It’s Not About the Tea: How to Make Buyer Personas That Really Satisfy

It’s Not About the Tea: How to Make Buyer Personas That Really Satisfy

Many marketers are. Buyer insight should detail the buyer’s feelings, motivations, and expectations relating to the part of their life that your product or service will impact. Buyer insight also encompasses the reasons the persona chooses to buy or not buy similar products/services in the distant or recent past. These buyer insights are the real key to rock solid buyer personas and content marketing results. And most importantly, they are the details relevant to your service and marketing strategy, nothing more! Buying insights make your customers and their purchasing journey real. Carefully guide the interviewees into answering questions like these: What triggered your decision to search for a solution like this? What was the overall process of making the decision? How buying insights lead to a content marketing win When you have the insights, you have the answers. Thank you, buyer insights.

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make-buyer-personas-that-satisfy

“These buyer personas will help you craft killer content for our client’s audience,” they told me.

They were wrong.

You see, “Marketing Agency X” (unnamed for reasons which will soon become clear) would send us four-page buyer persona descriptions. Each one delved deep into the fictional lives of the characters they had created for their clients – describing a day in the life of that character in Dickens-like detail. And boy, did they love to set a scene:

Meet Sarah Cunningham, CMO at Vertus Capital Limited. She’s recently divorced with two kids; little Jess and Jimmy. Sarah likes to drink Earl Grey in the morning while leafing through the Guardian newspaper. After dropping off her kids at school, Sarah makes her way to work – usually getting caught in a traffic jam or two, which really gets her goat …

Yep. Four endless pages of frankly useless detail.

Not only is this type of buyer persona development a massive waste of time, it can even have an adverse effect.

That’s right. Your marketers, copywriters, and content creators may get so caught up in this made-up story that they tailor messaging exclusively for this Sarah character, excluding a far more true and useful representation of your actual potential prospects (e.g., those buyers who aren’t divorced, don’t drive to work, and don’t drink Earl Grey tea).

Are you guilty of this buyer persona frivolity?

Many marketers are.

And they’re all missing the true power of one of the most valuable weapons a content marketer can wield.

Keep reading, and I’ll arm you up.

You see, a proper buyer persona includes two components.

  • Buyer profile – explains who your ideal customer is through relevant demographic and psychographic details
  • Buyer insight – reveals what makes your ideal customer pull out their credit card and buy

Too many marketers stop at the profile. Or leave the buyer insights portion of their buyer personas looking like an unfinished painting.

Buyer insight should detail the buyer’s feelings, motivations, and expectations relating to the part of their life that your product or service will impact. It should identify their goals and doubts, and methods of evaluating products/services like yours.

Buyer insight also encompasses the reasons the persona chooses to buy or not buy similar products/services in the distant or recent past. It specifies what time of day they buy, under which conditions they tend to buy, and how long that buying process takes. It also explains what kind of advertising or marketing they like and respond to.

These buyer insights are the real key to rock solid buyer personas and content marketing results. And most importantly, they are the details relevant to your service and marketing strategy, nothing more!

No favorite morning cup of tea flavors here (unless you’re selling them tea, of course).

Buyer insight difference

Picture this scenario …

You’re helping a friend who’s looking to buy real estate. You talk to the real estate agent to set up some viewings. You could:

  • Tell the agent your friend is tall, white, married with no kids, works as an architect in the city, plays tennis on Wednesdays, likes to drink Guinness, and reads the Times.

or

  • Tell the agent your friend is looking for a two-bedroom, well-lit apartment with a garden, within a 10-minute walk from a public transit station on the central line, and won’t pay more than $700,000. His wife is concerned about house safety.

Which description is more valuable to the real estate agent? It should be glaringly obvious.

The inclusion of the buyer insights makes a mahoosive difference in helping the real estate agent show properties that are relevant to the buyer’s interests and needs.

Buying insights make your customers and their purchasing journey real. They tell you all the little things that make them like, dislike, act, or flee.

And these insights are key in a killer marketing strategy, copy that converts, and a marketing funnel that drives sales.

If you know how to gather this info as you market, you’re a long leap ahead of the competition, most of whom just know the most basic stats (yep, those little feeble buyer profiles). For them, the customer is a stranger. For you, it will be like selling to a friend.

Starting to understand the power of what you’ve been missing?

Gather kickass buyer insights

Adele Revella’s excellent book, Buyer Personas, lays out the methodology and reasoning behind it with crystal clarity. I can’t recommend it enough.

In a nutshell, you’ll need to interview people who have recently evaluated your product or a product just like yours. They might have bought or not. In fact, if they didn’t buy – the insights you squeeze may be even juicier.

Either way, you want to know why.

Find these customers and prospects, offer them a reward for helping you. Get them on a 20-minute…

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