Magnify Your Marketing with Brilliant Buyer Personas [Plus Free Guide]

If you went outside and started shouting about your company’s product at the top of your lungs, chances are you would be ignored. People would shuffle by you on the sidewalk, avoiding eye contact and trying to pretend that you don’t exist.

But if you speak to just one person and connect with them on a personal level, they’ll listen to what you have to say.

By identifying the core needs, hopes, dreams, and challenges of the members of your audience, buyer personas allow you to have those one-on-one conversations—hundreds at a time. Not only that, segmenting your audience into specific groups of people can hugely amplify the marketing you’re already doing.

But as with most marketing, that only happens if you do it well.

The difference between good and bad buyer personas

When most people think about buyer personas, they think about basic characteristics: title, education, income, age. Then they slap an alliterative nickname on the info and call it a day.

That information is necessary, but not what makes a useful persona. A more effective buyer persona tells you exactly what your audience struggles with and is reaching toward. By defining their challenges, you can guide your marketing efforts and messaging for maximum appeal. You should be able to name five key challenges for each segment of your audience.

Even once you understand basic challenges, there’s more work to do. How does your audience talk about those challenges? What are the words, the exact language, that they use? If you come to your audience and say “our innovative solution integrates with your existing capabilities to optimize your everyday laboratory processes,” you’ll likely be met by stares that say “so what?” If, on the other hand, you approach your audience with a value clearly stated in their own language, (e.g. “save time running samples”) they’ll be more likely to hear you out.

You don’t need to give up on jargon where it’s appropriate—it makes sense to say “throughput” when talking to scientists and “opt-ins” when addressing marketers. Speak like your audience to build trust.

How to deeply understand your audience

Knowing that you need to understand your audience is one thing, but how can you actually dig into their deepest needs?

Interviews: The simplest way to learn what people want is to ask them. Hop on the phone with customers to figure out what needs your product is addressing.
Data: Where are your customer touch points? Which channels do most of your customers come from? Answering those questions gives you insight into what your audience wants.
Sales: Your sales team talks to customers all the time. Chances are they have a pretty good sense of your audience’s biggest concerns.

These methods, and others, can help you develop clear buyer personas that magnify your marketing. If you want help defining your audience segments, check out our free, step-by-step guide (complete with templates) to developing your own buyer personas.

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