Marketing has no one definition that allows to fully uncover the meaning of the activity. One thing that is certain is that marketers try their best to predict and influence the behavior of the customer so that their money ends up in the right pocket. Marketers have developed various techniques, models, and frameworks to simplify their duty, but the journey never ends, for there is always something more to learn and do. One of the novelties in the marketing field is the concept of a buyer persona, the creation of which can assist marketers in attracting and retaining bigger audiences. With this concept in mind, it is time to introduce the best marketing advice you’re forgetting to follow.
What is a buyer persona?
To understand how important the concept of a buyer persona is, you should be decently familiar with it. A buyer persona is often associated with an activity called “customer profiling”. As the term suggests, it implies the creation of the profiles, or personas, of the buyers. It is always easier to approach a person you are familiar with, such as friends, relatives, or bloggers you follow on Instagram. The same principle applies to marketers who want to approach you, the buyer, easier, by knowing people like you better. The typical components of a buyer persona include:
1. The age group
2. Topics you are interested in
3. Media you use the most
4. Media that influences you the most
5. The time frame you are most vulnerable to psychological influence and receiving a marketing message
6. Perceived barriers that stop you from buying a certain product (in order not to repeat the mistakes of other companies)
7. The journey you make before making a purchasing decision (you encounter an idea in the web, you feed your interest in it by reading certain information websites, you analyze a particular set of shops, and apply your criteria for choosing the best option, and more).
The list can go on much longer, limited only by imagination, demands, the field where a marketer operates, and so on.
Why is a buyer persona important for marketing?
As you might have already guessed, such a portrait of a buyer can be extremely handy for any business. It is much easier to make precise and narrowly directed marketing campaigns if the company knows where to strike. Millions of dollars can be saved if a company knows that the majority of luxury phones are purchased after a person gets influenced by billboards with celebrities smiling while holding a particular device. Just invest in celebrity endorsement, and you have made a profitable investment that allows you to reach even wider audiences. While customer profiling and a buyer persona are relatively new terms, the idea was there for many more years. If you are able to think like the person, you want to influence (find a romantic partner, teach somebody, sell a product to somebody), your chances for success increase vastly. A buyer persona and similar concepts might have been invented for the convenience of marketers at finding the information about the topic and efficiently communicating with colleagues. Thus, if you know what a buyer persona is and how to apply it, you significantly increase your chances to get employed as a marketer or succeed at developing your own venture. Speaking of knowing how to apply it, there is a series of simple things to consider when creating buyer personas for the business.
How to create a buyer persona?
First of all, you have to keep in mind that you will likely never have 100% accuracy at predicting how your customer would act if a series of triggers are applied to him/her. Chances are, the person does not know how he/she is going to act if a particular event happens. The person might have an idea, but the world is too unpredictable to be fully accurate in such questions. If it were possible, companies who managed to create the perfect buyer persona would have monopolized the market in a matter of months. Now that you know that mistakes will be made, it is worth setting the limits. A buyer persona might consist of hundreds of traits, attitudes, behavior patterns, and other characteristics. Unfortunately, hundreds of buyer personas which consist of hundreds of characteristics would be of little use to a marketer. Risk must be involved in relying on buyer personas, as being too refined at proposing marketing content to people would likely lead to overly narrow layers of the society.
Moreover, as the personas gain in volume, they get much harder to process by a human mind or a computer (especially neural networks that start to get extremely popular these years). The simpler and accurate the persona is, the better it is for a marketer. The level of randomness in human lives is high, so expecting all the characteristics to align is not worth the resources spent waiting.
So what is the best marketing advice you are forgetting to follow?
Do not perceive humans as units that can be easily and precisely united in predictable groups. On the other hand, try your best to approach the skill of being the best at predicting the behavior and decision-making of the customer. You have to find the balance between precision, risk, and resources you are ready to spend on marketing. The struggle to find the balance is one of the most important tasks of a marketer. Budgets of organizations are not limitless, and buyer personas must be sophisticatedly tailored to be as simple and precise, as overly complex portraits of the customer are not only often unreliable, but too expensive to produce. Find simplicity and elegance in your marketing decisions, for they will save you lots of money you can spend on the development of the business or marketing campaigns on a bigger scale. Do not be overly simplistic, as you might end up with a lot of useless and unreliable information that can lead you to failure if relied on.
So, the advice might appear too vague and hard to execute, but the most important thing is the shift in your mindset after reading the article. Sometimes, marketers will get overly reliant on frameworks, tools, and models at attracting people, which is a mistake. You must learn to aim for minimalism in applying a very useful concept of a buyer persona. This concept deals with the basic principle of communication, in which the best results are achieved with people whose behavior and intentions you can predict. Learn to use it wisely so that you have the ability to operate this knowledge, tailor your marketing campaigns in the best ways possible, and save your organization’s funds at the same time. With the given set of mindset tricks, you will be an extremely valuable person for any brand you desire to work for.
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