  • Our new AI calendar tool
  • Our new AI funnel creator and manager

To take this one step further, outline the benefits of using your solutions and include relevant use cases for each buyer persona. These extra details can help you streamline and personalize your marketing copy and content asset production to your ideal audience.

5. Include Common Buying Habits Relevant to Your Niche and Product

What do members in your audience segments buy that are relevant to your niche and product?

For instance, if you’re in the podcasting industry and you sell podcast software, members of your target audience are likely podcasters in need of proper tech.

In this case, you could list the following:

  • Types of live-streaming software they invest in
  • Podcast hosting service providers they use
  • Editing programs they buy
  • Hardware and accessories they use, such as microphones, headphones, and desktop computers

Next, list the items or services you offer that are similar or better.

6. Highlight Preferred Marketing and Communication Channels

Where do your audience members live online?

How do they prefer to communicate with brands?

Highlight this information on each individual buyer persona.

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For instance:

  • Bill:
    • Online channels: Twitter, LinkedIn
    • Preferred communication methods: Email, Chatbot
  • Elouise:
    • Online channels: Instagram, LinkedIn
    • Preferred communication methods: Email, SMS
  • Shane:
    • Online channels: TikTok, Instagram
    • Preferred communication methods: Email, In-app messaging

7. Note Value-Driven Statements, CTAs, and Core Messaging They Identify With

As a bonus step, include helpful “plugs” that can help you personalize your marketing copy when crafting segmented campaigns.

Include relevant value-driven statements, calls to action (CTAs), and core messaging your target audience identifies with.

Wrap Up

And that’s it!

You officially have detailed, segmented buyer personas you can use to inform your marketing, business, and outreach strategies.

Now, it’s time to go off and implement your buyer personas in all things personalization.

Here’s to your success!

PS: Craving more startup resources? Have a look at our collections of helpful startup guides!

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