When you open a business, your goal is to become the go-to resource for your community. You noticed that there was a need for a product or service in an area and you opened a store that would offer a solution to the neighborhood. But not every business caters to every customer. When you start promoting your store, you need to target the customers who will be most likely to visit your business.Your advertisements need to be directed to a certain type of customer, so it’s helpful to think of your dream customer, or your buyer persona. This is the customer who you think will be likely to visit your store often. The person you want to reach with your marketing message.
So what questions can you ask yourself when you start to build your buyer persona? For instance, let’s look at the type of questions an owner of an office supply store may ask themselves when building their buyer persona.
- Describe who your customer is. What demographic information do they fulfill?
- What is their occupation? What are they responsible for?
- On an average day, what are their daily goals at their job?
- What are their daily and weekly challenges? What can you offer them to relieve this pressure?
- What resources do they use when they look for information?
- How can you make their experience as a customer as easy as possible?
- How can you improve your services or products for this customer?
Like any great novel, you have to describe who they are and their experience level in their position. Then you begin to focus on building their narrative. As you write out the description of a consumer, you’ll start to find the answers to how you can successfully market your business.
For example, as the owner of an office supply store, you can build a buyer persona for the office managers in the area who need to procure supplies for their team. They will need an accurate inventory of their materials they have on hand, to be aware of when they need to be restocked. They need product inventory and ordering to be as effortless as possible, so they probably do a lot of it online or with a digital project manager. They look for promotions in print publications, are open to receiving email marketing messages, and by meeting with you at live events. They want you to offer them competitive prices and a more accurate way to manage their resources.
The work in building a buyer persona doesn’t end with just one customer though. Think about ALL the customers who come into your business. Not every one of them falls into the same type of category. Building multiple personas will help you recognize and target as many potential consumers as you can.
For instance, as the owner of a office supply store, think about the families with children in school who need to buy back-to-school supplies. These customers will be looking for a resource to buy these items every year, from when their children are in second grade through college. Your buyer persona for them may look like this.
A parent is looking to stock up on their family’s school supplies for the year. They want to make sure that their children have enough materials available to them so they can do their coursework with as few distractions as possible. They don’t want to be driving to a store the night before a project is due, because their child needs to turn in a report in a three ring binder. At the start of every semester, they are looking for a local business that offers the best deals on the products they need for the year. They’ll be looking at advertisements in newspapers, promotional announcements in the mail, and also doing web searches to show what store sells all of these items. You need to communicate that your business is a resource for their family.
Buyer personas are created to help you attract different types of consumers to your business. Once you have created the different consumer characteristics, you can be better prepared to communicate with them. Using the story you’ve written, you can be aware of what a certain customer will need. Your marketing strategy for each persona will differ, but by having more than one persona you can increase the number of people who may visit your store. Building a persona allows you to think about who is going to visit your business and how they will find it.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.