The Importance of Buyer Personas

Today I attended a Omaha Chamber Academy session on social media. It was conducted by an acquaintance, Kim Mickelsen, principal at Bozell.  She did a wonderful job of doing a high-level overview of social media, what, where, why and how, to a packed room of people.  I would guess many where there because social media is such a hot topic now days.  The audience was probably there to help them understand what social media is and why they should get engaged in the conversations that are taking place about their companies, products or industries.  That is no easy task and near impossible to learn in a 60-minute presentation.

I am not going to cover social media today, since my purpose is to back track a bit further than the listening stage of developing a social media marketing program; which is the first thing you need to do before stepping your big toe into the social media waters.  Really you need to understand your customer and buyers (i.e., prospects). 

Today, more than ever before, the customers and buyers are out there using the Internet to find solutions to their problems. They "Google" this phrase, or "Bing" that term.  Trouble is do you really know what the phrases and terms they are using actually are?  You can guess, but you really are too close to the forest to see the trees.  Time after time I see web sites designed around your products and services. Nobody cares about your products and services except you.

I repeat…

Nobody cares about your products and services except YOU.

Your customers already know you and how to find you, so building a persona on customers, doesn’t make a lot of sense.  You want to create new customers of people that do not know you, but they are searching for solutions to problems that perhaps your  – yep – products and services can solve.  Point is you don’t build your web site navigation around your products and services. You build your web site navigation around solutions to problems of your target market.

Doing the research up front to find out what problems "buyers" are search for is crucial to understanding the "keywords and phrases" they are using. Buyer persona research helps you understand this untapped market, who they are, what they do, where they hang out and how they solve their problems using the Internet.

Two people I can highly recommend are David Meerman Scott and Adele Revella, and their blog posts are: WebInkNow.com and BuyerPersona.com (also noted in my blog roll). Both of whom I have met through Pragmatic Marketing and have great admiration for. I encourage you to read what they have to say and you will be introduced to a new way of thinking. Fortunately I had the pleasure of meeting them both and attending their seminars.

Bottom line is all the marketing strategies and tactics in the world are useless unless you first understand who you are trying to reach.  Buyer persona research will help you discover the words, phrases they use and where you can get engaged in conversations with them. The keywords you gather should be used in your web site home page, and in every other electronic and non-electronic marketing vehicle to resonate with your market and increase your sales.  Yes, you can still increase your sales even during economic downturns as people and companies are still buying and solving problems.  Question is, can your company be found?

About Jeff Quandt

Jeff Quandt is an Inbound and Digital Marketing Strategist and owns On-Q Marketing LLC. He helps businesses get found in a Google Search bringing prospects to business' website to generate leads.

Then through Inbound Marketing tactics qualify the lead, nurture the lead, and ultimately converting the lead/prospect into a customer.

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