It is relatively easy to understand why big companies bother creating buyer personas. But if you are a solo entrepreneur or a small business, you might be on the fence about what’s in it for you. You already know who your customers are, after all.
However, for the success of any inbound marketing and sales, the development of accurate buyer personas is necessary.
It may seem like developing and using buyer personas is a no-brainer; the contrary is true when you pay close attention to the way most companies present themselves to the consumers. It is typical for businesses to talk about what they do rather than how they can solve their customers’ pains and needs.
Common Challenges on Dealing with Buyer Personas
While buyer personas are incredibly useful in the world of business, many companies have been using them inefficiently and incorrectly.
Familiarizing yourself with the everyday challenges of businesses in dealing with buyer personas help you avoid them while learning ways to maximize their use for the success of your small business.
Rooted in Stereotypes
What marketers tend to forget is that buyer personas are not individual people. Instead of identifying the behavior and needs of the people who they are meant to represent, the majority of buyer personas are based on typical job stereotypes like Salesman Sam.
Rather than being responsibility-based, personas should be objective-based, because ultimately, in the real world, your target audience holds several roles.
Do Not Get Used
Another common challenge businesses need to overcome is not using the buyer personas they have created.
Creating and developing buyer personas is not just for a show. They are crucial since every piece of content your company is going to produce, such as marketing ads, blog contents, and social media posts, is based on them.
By making use of buyer personas, you not only increase market reach, but you also target the right audience.
More on Assumptions
Instead of interviewing customers and prospects to gather useful and actionable data, most companies rely on anecdotal information from team members.
Though it is essential to talk to your sales and production team to get valuable insights into what your customer wants, they offer an incomplete picture of the pains and needs of your target market.
Too Many Personas
The whole idea of creating buyer personas is for your company to create a unique user experience that resonates with the needs of your target audience.
While it is tempting to create too many personas with tons of available data, it does more harm than good. Without a clear delineation where one persona ends and the other begins, your team will have a hard time figuring out how to attract, engage, and convert any of them.
Not Using Negative Personas
It may seem counterintuitive to spend time on research getting to know the people you do not want to target for your business. Nonetheless, by identifying negative personas, your company will not waste time and money marketing and selling to these people.
How to Avoid Making These Mistakes
By Doing Research
Buyer persona development will require going beyond the information shared by your sales and marketing team. That means conducting thorough research is necessary to develop more accurate buyer personas. Apart from interviewing current customers and prospects, researching current marketing trends helps.
With tons of data needing to be analyzed, monitored, and reported, software tools such as the IBM Cognos allows you to meet these demands. Though research can be costly, a strategic and data-driven approach in buyer persona creation will result in more successful sales, thus outweighing the cost.
By Surveying Existing Customers
Asking the right questions to your existing customers and prospects guides your efforts in developing accurate buyer personas. Through actual conversations ━ rather than interviews, because it sounds stiff and formal, you gather more factual and current data of your target audience.
Though Yes-No questions can provide useful data, it does not give you further valuable insights into your audience. Asking open-ended questions to your customers and prospects will likely lead you to a detailed answer. Furthermore, listening well to what they are saying allows you to delve deeper into their needs.
By Sharing Data
With all the efforts put on researching and creating, buyer personas should not just be on paper and stored somewhere until forgotten. Once all personas have been developed, it must be shared with the entire company.
Everyone in the business should be aware of who your ideal customers are, from what they look like, down to the kind of interaction they expect from your company. Making posters of your company’s different buyer personas in one effective way to remind everyone who they should try to design for, market to, and sell to.