What’s up with your customers?
It begins and ends with them and when it comes to developing your marketing plan, it is the only logical place to start. Without having an in depth understanding of who your customers are, you can’t adequately strategize your approach to acquiring them.
Why Your Marketing Plans Should Always Start With A Buyer Persona
In today’s micro-targeted environment, understanding your customer involves more than demographics. While there is a lot of hard data that goes into grasping who they are, education level, income, age, gender, where they live, etc.; these stats make up just a rough framework.
You need to look at them from a behavioral perspective to have a nuanced understanding of what makes them tick and what influences their buying decisions. To go deeper, and to know the best way to reach them, you need to develop a buyer persona.
You’ve probably come across this term before. According to our friends at HubSpot, A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. This is the seed that grows your inbound marketing strategy. While it requires an investment of time and some resources upfront, it is an investment where the time spent will yield exponential returns.
Semi-fictional…what does that mean? It starts with the hard data and, with some research and creativity, creating a clear representation of your buyer:
- What do they do for a living?
- What is their day like?
- What are their pain points?
- What do they type into Google?
- Why do they buy from you?
After all, your function as a business is to help solve a problem for your target market.
How does that problem affect their day-to-day life? How does that problem make them feel? What do they care about? What would make your persona get really, really excited about your product or service? Where do they get their information? Are there trusted sources they go to when they are seeking that information? When you know this, you can make yourself present in those spots and work on establishing credibility in those communities.
Having an in-depth, highly nuanced understanding of who your customer is gives you the ability to more finely tune your marketing efforts towards them.
Pinpointing the channels that guide buyers down the sales journey is an ineffective and costly strategy. You need them to find you, which is at the heart of the inbound marketing methodology. To do this, there are four actions a company must take in order to obtain visitors, leads, customers, and create brand evangelists. They are Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.
Inbound is about creating and sharing content with the World. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your customers, you will attract qualified prospects to your business, and keep them coming back for more.
Developing your buyer personas is the foundational step in understanding your customer’s buying journey. It is the process of taking strangers and turning them into not just customers, but promoters of your product or service. This is how effective inbound commerce works. It is the combination of content, community, and commerce working together holistically to create business growth.