Buyer personas are an integral part of customer research. They help you pin down the specific habits, pain points, and desires of your target audience so that you’re able to land sales more successfully and cater to your audience more efficiently.
These buyer personas are fictional and represent categories of real buyers that you have, developed with research and data. In this article, we’ll break down how to build buyer personas and how they differ whether you’re a B2B business or a B2C business.
Why do I need to develop Buyer Personas?
Marketing is all about the customer, so if you don’t know who your customer is - where they’re from, what they’re frustrations are, or what their goals and desires are - then you won’t know what they need or even if your brand is for them.
The value that you bring to your audience will be greatly enhanced if you do your homework and learn who your ideal customer is. If you’re a B2B business, you’ll be able to tailor your offerings specific to each company. If you’re a B2C business, knowing your ideal customer will maximize your marketing efforts and put you ahead of your competitors.
From both perspectives, selling with buyer personas in place will put you in the position to give your customers what they need without them telling you!
What do Buyer Personas Look Like?
B2C Business Persona
If you’re a B2C business, you are selling a product and your customers are individuals with specific needs.
Above is an example of a B2C buyer persona taken from blogalexa.com. This persona is specific to a shoe business. Brandi has a very specific problem when shoe shopping because of the width of her feet.
Personas are meant to be very specific so that they seem like real people, that way you can predict their behaviors and desires. Here are the points that you want to focus on when creating your buyer persona : gender, age, profession, salary, frustrations, desires, and location.
You can see that there is also a brief background of why Brandi is frustrated with shoe shopping and the lack of selection she feels is out there for her. This detail of the persona represents a group of shoppers in the shoe market.
By being specific about these details you can better strategize who to market your product to and how to advertise it.
B2B Business Persona
Creating buyer personas for your B2B business may not be as straightforward as it is for B2C businesses. If you’re a B2B business you’re selling a service to another business not just one specific person and your proposal may be passing through multiple people,
“A study by Demandbase found that in around 79% of B2B purchases, anywhere between one to six people are involved.” For this reason, individuality is not as important with buyer personas in B2B marketing, the motivation for buying is completely different.
B2C buyers are more likely to make impulsive purchases based on emotions according to an article on rightmixmarketing.com,
“B2B customers are part of a larger group or team working for the same company, as opposed to individuals. B2C customers, on the other hand, are the exact opposite and make individual decisions within their own lives and based on their own experiences.”
As a B2B business, Seedling builds our buyer personas based on CEO’s and project managers of companies that we would sell to.
We are providing a service that helps other businesses grow and thrive so we focus on the persona's professional life rather than their personal life, unlike B2C buyer personas.
We find these topics to be most useful in our buyer personas: education, age, social media preferences, a preferred method of communication, and obstacles in the way of their professional goals. Knowing all of these details help us to be more attractive to prospective clients and makes it easier for them to work with us.
No matter what type of business you are in, buyer personas are useful to gain clarity about what your customers need and how you can make their lives easier with your product or service.
Once you have your buyer personas in place, you’ll be able to sell with more confidence. But remember that times are always changing and so are people, so your buyer personas should change as well! Be sure to designate time every quarter to ensure that your personas are up to date and current.