The Anatomy Of A Buyer Persona
What are Buyer Personas and how you can create them for your business?
Starting with the basics, a Buyer Persona is a profile describing your ideal customer based on research, surveys, and information gathered internally at your company.
Personas will cover who your ideal customer is, what they do for a living, a story about their challenges, and key motivators driving the persona to make a decision.
So why are buyer personas so important? Buyer Personas, done correctly, can help you picture who you’re talking to when creating marketing content for your audience. Having your Buyer Persona in mind while writing or concepting topics and ideas can help you create more authentic content that your audience will actually be interested in (and isn’t that always the goal in the marketing world??).
Let’s break it down: Buyer Personas consist of a few main ingredients that make up the full picture. Every Buyer Persona should include a name, a job title, a gender, an age, a salary, a description of their interests, a summary of challenges, and a list of key motivators.
Before you get started, it’s great to make this process a team effort. Try to include anyone who may have some valuable insights into who your customers/clients are. The more information, the better. You can always pare down later, but it can be tough to create ideal Buyer Personas without the input of your team. Once the Personas are created, everyone on the marketing team will be using them to create relevant content, so it’s best to get buy-in from your team from the start.
Once you’ve done some initial research and perhaps conducted a survey of your current customer/clients, follow the steps below to create a Buyer Persona!
Naming your first Buyer Persona
Arguably the most fun part of creating a persona is giving them a fun and catchy name! We like to use alliteration with a unique name and their job function or other descriptor. Here are a few examples:
- Supply Chain Sully
- Vegan Victor
- CEO Camila
- Triathalon Theresa
- New-Mom Natalie
The purpose of naming your Persona is to make them feel like a real person! You can also use their name to label your Personas in your HubSpot Marketing CRM as a way to categorize your contacts. (If you need help with getting your HubSpot portal set up, organized, or refreshed, we can help by providing a free HubSpot audit!)
Giving your Persona a job title
For this step, think about the job titles of your current customers or clients. Are you selling B2B to C-Suite executives or do you have a product that is intended to make the lives of new moms easier? Choose a common job title that could represent your customers/clients well:
- Chief Operations Officer
- In-House Marketing Manager
- Stay-at-home Mom
- College Student
- Accounting Clerk
- Office Secretary
- Civil Engineer
Assigning an age, gender and salary to your Persona
Try not to get too hung up on this portion of creating a Buyer Persona. The age and gender are simply helpful in getting in the right mindset and picturing the Persona while creating content geared toward them. This step is pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll give you a couple of examples just for fun:
- 32, Woman, $140,000/year
- 55, Man, $80,000/year
- 21, Man, $12/hour
Describing your Person’s interests
The next step is to get even more specific with your Persona by describing them in terms of hobbies, interests, and any other important details that could round out your Persona and make them feel like a real person! The more you paint the picture of who your Persona is on a day-to-day basis, the better you’ll understand how to create messaging they will relate to. Here are a few pieces of information you could include:
- Hobbies (Hiking/Outdoors, Calligraphy, Watercolor Painting, etc.)
- Interests (Sports, pop culture, health/fitness, etc.)
- Favorite TV shows/movies
- Ideal way to spend their weekend
- Favorite places to eat out
- Stores they shop at commonly
Summarizing your Persona’s challenges
At the end of the day, solving your audiences’ problems will sell them and keep them coming back for more. This is why summarizing your Buyer Persona’s challenges is so important. Think about your current clients/customers and what challenges they face. The most important challenges to include here will be the ones that your company can solve. It might help to start by listing out the main features or benefits of your company and work backward.
For example, if your product is a machine that makes baby formula and your product benefit is that it makes a bottle in seconds, perhaps your solving new-mom’s challenge of frustration and lack of time.
Here are a couple of challenges to get your brainstorm started:
- Not enough time to get their job done during work hours
- Trouble with maintaining weight loss
- Inability to manage money efficiently and stick to a budget
Once you understand their challenges, it is your job to pose your product or service as the solution, in a natural and authentic way of course.
Listing the Persona’s key motivators
This is, in my opinion, the most important part of a Buyer Persona. Understanding what motivates your target audience is crucial to determining which channels to market on, how to phrase your messaging, and what position you take to solve their problem.
Here are some examples of key motivators:
- Their network of peers recommended an event, service or product.
- A blogger/influencer they follow and trust posted about a product and they’ve seen great results.
- They read an article in their favorite magazine about a product or service with testimonials supporting the claims.
Once you have each of these pieces put together, you’re almost done! The final step is to share the Buyer Personas you have created with your team so everyone is on the same page. This will be crucial to make sure your marketing concepts and messaging are consistent.
There is so much more to learn on how getting your buyer persona right can transform your business! Check out our Guide to Understanding Your Target Audience to get the full picture.