I often work with organisations that have a long history of selling products and services into specific industries and niches; yet cannot paint me a detailed portrait of what their ideal buyer looks like.
Their sales and marketing teams are unable to confidently answer the following questions about the buyer:
- How much does he/she earn?
- What’s their favourite social media channel?
- What time do they get to the office in the morning?
- Are they married/single?
- What’s their main career ambition?
Questions like these may seem completely irrelevant at a first glance, but the more you dig down into them, the more you realise that each answer holds a clue to a successful marketing strategy. They provide you with behavioural cues, motivations and drivers that will help you position your offerings and communicate them in a way that becomes irresistible.
Knowledge is profitable
When it comes to clients and prospects, knowledge means not only power but also financial profit. How? Well, if you know exactly where to reach your audience, you won’t waste money advertising on the wrong platforms. If you know their main challenges, you won’t alienate them with irrelevant value statements. If you know what is important to them, you will be able to influence their impulse to buy.
Now – this doesn’t mean that you need to put a stakeout car outside your clients’ house or enrol in a psychology course. But you will need to do these four things:
1. Ask questions
When it comes to asking questions, there are of course various online survey tools you can use. However, the best way to get useful, accurate information is through conversation. Talk to people, face to face or over the phone, asking what they think about your product or service, and about what is important to them.
Take the opportunity to chat with people at tradeshows, in user groups, and in online forums. Most people will be helpful and forthcoming if you explain that you will be able to create even better products and services as a result of their input.
2. Follow the snail trail
As a business, you should make an effort to always find out how your customers found you to begin with. It’s also worth using analytics and tracking software to monitor how, when and where people access your online content on a regular basis. Over time, this will create a detailed picture of how your audience discovers your information and engages with it.
3. Listen and learn
Your sales team will be able to give you very useful input on their active leads. Take time to review these together regularly. Learn from their interactions with prospects and clients; this is a great source for discovering buyer behaviour.
4. Capture data
Contact forms are great tools for getting snippets of information from your leads. Use them to ask for a piece of key information like company size, age, gender – whatever is relevant to help differentiate your messaging to different personas.
However, be careful not to ask too much or use questions that seem too intrusive. If at all possible, use dynamic forms that only ask for one additional item of information every time the user downloads something, building up the lead profile over time.
Get to know your ideal buyer persona
Once you have created a clear image of your buyer persona – you may even have several – it will become a great deal easier to improve your return on marketing investment. You will be able to make strategic decisions quicker, choose better tools and plan more efficient campaigns.
It’s also a really fun and interesting process! Why not get started today?
Get your own guide to creating a buyer persona
If you want some more information and a free template to creating an ideal buyer persona, you can download your own PDF guide HERE.