Recently, customers have become incredibly savvy and demanding. Their vigilance can no longer be put to sleep with a mass of generalized and useless information. Now only quality and targeted content can find the key to their hearts. And in order to create it, it is necessary to have a clear idea about the "consumer person".
- Structure of the purchasing person
- 1. Demographic and firm indicators
- 2. Pain points
- 3. Priorities
- 4. Values
- 5. Search habits
- 6. Individualizing factors
- 7. Psychographic characteristics
- How to create a customer profile?
- Mistakes to avoid when creating a customer profile
- Error 1. You are asking the wrong questions.
- Error 2. You are creating too many customer account profiles
- Error 3. You show excessive subjectivity
- Let's sum up
What is a "buying person"?
A purchasing person is a clear profile of your company's ideal customer. By this is meant a client who is in urgent need of your product and shows sympathy for your company. A customer person is a regular and reliable customer who will strongly praise your company in front of your friends and acquaintances.
Adel Revella, an eminent consumer research expert, interprets this concept as “the image of a real person formed on the basis of a survey of current customers.” If you correctly create a customer profile and start using it in practice, you can easily turn visitors to your site into leads, and leads into customers.
The structure of the purchasing person
The profile of the purchasing person of each company must include the following 7 elements:
- Demographic and proprietary indicators
- Pain points
- Search habits
- Individualizing factors
- Psychographic characteristics
Consider each of these elements in more detail.
1. Demographic and firm indicators
Demographic indicators are basic information about your ideal client: his age, gender, place of residence, etc. Brand names are the size and specialization of his company. Corey Aridon, the author of the articles on the HubSpot blog, argues that demographic data are an excellent starting point for building a customer profile, because it is relatively easy to determine using current database or customer relationship management software.
2. Pain points
Pain points mean customer problems that are so serious that in order to solve them, they are forced to purchase the goods or services of a certain company. To determine them, you must answer the following question: "For what reason does a purchasing person need your technologies or developments?" Perhaps this is due to an important event in her life or the desire to circumvent their competitors. In any case, you should know how your company can benefit potential customers.
Is the budget of your clients limited, or are they willing to spend huge amounts of money to impress their friends? Do you often sell your products to subordinates who want to please their picky bosses? Or do they often buy them for some other needs? By defining priorities, you can create adequate marketing materials. For example, if your clients have no budget problems, you can focus on utility and other factors that are crucial to them.
Are your ideal clients active environmentalists? Do they strive for the rapid expansion of their company? It is extremely important to consider the values of customers separately from their priorities, since they affect the overall picture. Knowing exactly how your company can help clients realize their dreams - whether it be reducing monthly expenses on products or increasing productivity at work - you can choose the most effective methods to promote your products on the Internet.
5. Search habits
Do your clients spend every free minute on the Internet, or are the concepts "social media" and "search engines" new to them? The simplest ways to determine the search habits of your customers are using quantitative site metrics, in particular, identifying sources of referral traffic, as well as identifying the keywords that customers most often find your website. Ideally, your research should be carried out using analytics tools that allow you to determine how your site visitors, who later become customers, find it in a search engine and on which pages spend the most time.
6. Individualizing factors
What is the difference between the purchasing person of your company and a 27-year-old woman who organizes events and dreams of opening her own business? It is sometimes difficult to determine why some potential customers who are suitable for you on a demographic basis make a purchase, while others are not. In this case, you may need the help of your colleagues from the sales department. Learn from them what methods they use to detect hot leads.
7. Psychographic characteristics
What do your clients do on weekends: go to nature or stay in the city to go shopping or to local coffee shops? Are they interested in new technologies or show complete indifference to them? In a nutshell, psychographic characteristics are the attitudes, beliefs, and personality traits of clients. They are at the junction of psychology and advertising. At their core, psychographic characteristics are abstract, but this does not mean that they can be ignored. By understanding how your products can fit into your customers' leisure time, you can increase the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
How to create a customer profile?
The first step towards the formation of a purchasing person is a survey of potential buyers and customers. To do this, you can use the already existing customer base, if one is available, or find the right people on social networks and on thematic forums.
At this stage it is important to observe the following rule: you need to talk with both the most satisfied and the most dissatisfied customers in order to get a holistic view of the factors that give your customer personality unique features. Communicating with customers who have received not very good impressions of your product or service will help you to improve relations with them, as well as better understand how your products are perceived by. Dissatisfied customers may, for example, claim that your product was much more difficult to use than indicated in the instructions; that you are not using environmentally friendly packaging, etc. All these factors can significantly affect the direction of your activity. Interviewing customers with different levels of satisfaction, you can more accurately compile the profile of your customer.
Give your customers a powerful incentive to participate in your research. For example, a discount on a specific product or a small but useful gift. Tell survey participants the approximate duration of the meeting, the problems that interest you the most, and convince them that you will respect the confidentiality of personal information. It is not recommended to take away from clients a lot of time for a survey: fifteen to twenty minutes will be quite enough. The following are sample questions that you can ask survey participants:
- How do you search for information on the Internet?
- Do you trust online product reviews?
- Do you use social media? What social network do you prefer?
- How much time do you spend on the Internet? Do you go online using a smartphone or tablet?
- What is your position and what are your career goals?
- What skills, knowledge and tools are required for you to succeed in your work?
- What are the most serious difficulties you face at work and at home?
- What blogs, news sites and social media do you use on a regular basis?
- What's your education?
- What are your favorite brands and products?
- Do you prefer to communicate by email, phone or in person?
- What training tools do you prefer: videos, webinars or e-books?
When asking questions, it is extremely important to concentrate on obtaining information that is difficult to identify using web analytics tools. You need to use the time to communicate with customers productively to see a more holistic picture of their attitudes, values and habits. Use this information along with metrics and information obtained from the service and sales department to create a document that describes in detail how an ideal customer can find your company and give preference to it.
Mistakes to avoid when creating a customer profile
When used properly, a customer profile will help you transform your content marketing strategy and company. However, creating it is not so easy. According to Adel Revella, the biggest mistake you can make is to ignore the information received during the conversation with customers. Of course, employees from the sales and service department have extensive knowledge about the purchasing person of your company. However, if you want to get more reliable information, you simply cannot do without customer surveys.
Consider other errors that may distort the purchasing person profile of your company.
Error 1. You are asking the wrong questions.
If you take full advantage of the time that customers give you, you will receive invaluable information. You will know your customers better than your competitors. In addition, you will have the opportunity to use such marketing techniques that will capture the hearts and minds of suitable people. Talking with your customers, be careful. Do not ask them questions that can confuse them or annoy them. Try to avoid professional terms, specialized and too personal questions. During the survey, clients should feel that you value their time and opinion, and not just consider them as subjects.
Error 2. You are creating too many customer account profiles
Many large companies make up several customer profiles. However, if you are just starting profiling, then trying to influence 15 different types of clients may be overwhelming for you. Concentrate on one image of an ideal customer and remember that when creating it you need to take into account both the information obtained as a result of a customer survey, and the marketing and marketing strategy of your company.
Error 3. You show excessive subjectivity
Another grave mistake in drawing up a customer profile is a manifestation of subjectivity. It may seem to you that the clients chose your company because you are engaged in social activities or create high-quality technical documentation. However, all these assumptions in most cases have nothing to do with reality. If you create a customer profile, based only on your personal opinion, your marketing strategy will soon collapse.
Let's sum up
It’s no secret that clients and their needs should always be in the center of a successful marketing strategy. The profile of the customer person just helps you find the way to the heart of potential buyers. This model reflects all the individual characteristics and characteristics of your ideal client. Taking them into account, you can choose the most effective marketing strategy. As a result, the number of your customers will grow rapidly day after day.
Translation and adaptation of Tatiana Lyubarets material. Building an Epic Buyer Persona Profile: a Totally Comprehensive Guide.