Buyers' Persona

What is Buyers Persona?

Buyers' Personas are fictional, generalised representations of the ideal customers that helps one understand customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of different groups.

How to create Buyers Persona?

By segmenting the customers from their characteristics, we can choose who to sell to and who to avoid. For example, we should be able to interview our current clients and ask them about their business goals, initiatives, buying process, buyer thinking, initiatives, timing and channels.

Procedure for Making Buyers Persona

An example of the questions would be divided into several parts for B2B companies :

B2B Client's Personal Background

1. What is their title in the company?

2. What are their responsibilities and how are they evaluated?

3. How do they usually conduct a campaign for their business?

Client’s Customer Personal Background

1. What are their responsibilities in the organisation?

Goals

1. What are client's and client's customer's business goals?

The following applies to both B2B's clients and B2B client's customers :

Buying Process and Buyer's Thinking

1. How would the business goals affect their buying behaviour?

2. What buying process do they usually follow?

3. What perceptions about the product/service that the buyer have?

4. What is the buying pattern like? (ie. Seasonal?)

5. What social media channel do buyers usually use?

6. How do buyers make choices? (risks, balancing consequences and payoffs)

7. Who participates in the buying team and in the approval process?

8. Who are the key stakeholders?

Content and Information

1. What information and data references do buyers rely on?

2. What type of content affect purchase decisions?

3. How do buyers obtain and receive information?

Afterwards, a questionnaire asking the same questions should also be created in the website for the potential customers to fill in. Based on the answers that we got from asking the current customers, we would be able to determine which persona the potential customers fall into. It is also important for the company's content marketing as we would be able to tweak the message to them based on their persona.

It is almost likely that these clients would have similar answers to those questions. As such, we can then form a persona based from the similar backgrounds and characteristics that these clients have. In the end, there may be several personas that are formed, mostly characterised through the persona's position, "Marketing Manager Margareth" or "Chief Marketing Officer Craig".

The final personas’ profiles should include the following parts:

• Name (giving names to buyer personas simplifies the process of theirs application in the future)

• Background (basic details about an ideal customer: demographics, education, job, income, location, hobbies)

• Challenges/problem area (persona’s challenges, emotions which accompany those challenges)

• Main sources of information (where persona does his or her research before purchasing, which previous source of content was used)

• Preferred content medium (the way persona likes to absorb a content)

• Quotes (actual quotes gathered during interviews will enliven personas)

• The solution of persona’s problems

For B2B companies, there may be different personas needed depending on the structure of the company. Generally, there are several distinct personas, ie. initiator, influencer and decision-maker. These personas will then enter the buying process at different stages. For example, a VP, decision maker, may not enter the ‘’buying process’’ until the very last stage. These personas would take note about different things. For example, an ‘’initiator’’ may care more about non-product-specific information that explains the overall problem/solution, whereas a decision-maker would care more about product comparisons, case studies and cost justifications.

Buyer Persona and Buyer's Journey In the buyer’s journey, the buyers for our clients would probably start they acknowledge the pain and look for potential problem solvers. It is then that they approach our clients through the initiator. However, it is likely that the initiator would also look at products/services offered by other companies. Afterwards, the initiator would consult with the higher-up in the company, ie. the influencer, who could be rationalising the options and give recommendations to the decision-maker. If this goes through, the client will then reach the last stage of the buyers process.

Importance of Buyer Persona In a recent survey conducted by ITSMA, a member community that helps B2B marketing organisations advance their knowledge, skills and impact, business-to-business (B2B) marketers worldwide expect that understanding buyers will be their number 1 responsibility in two years (85%).