You think you know someone, but then, they do something that surprises you. That’s true for friends and people you know in your personal life, as well as for your buyers.
Buyers today shift and change with the times. Unless a company gives them a compelling reason to stay loyal, buyers tend to flit back and forth between brands. The big hurdle that marketers must solve is discovering how to build brand loyalty so that nothing can tear customers away.
Buyer personas are the first step toward making this happen.
Buyer Personas vs. Broad Demographics
Traditionally, companies use broad brushed demographics to define the group of people they wanted to target. These demographics typically include information, such as:
- Age range
- Income level
- Education level
- Relationship status
Although these demographics are important, they fail to tell the story that matters about your buyers.
Enter: Buyer personas.
Buyer personas take traditional demographics a step further by outlining a person behind the statistics. When creating a buyer persona, you’re creating a profile of a single person who is most likely to buy your product. Much like a profile on a social media network, the persona defines what makes the person tick. It shows what triggers a purchase and what emotions drive decisions.
Buyer personas are used to dig in deeper about a potential customer and get to know why they do what they do. Instead of hoping that a competitor’s sale won’t steal them away, your buyer personas show the emotional, behavioral, and psychological elements that make your buyers loyal to you.
How to Create Your Buyer Personas
Perhaps the best way to get inside your buyer’s head is to ask questions.
Interviewing a select group of buyers (usually only about 10 – 12 people) sheds light on what drives them to want to do business with you. You get to know what caused them to look for what you sell, what made them decide to buy from you, and what the purchase experience was like from start to finish.
Based on the answers your buyers give during an interview, you can build out the buyer personas with more detail and better insight into what makes them tick.
5 Questions to Ask in Your Buyer Persona Interviews
Before you start wrangling up the last 10 people who bought from you, come up with an interview strategy. Knowing what you want answers to before you talk to your buyers will help you guide the process and get more out of the experience.
Here are five questions to ask during your buyer persona interviews to help you get the most detail about these essential people.
Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. They can often lead to some of your most helpful answers. – Carly Murphy, SmartBug Media
- What are your goals?
What does your buyer aspire to? What would make him or her feel like a success?
Talk to your buyer about their overarching goals. Regardless of whether or not your product or service can answer these goals, getting to know what’s important to them in life is crucial.
- What motivates you to work toward these goals?
Your buyers don’t reach their goals overnight. They have to work hard to achieve them. This takes drive and motivation.
Ask your buyer about the things that get them motivated. Is it money? Is it knowing that their family will be better off if they’re successful? Does status play a role? Dig deep to find out the things that drive your buyer to work hard toward their goals.
- What are your big picture wishes, hopes, and dreams?
In addition to narrowing in on specific goals, you should talk to your buyer about the big picture. What do they wish for in life? What are their hopes for their family? What dreams do they have for their children, household or community?
Understanding the wishes and hopes of your buyer can help you craft a more poignant message in your marketing. This type of message to market match is how you tap into the hearts of your buyer and get their attention.
- What are their primary pain points?
Everyone faces a struggle now and then. What challenges does your buyer experience? No matter how big or small these pain points might be, finding out what’s standing in your buyers way of success will help you understand how your business might be able to help.
- What keeps your buyer up at night?
We all have them – those nagging 3 a.m. thoughts that can’t seem to leave our minds. What keeps your buyer awake in the wee hours of the morning?
This is perhaps the most important question to ask. It exposes the true feelings and frustrations that your buyer wants solved.
Asking your buyers these questions is just the start. You then have to compile these answers into specific buyer personas to shape your marketing messages in a way that resonates with your customer. This is a tactic used by high growth companies because it works.
To learn more about how you can market like a high growth company and put the answers to these interview questions in motion, download our free report, “The Ultimate Marketing Guide for High Growth Companies.”