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Inbound Marketing Blog

Identifying Your Buyer Persona: 8 Questions You Must Ask

Posted by Stacie Chalmers on 22-Oct-2015 10:00:00
The key to successful marketing is both staggeringly simple, and utterly complex: understanding your buyers.

It may seem like a straightforward concept. The idea of 'know your customer' has been around longer than marketing itself.

But understanding what is motivating people to buy, knowing their purchasing criteria and connecting with their individual goals is a complex challenge. But businesses are rising to meet that challenge, and are seeing enormous benefits.

Successful businesses have embraced a new concept called 'Buyer Personas', and it's becoming an incredibly helpful tool for modern marketers.

This is the process of delving into the attitudes and behaviours of your buyers, knowing their pain points, the nature of their jobs and the solutions they need to work better.

Successful businesses are already doing this, and it's helping them paint a detailed picture of the people who are likely to buy from them.

By doing so, they are able to market their products to the specific needs of their prospective customers.

It’s possible that your product or service is of interest to different people, different personas, for different reasons. This means you may need to create several different personas and customised marketing messages and campaigns.

However, to start, we’re going to focus on one persona. Describe one person who is likely to buy from you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your product or service is suited to everyone, and trying to market to everyone. If you take this approach you run the risk that your marketing won’t resonate with anyone. A costly waste of time, money and resources.

It is likely you may need to appeal to two different people during the buying process. This could include the influencer/user or the decision maker. And it’s important to have a tailored message relevant for each role.

Here’s an example of a possible persona for the ‘influencer/user’: they like your product or service because it helps them get their work done and meet deadlines. This helps their work/life balance, allowing them to spend more time with their family. Their boss is satisfied because tasks are being completed on time. Meanwhile, the decision maker also likes your product or service because it reduces overheads and increases the profit margin. This may mean a bonus for them, or just the ability to keep the doors open another year.

This is just one possible buyer persona. It’s possible your product or service is of interest to different people, different personas, for different reasons. This means you may need to create several different personas, and customised marketing messages and campaigns.

But the process in identifying a particular persona is always the same. Here are eight common questions Inbound Marketers use to identify the Buyer Personas they are trying to attract.

  1. What is their demographic information?

  2. What is their job and level of seniority?

  3. What does a day in their life look like?

  4. What are their pain points/frustrations that you offer a solution for?

  5. What are their goals? What do they need to achieve to be successful, as it relates to your solution?

  6. Where do they go for information? Who do they trust for advice?

  7. What experience are they looking for when shopping for your products and services?

  8. What are their most common objections to your product or service? What are the reasons they wouldn’t buy?

By answering these eight questions, you can paint a detailed picture of your buyer persona or personas. It sets a solid foundation for your company to create the kind of content that your ideal customer is looking for.

Learn about matching content with your buyer's journey.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Buyer Personas


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