Buyer Persona

What is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a marketing term that is commonly mentioned and practiced in marketing. It refers to a sample buyer profile that is created by a business based on the research of its audience for marketing effectively.

A buyer persona is the profile of a business’ potential customer. It is created through a long research and evaluation phase and represents the ideal buyer of that business. It can be used for various functions but the main purpose of creating buyer personas is optimizing the customer journey for better conversion rates.

For example, a note-taking app would create a buyer-persona that represents their general audience. This person’s name could be anything, though something catchy is preferred sometimes with an adjective. It could very well be “Messy John”. This persona, Messy John would be messy as the name suggests and wouldn’t be able to remember certain things and order his day. A note taking app would come into the equation and solve their problem.

The company would use the profile of Messy John to create marketing campaigns based on this character’s needs, and since it would represent the actual characteristics of their audience because it is based on research, the buyer persona would help them create more optimized ads and copy with a better conversion rate.

How to create a Buyer Persona

Creating buyer personas can be undertaken in 3 steps, 1) research, 2) evaluation, and 3) optimization. 

In the research phase, 1on1 customer interviews, buyer surveys, and market researches are conducted. Aim of this phase is to gather as much information as possible based on the current buyers of the business, and it could very well include the buyers of the competitors. The point is to get the necessary characteristics that makes the buyers buy your products or services. These can include similar pain points, needs, interests, occupations, etc. This phase is the most burdensome and impactful at the same time since it will require weeks of research and if done right, will help the business significantly improve their marketing efforts.

In the evaluation phase, the data acquired from the previous phase are examined and common characteristics are highlighted. There is a big possibility that there might be need for several buyer personas as most products or services attract people from different segments. It is okay to create several buyer personas at this stage. Common traits of the buyers are used for creating an imaginary person that represents the ideal customer of the business. 

And lastly, in the optimization phase, which lasts as long as the business operates, the personas are used and tested in the marketing efforts. If anything goes wrong and the persona requires adjustments to better fit the audience, it can always be changed. It is extremely risky to turn the buyer persona into a static element, optimizing it constantly and revising every few months is mandatory for success.

Why is Buyer Persona considered important

A buyer persona can help businesses in 2 main ways, 1) get a sense of a person to sell to and 2) create better experiences and optimized campaigns.

As a marketer, it can be hard to create copy and optimize advertisements if the characteristics of the audience is unknown. Who is the company selling to? What do they want? These are the questions that could be answered with a decent buyer persona.

The concept of selling to an actual person is always easier as one could put themself in that person’s shoes and create the elements accordingly.

Also, from the customers’ perspective, it would be much easier for them to be convinced of buying and their experience would be more personalized. With a buyer persona, the audience could be promoted via their commonly used platforms and the marketing campaigns would be more precise.

Selman Gokce

Selman Gokce is the Senior Inbound Marketer of UserGuiding. He is highly invested in user onboarding and digital adoption, especially for SaaS, and he writes on these topics for the UserGuiding blog. When he's not writing, you can find him either listening to LOTR soundtracks while cooking or getting angry because he lost in a video game.

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