How Persona-Driven Marketing can Boost your Sales

Louise Armstrong
by Louise Armstrong on December 5, 2012 in Sales
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How well do you know your customers? The better you know your customers and your target market, the better your marketing efforts will be. And while most businesses can identify those demographics or industries that are most interested in their products or services, factors like age and income level are not the real reasons why people choose to buy from them. They buy because a product or marketing offer best aligns with their goals, motivations and resource levels. That is why so many companies are starting to build their marketing strategies around personas, not demographics. Quite simply, a persona is a description of a type of person, such as "successful single mom" or "overworked IT director", that explains the way these people think and the reasons they would be interested in your products or services. 

Identifying Personas
Identifying and describing the personalities of your typical customers is a bit harder than simply looking at surface-level demographics. It requires you to understand your customers and prospects on a deeper level.

Luckily, there are several ways that you can obtain an in-depth understanding of your target market:
  • Ask your salespeople. The people who deal with your customers or target markets the most frequently will best understand the reasons that they buy -- or don't buy -- from you.
  • Get to know your customers. Do online surveys work? When it comes to getting to know your customers better, they do. Interview or survey your best customers or prospects to learn more about what they like or dislike, as well as the reasons behind their decisions to buy from companies like yours.
  • Dig into your online data. Website analytics are a great source of data to help you understand the behavior of your online visitors. These metrics can show you exactly what content on your site is of interest to your visitors.
Once you've gained a deeper understanding of your buyers and prospects, you can write up a one- or two-page description of each persona that describes their personalities, their business interests and goals, the problems that they are looking for you to solve and the limitations that might prevent them from buying from you.

Utilizing Personas
Once you've created your business personas, there are several ways you can use them to generate new leads and improve sales:
  • Product design. With a better understanding of what your target market is looking for, you can tailor your products or services that exactly match their needs and preferences.
  • Identifying prospects. Since you know which personas will be most interested in what you have to offer, you can refocus your marketing efforts on the hottest prospects and shorten your sales cycle.
  • Crafting your marketing message. Not only can you focus your message on the hot buttons that prompt your target customers to take action, you can easily style it in the way that best matches their personality.
  • Customizing your website. By utilizing your new personas, you can sell to people the way that they want to be sold. For example, you could set up a landing page for first-time visitors that allows them to self-select which type of prospect they are or what kind of online experience they prefer. You could then serve up a customized version of your website that highlights the products and benefits in which they would be most interested.
Take the time to develop buyer personas for your business -- it's an invaluable way to get to know your target audience and make your marketing efforts smarter and more successful.
Louise Armstrong

Louise Armstrong

Louise is a Senior Digital Strategist at Bonafide. A pop-culture addict with a passion for all things digital. She's Scottish by birth, but don't ask if she likes haggis...