It is that time again, the annual review. The time that most marketers fear, but must endure once a year. You have come to the buyer personas portion of your review process and the personas you constructed at the very start of your inbound integration.
You may not have used them since you initially created them, or you may review them periodically when you are looking for marketing inspiration. Either way, chances are you could be more efficiently utilizing your buyer personas.
It is important to understand how informative this simple living document is to your entire inbound marketing process and a determining factor in the success of your business as a whole.
When you're creating your business's personas (or when you’re just freshening them up) it is key to understand you're not creating a character that you're going to sell a product or service to. Rather, it is somebody you are going to target in your big picture marketing.
This is true regardless of whether you are dealing with a marketing department, an entire company, or a small business with a modest marketing budget. It is important to understand that your marketing budget does not determine who you are marketing to, but it does determine how you are going to market. As a marketer, the goal at hand is to increase return on investment (ROI). In order to boost ROI you must drill down your primary and secondary buyer profile. This is why it is so important to understand that you discern to whom you are marketing, not to whom you are trying to sell your products or services.
Once you realize and see in motion the value and uses of buyer information and why the details are so important, you will begin to understand and master how to develop useful and successful personas for your business.
When creating your personas, remember that they will assist in each part of the inbound methodology. They will drive your marketing strategy, your content development and the information you will use to best serve customers.
As a side note, your marketing strategy and content should be based on not only your buyer persona(s), but the inbound methodology and the buyer's journey (that is, where a specific lead is located in their decision process). Your primary buyer is who you are trying to reach--your ideal customer. Creating content with your persona profile will help you achieve your business goals.
You want to set your goals prior to creating your buyer persona since you will want your personas to be aligned with your big-picture business goals.
When you are forming your personas, keep in mind the individuals who often shop or look for service offerings within your niche, or who utilize your services frequently. Also consider personas that have a parallel life to the services or products that you offer. For some help with this, take a look at your current customers.
Stay tuned for more about buyer personas, integrated marketing with the inbound methodology, content development tips and much more.