Are you using buyer personas?

On the web “you are what you publish”

No truer words have been written about website content production! As I continue to read “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott I am constantly reminded that which is most important with any on or offline marketing efforts, CONTENT!

Buyer PersonasYa, OK content is important I know that already

I am sure you are aware of how important content is on your web site, and if your not, well there are millions of posts written about it online that you can find to tell you about it. My point here is not to sing the praises of how critical keeping your website current and relevant is, it’s about deciding who that content is for and making sure that all your strategies and programs cater to that person. This is about developing a proper buyer persona for everyone who makes up your target audience.

Isn’t a buyer persona just my target market?

The short answer is yes and no. Yes a buyer persona comes from your target market but it’s much deeper than that. Think about your website for a minute and then think about your target audience, is your content customized to speak to all of them individually or as one giant mass? Developing buyer personas is the process of breaking down your target market into smaller more focused digestible chunks that will allow you to tailor your communications more directly to their preferences.

Can I have an example please?

Sure. Lets take an Italian restaurant for example and for our purposes lets say their target market is men and women ages 30 – 55. That’s a perfectly valid target audience grouping, but do you think that a 32 year old man will respond to offers and communications the same way a 45 year old woman would? This is where buyer persona’s are so important. Taking the time to meet your customers, survey them and develop a more refined view of how you can better divide and focus in on your various buyer personas making your communications to those persona groupings much more custom and effective.

How do I get started?

This is the easy part. All you have to do is start asking questions. Ask yourself questions about your business, put yourself in your customers shoes and try to put together what you think their answers will be to your questions. Then start talking to your customers survey them in person, on your website, in emails, and keep track of what you learn. I guarantee you will be in line for at least a handful of surprises as you get feedback from them. Now that you have some more information about what you think about your customers and what your customers think about your business you can start to tailor your customer touch point interaction experiences around your new buyer persona profiles. This is usually where an interactive marketing professional like myself gets involved with your business. I get called in to take all the feedback and information you have gathered learning about your customers and help you to develop new marketing materials and communication styles and ideas that will help you connect with your buyer personas better in all of your marketing pieces.

If this sounds like something your business would be interested in learning about send me some information about your business. And please by all means if you want to know more about buyer personas please pick up your own copy of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s written well and anyone who is looking for some clarification, ideas and insight into online marketing programs should read it.

6 Responses to “Are you using buyer personas?”

  1. David Meerman Scott January 20, 2009 at 3:09 am #

    Wow. Many thanks for writing about my stuff here. I appreciate it. You may want to check out Adele Revella’s Buyer Persona Blog http://www.buyerpersona.com/

  2. Adele Revella January 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    Thanks for telling everyone that buyer personas are all about listening and asking questions. Its unfortunate that marketing people are so busy writing (talking) that there is rarely time to listen to the real people they want to influence. There is just so much to be gained from even a small investment in listening to real people and documenting the findings in a persona profile.

  3. Matt Nelson January 21, 2009 at 6:20 am #

    Thanks for the comment David. I am really enjoying your book very much, so many great examples and ideas about marketing and PR using the web. I am working on making all of my colleagues read this at work to help open their eyes to all the potential new business we can bring in if we just adjust our thinking about marketing traditionally vs. the new rules. I can’t wait to finish the book, and keep those ebooks comming as well those are great too!

  4. Matt Nelson January 21, 2009 at 6:29 am #

    Hi Adele. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Buyer Personas are becoming a big part of my focus in my client talks for marketing strategy. It is exciting and sometimes astounding to me how the vast majority of companies just haven’t considered how to cater to their customer segments more personally. I will be following your blog from now on for sure! Thanks again.

  5. Bere February 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    I´m reading this book and I´m suprised to se all important things to consider in a Marketing plan.
    I want to segment my market on a different buyer personas but I´don´t know how to start, can you help me?
    thanks!

  6. Matt February 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Can you provide me some details about your specific market target? I usually start with the different types of end results I want to accomplish in my marketing efforts and then I work my way back to determine who will be best suited for each of the programs and who would be most likely to respond to those marketing activities. Let me know more about what you are trying to do and I can help you identify what your personas might be.