Creating Buyer Personas To Beat Your Competition

Customer Personas

If you are following my “12 Steps to Begin Developing and Executing a Basic Digital Marketing Strategy,” you’ve defined a customer challenge, tested hypotheses, conducted voice of customer, analyzed your competition, and developed customer outcomes. Now it’s time to create customer personas, also known as buyer personas.

Consider your resource restrictions and requirements

First, you have limitations to consider when defining your target customer. Don’t try and service the entire market if you are just starting out. Find a solid niche. Prepare to target and serve them well. If you succeed in a niche, you can expand into larger markets with more offerings at a later date.  

Growing your customer base beyond your capabilities sounds like an awesome scenario. Your company and product are so damn good that you have too many customers. I wouldn’t want to stop or slow anyone down from growth. However, there’s a fine line here. If you cannot serve your customers, they will likely leave or the competition will swoop in to save the day. Also, if your product cannot handle the load, it may crash. You can do some early testing and forecasting to help prepare for future growth.

Beat your competition by developing your customer personas from an alternative perspective

The more unique a persona, the easier it will be to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your competition might define customers using demographical information. If this is the case, create a customer persona based on psychographic data.

For example:

Competition’s Persona with demographic driver - Millennials, based in NYC or the Bay Area, working in the tech industry, highly educated, w/ high disposable income. 

Your Persona with psychographic driver - Individual contributors and managers in high tech, that enjoy autonomy, value personal growth, have limited time, but use e-based offerings to continue their education and learning. 

Look at your customer’s behaviors, values, & beliefs. Where do they purchase (Channels)? When do they purchase (Seasonal, Quarterly, Inspirationally)?

Who are they (Managers, CEOs, Mothers, Fathers, etc.)?

Create Customer Personas from your Customer / Market Challenge, Competitive Analysis, Voice of Customer, and any other data

You will tailor content based on your customer persona and position within the marketing funnel. We’ll discuss content strategy in a later post.

To create a customer persona, fill in the information below. 

  • Background – General Background information

  • Demographics – Age, Sex, Location, etc

  • Psychographics – Behaviors, Beliefs, Level of Organization, etc.

  • Pain Points/Challenges – What are the pain points and challenges they are experiencing?

  • Goals and Objectives – What are their G&O’s? How will they use or consume your offering?

  • Needs, Wants, Desires – Based on your VOC, what are their needs, wants, and desires?

  • Quotes – During your VOC, did you capture any good quotes? Do they fit a potential persona? Or, can you create a descriptive quote that generalizes the persona?

  • Product - In general, describe how your offering will help the persona

  • Outcomes – What is the measurable result a customer will experience when they purchase?

  • Marketing Message – Take your description from above and turn it into marketing messages. More formal and a bit longer than the description of how your product will help. How would you describe your product, service, or offering to your target customer?

  • Elevator Pitch – What’s your 30-second elevator pitch to get in the door?

  • Common Objections – Brainstorm, list out any common objections and how to overcome them. If you don’t have any yet, try to find a few you think might come up. As you gain more information, fill this out. Begin creating FAQs with answers.

Create a descriptive name and share each Customer Persona

Create a name for the persona. Add a profile picture that helps visualize each Customer Persona. Share each Customer Persona with a small, but cross-functional set of colleagues. If you are just starting a company, share these personas with friends, family, or a mentor.

Gather feedback and refine your Customer Personas

Once you’ve shared your Customer Personas, ask for feedback. Determine if you need to refine anything. Try not to overcomplicate the process. Prioritize the feedback and only refine as required. 

Next week we’ll discuss a website with a blog. After that, you’ll begin developing a content strategy aligned to your customer personas. This will allow you to target prospects and retain any current customers. I welcome any feedback. Don’t forget to visit my blog or sign up from my newsletter.