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In defence of the buyer persona

30-second summary:

  • A Buyer persona allows you to access the conversation that’s already taking place in the prospect’s mind, so that when your messaging – your Facebook ad, your Google ad, your email – hits, it strikes like lightning.
  • Personas 100% still have a place in the digital marketer’s toolbox, now more than ever. We’ve never lived in a time or place where you can go and you can get that marketing intelligence so easily.
  • Facebook Insights tools can give you a lot of rich data that help flesh out your buyer persona.
  • There is no feasible alternative to having a buyer persona, and it’s always an ongoing process. It’s not like you do your market research once and then you stop. You need to be a student of the markets and a student of people.

There’s been some talk in the marketing industry over the past couple of years about the death of the buyer persona. Let me make my position very clear: A buyer persona is the single most important approach in digital marketing, full stop.

Sure, it might not be the most sexy, shiny new marketing tool, but it’s the most potent. Once you really know who your prospect is, you can write for them in a much clearer, more focused way.

A Buyer persona allows you to access the conversation that’s already taking place in the prospect’s mind, so that when your messaging – your Facebook ad, your Google ad, your email – hits, it strikes like lightning.

Know your prospect

I spend 80% of my time on researching the prospect, on researching the market, their pains, fears, hopes and dreams. I’m constantly asking myself: What’s keeping them up at night, tossing and turning in a hot sweat?

It’s only by accessing these deep thoughts that I can truly talk to the prospect in a powerful way.

Personas 100% still have a place in the digital marketer’s toolbox, now more than ever. We’ve never lived in a time or place where you can go and you can get that marketing intelligence so easily.

Take advantage of highly accessible insights

We’re living in a time where you can go onto Reddit or Facebook groups and find all of the information that you need on any single market of people. You can use this information to discover exactly what’s going on in that prospect’s mind. Why not take full advantage of it?

On the other side of the coin, if you don’t nail your buyer persona, nothing else matters. It’s not just about getting the creative or the copy right. It’s about knowing how to find the exact bullseye for your market.

It’s about finding the white hot center of gravity that makes your prospects pull out their credit card and buy irrationally and rapidly. The only way that you can do that is by truly understanding your customer, and if you don’t, there won’t be any return on investment.

Facebook Insights tools can give you a lot of rich data that help flesh out your buyer persona.

Let’s say you were researching people who liked MasterChef. You can drill down into all the different page demographics for people who like MasterChef. What age are they? Which suburbs do they live in?

Go beyond the surface

We always like to let the data tell us who exactly is responding well to certain marketing messages, and then once we know it’s females between 25 to 35, we zero in on that niche and we find out everything about 25 to 35-year-old females who have an interest in cooking.

We go really deep down that rabbit hole, and get to know them beyond surface level demographics.

I want to know what they have conversations with themselves about, that they don’t even tell their partner about? That’s how you really know a prospect and that’s how you create marketing campaigns that will explode their minds.

I can’t think of a single situation where using a buyer persona wouldn’t help someone’s marketing goals. On the other hand, I can think of a lot of times when people think they know who their target market is, that they know who their buyer is, but they don’t.

When businesses finally start using data to figure out where they’re getting the highest ROI, it’s usually a very different answer to what the decision-makers have always assumed to be the truth.

There is no feasible alternative to having a buyer persona, and it’s always an ongoing process. It’s not like you do your market research once and then you stop. You need to be a student of the markets and a student of people.

When the market shifts and when your consumers shift, so does the content that you’re writing in order to be in line with where they are right now.

Marketers should never ever be putting any piece of marketing or collateral out there without specifically knowing who their buyer is.

They should be incredibly clear in their mind’s eye, and be front and center of any marketing decision they might have to make. Print it out, put it around your computer screen, set it as your wallpaper: do all you can to ensure you never forget who that person is.

Sabri Suby is the founder and head of growth of digital marketing agency King Kong. In under five years Sabri Suby, 34, has led his high-tech business, valued at $30 million, to flourish into a team of nearly 100 specialists. King Kong was recently announced as Australia’s fastest growing digital marketing agency on the AFR Fast 100 list. His business, King Kong, services and is tightly intertwined with hundreds of small businesses across the US, Australia and 40+ other countries, giving him a unique understanding of emerging challenges for the sector.

The post In defence of the buyer persona appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 4 months ago from www.clickz.com

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