Marketing segmentation is no longer just a content strategy. It’s becoming an essential part of doing business in the digital arena.
To do this effectively, you need to know who your customers are and who is most likely to respond to your marketing messages. That’s where buyer personas come into play.
What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas are brief descriptions of the type of person that you are selling your products or services to. In most cases, unless you sell a single product, you’ll have more than one persona.
Ideally, these descriptions should be 100 words or fewer and cover such aspects as gender, age, geographic region, income, and attitude.
For instance, if you have a small boutique that sells quality lipstick, your buyer persona might be women ages 35-65 who live within 25 miles of your store, who are more concerned with quality than price, and who have a household income of $45,000 or more. That doesn’t mean that you won’t sell lipstick to men for their wives or to teenagers, but that’s not where you want to concentrate the bulk of your marketing efforts.
Why is tightly defining your personas important?
Defining your buyer personas is important so that you get the marketing message to the people who are most likely to purchase from you, without wasting your time and effort on those who have no interest in your products and may even be irritated if you keep bombarding them with sales pitches.
How to define your buyer personas
1. Start with broad strokes, then get narrower. The best way to define your buyer personas is to start broadly and get progressively narrower. For example, you may start with women who live in your area, and then define the ideal age, income and attitude.
2. Look to solve problems. The ideal buyer persona will also have a concern or a problem that your product or service can solve. Using the lipstick example, perhaps your lipstick lasts all day, solving the problem of having to re-apply lipstick throughout the work day.
3. Be prepared for change. It’s a rare buyer persona that doesn’t change over time as your neighborhood, your product, and the competition changes. Be prepared to adjust your personas periodically.
Don’t waste your time and marketing dollars simply throwing your marketing messages to the wind and hoping that they will attract the type of customers you want.
Sit down and define your buyer personas, so you can target these customers directly with your marketing—without wasting effort on people who will never buy from you.
Sandy M has been a full-time freelance writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in dozens of print and Web publications, including About.com, Mahogany Magazine, Huffington Post, and USAToday.com. She is also the author of two books about Cleveland history and is researching a third book.