In business regardless of whatever sector you’re in you want to make sales, yes you may help people solve a problem with your product or service along the way but ultimately you and your employees have bills to pay so you need a plan to determine how to get your business in front of people who may be in a position to buy what you have to offer.
There are lots of different ways you can connect with people and more than ever the available options for you to reach your potential customer are more easily accessible and can be more cost-effective. However, no matter how much you have to spend or how amazing your product or service may be not every business can consider the market in general as their ideal audience. Something like a chocolate bar or a box of cereal may have a mass market appeal but even within these sectors a considerable amount of work is done behind the scenes on their ideal consumer so that the ads they run reach their ideal consumer at the right place and point in time.
In today’s post we’re looking at what’s known as a Buyer Persona – you quite likely think you know who your ideal customer is but how well do you know them?
Often a business owner might say their ideal cusotmers are small businesses but think just for a minute, how many small business owners do you know? Are they all similar industries? Similar types of personalities? Similarly skilled with technology? Already you can see now that the ‘small business owner’ ideal customer isn’t as deep a level as you need to go.
On one occasion at a meeting the business owners I met with used a woman’s name so frequently in fact that I expected her to join us at some point but no this ‘person’ was their ideal customer who they spoke about so comfortably that she was practically part of the team – and undoubtedly a factor in their success.
So, how do you come up with a description of your ideal customer that’s so vivid they almost feel real?
Well, the ideal way is to create a persona or multiple personas if you’ve got more than one target market.
And, if you grab a piece of paper or use your screen, you can start looking in-depth at your customers right now by answering a few key questions;
What gender is your ideal customer? If you’re targetting male and females that’s ok, for this exercise though pick one as you’re going to try visualise them.
What age group? This matters because if you’re selling expensive home furniture is this likely to appeal to somebody just out of college who won’t have the income or is unlikely to have their own home?
What sort of brands are they interested in? If they’re inclined to save for an expensive designer bag are they likely to be your ideal client for low cost disposable fashion?
What’s their location? In today’s world we can target consumers from across the world but if you’re going to become comfortable wth your persona you really want to put clear identify on them.
What’s their family situation? Are they single or married? Do they have children and if so are they young children or teenagers? Think of something like a family car, will you sell a sports car to a family with toddlers?
Where do they spend their time? Think of their social life and whether they’re enjoying the best of your city’s nightlife (in other times!) or are they more likely to be found off on a camping trip enjoying all that nature has to offer?
What’s their social network of choice? Do you believe they’re on twitter following all the latest breaking news and joining in with chats? Are they spending their time on dating apps? Are they more likely to be following the latest fashion on Instagram? Or planning a wedding on Pinterest?
What problem can your product or service solve for them? Can you free up time? Can you simplify their finances? Can you help them get fit? Can you teach them to de-clutter their home? Think about how you would say it to them if they were standing in front of you now.
Now give them a name – yes, we’re serious! You can find a picture for them too, visualising them really does make a difference.
Here’s an example of two of ours for different projects over the years, if you click on the link below you’ll see more detail on ‘Laura’ and ‘Philip’ too.
View more details on ‘Laura’ and ‘Philip’ at https://themarketingshop.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TMSI-Persona-Sample-2021.pdf
It’s a simple but effective exercise to come up with your ideal Buyer Persona but once you’ve got your Laura or Philip firmly in your mind you’re now writing blog posts appealing to them, creating content that you believe they’d enjoy or adding descriptions that might appeal to them.
And, as the world changes or your business changes direction a little you can go back and adjust your personas – will Laura now be the queen of Zoom parties now that the social life is on hold for a bit or would you try engage her with a new dance programme that would appeal to a couple of her interests?
As we work with clients across a wide range of industries we’ve seen many different types of personas, they’re not always written down on a piece of paper as we’re suggesting but within a few sentences if you were to ask the business owners or their team they could tell you exactly who their target audience is. When you really dig deep to get into the details of your ideal customer, you’re helping your team (even if it’s just you for now!) connect with this ideal customer and your potential customers find you as you’ll create content that appeals to them. And, in doing so you’ll find even creating your captions for social media can be easier as you’re creating them with this ‘person’ in mind.
If you’d like to learn more about how to market your business, get in touch with us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 087-2785818 or through any of the social media links you find on this site.
Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.