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Transforming The Customer Experience

Get to Know Your Customers by Creating Buyer Personas

Posted May 2, 2019 8:00:00 AM

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You likely see people from all walks of life come through the doors of your business. People from all ages and backgrounds buying your products, interacting with your employees, and spending money. However, your customers might not be as different as you think. There may be similarities in your customers that can help you connect with and market to them.

To discover these similarities, create buyer personas that help you identify your top customers and group them together by their common traits.

Once you have these buyer descriptions, there are dozens of ways you can apply them to better understand your customers and their buying patterns. Let’s explore buyer personas more in-depth and see how you can create them and improve your marketing and sales processes.

Why Are Buyer Personas Important?

Businesses often get back what they put in from their buyer persona investment. When you apply buyer personas to various elements of your business, you can become more strategic with your decision-making and the plans you create.

A few benefits of these personas include:

  • You can create more targeted marketing campaigns
  • Promote deals and specials that your customers actually want
  • Identify what type of overhead music your customers like and play it in your location
  • You can identify what type of content your customers want to see and showcase it on your in-store wifi.

Your buyer personas also extend beyond your marketing department in their effectiveness.

Your product development team can use them to figure out the next greatest item. You can even include buyer personas in your entry-level employee training manuals to help new team members get a feel for the people walking through the door.

So, how do you create buyer personas for your business?

5 Steps to Create Buyer Personas

You don’t need a large marketing budget to develop buyer personas. There are plenty of free and affordable tools available. HubSpot has a free Make My Persona tool that you can use to get an idea for what goes into the creation process. You can also build personas on your own with the information you have on hand.

1. Get An Overview For the Physical Demographics of Your Customers

The easiest way to build target personas is to look at the demographics of your customers. These include factors like age, gender, and financial makeup, but can also go deeper to consider their lifestyle.

For example, the vast majority of customers at a sneaker shop might be men between the ages of 18-35. This age group is incredibly broad. An 18-year-old might have different buying patterns than a 35-year-old, even if they are both considered young men.

2. Look for Similar Qualities in the Vast Majority of Store Visitors

Don’t forget the 80/20 rule of business -- 20% of customers make up 80% of your sales.

While you want to take the different types of people into consideration when you build your personas, it’s also important to focus on the people who buy from you. If possible, include the percent of total customers that your personas make up to help your team members know which groups to prioritize.

The sneaker shop is already taking the right step by identifying the majority of customers as young and male. From there, they can see that 60% of those customers are younger than 21 and an additional 30% are between the ages of 22 and 28.

3. Dive Deeper Into Their Spending Habits, Diets, and Personal Lives

You should also take into consideration the:

  • Amount people spend
  • How often they visit
  • What they buy
  • What makes them buy
  • How they prefer being communicated to  

The young men 18-21 at the sneaker shop might visit the most often (on a weekly basis) but spend the least compared to men 22-28. The revenue between the two groups might be equal if the smaller group spends more than the bigger group. You may decide that you want to focus on marketing to men age 22-28 to bring them into the shop more often because they spend more.  

4. Explore Outside Factors That Contribute to Trends

So far, you have explored the what of your target audience, but you have yet to explore the why.

If you don’t know why your customers do something, then you will have a hard time tailoring your marketing efforts to their wants and needs.

For example, why would young people visit a sneaker store more than older customers? Maybe it’s because:

  • The shop is near a college campus with a large student body.
  • It’s near a concert venue or local nightlife.
  • Or it is one of the few places that are open late in the area.

Based off this information, a business can consider its personas and make better decisions.

5. Test Your Buyer Personas to See If They Hold True

By now, you should understand the demographics, buying patterns, and logic behind your customer base. While you can’t put every customer in a box, you can account for the vast majority of people who walk through your door. The final step is to test your theories.

Create a marketing campaign and see how your personas respond. Change your overhead music or video wall design and see how people like it. Launch a new product and see if your customers love it or leave it.

If you have done your research, your buyer personas should help you create more successful marketing and customer engagement campaigns.

Put Your Buyer Personas to Work

Buyer personas are unique to each business. Only by looking at your specific factors and customers can you come up with profiles for the people who walk through your door. The insight your personas provide can increase sales and help you develop promotions your customers love.

Once you create buyer personas for your business, find out what else you can do to better connect with and market to your top customers.

Download our ultimate guide to in-store marketing to see how you can use what you know about your customers to create better marketing and customer engagement campaigns.

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