If you have done any type of SMB Marketing, chances are you have heard the phrase "buyer persona." Buyer personas seem like the hot phrase for the past 2-3 years. Whey are they so vital to marketing your business?
What is a buyer persona?
[bay.er.per.so.nuh] is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Market research and your current customer knowledge are key factors to the buyer persona. The buyer persona is your target audience and not just a random prospect.
This helps to chase waste out of marketing and helps you to target your ideal customer.
First Steps in Marketing
There is no point in marketing to a general audience unless you just want to saturate the market. That costs a lot of money and time with little SMB Marketing results.
The first step in any marketing journey is to identify your ideal customer (target audience). Here is how the buyer personal helps your business:
- It unifies your marketing and sales solutions.2. It helps you better understand your ideal customers.3. It helps you to create better more focused content. 4. It makes your website 2-5 times more effective.
The Sales Problem
I remember when I got my first computer in 1992. It was a laptop with an active matrix color screen. It cost a lot of money back then and was cutting edge. In those days, the Internet was just getting popular. The old fashion tactics of outbound marketing still worked like a charm too. Direct mail, newspaper ads, radio, television all screaming buy me, buy me.
Well, fast forward 20 years and the Internet is everywhere and attached to everything. Customers go to the Internet first to find solutions to their problems. This simple action is why there is a fundamental shift in how people buy things today. Consumers are over informed, and when they are ready to buy, they know more than the salesperson.
Authority in Sales
Because consumers have more knowledge today, the authority in the sales process has shifted. It has shifted the control away from the sales person and to the customer. The sales person now has to earn trust with the customer to get them to buy. The customer has to feel like the sales person has the right solutions that solve their problem. Enter in the "buyer journey".
The Buyers Journey
Every person that buys anything today goes through a process called the buyers journey. This journey starts with the awareness stage. The customer is aware that there is a problem, need or want in their lives. Now they go searching on the Internet to find possible solutions. This is called the "Awareness Stage." As a marketer, you are going use your buyer persona to attract your ideal customer that is searching. You use tactics and content like:
- SEO/SEM2. Blogging3. Site Pages4. Social Media5. Mobile Responsiveness
These are some of the fundamental things that attract customers. Your content rich website gets connected to your ideal buyer through the search engines. And if you have enough engaging content, viola, you have a conversion into a visitor (a prospect).
This is the beginning of the "buyers journey" and one of the best methods of converting prospects. The end game for everyone that has a business website online it to grow. To grow your business by attracting your ideal customer. You can't do that buy screaming "BUY ME" all the time to your prospects. That is a marketer-centric approach, and it is dead! The new approach is customer centric. Earn their trust by educating them and showing them you are an expert in your field. Then nurture them down the buyer journey into a sale.
There are 3 other stages in the buyer's journey that I have not talked about. Here are the stages:
Remember always start with the buyer persona! You don't want any customer, you want the ideal customer.