10 Questions to Ask When Developing Buyer Personas

One of the first things you learn in Marketing 101 is the importance of knowing who your customers are. Not only is this critical to ensuring that your product or service sufficiently meets their needs, but it’s essential in determining how to best reach them with your marketing efforts. If you don’t know this, you could very well be wasting valuable marketing dollars and not getting the results you could and should be achieving. 

That said, the best way to identify and understand who your target audience is involves creating what’s known as buying personas. These are basically fictional representations of your ideal customer types. Once you’ve created these personas, you can then focus on how to best communicate with each of them for optimum results.

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get started? Great! Let’s go over the 10 key questions you need to ask when developing buying personas for your business.

  1. Who are they? When you were developing your product or service, who did you have in mind? There can and typically will be more than one ideal customer, especially if you offer a variety of items or service options. So, one answer may be women aged 25-40 and another may be men aged 35+.

  2. What do they do? What industry (or industries) are your target customers in? What are their job titles and duties? This is especially important if you’re a B2B company. Now you can start getting a clearer picture of who your fictional customers are. You can even name them if you want, like Susie the Saleswoman or Helen the Homemaker.

  3. What is a typical day in their life like? Walk a proverbial mile in their shoes and think about what these characters encounter throughout a given day. Who do they come into contact with? What decisions do they make on a daily basis? Be the customer (just not in a creepy “single white female” kind of way).

  4. What are their biggest challenges? What are their pain points? This is important because when you have a clear understanding of what your customers are struggling with, you can better position your marketing to demonstrate how your product or service is the ultimate solution.

  5. What’s most important to them? Think about the demographics of each of the buying personas that are beginning to take shape and expand on them to determine what each of them might value the most. Another important area of marketing is finding a way to connect on a personal level. That’s what this question will help you do.

  6. What motivates them? If you’re going to successfully convert prospects into paying customers, you have to figure out what it takes to get them to pull the trigger, so to speak. What’s involved in their buying decisions? What are their goals? What motivates them to take out their wallets and spend their hard-earned money?

  7. Where do they spend their time? If you’re going to reach your audience, you have to hang out where they hang out. If your proposed demographic spends most of their time on Facebook and you’re investing all your money and time into Twitter, you’re missing the mark.

  8. Where do they go for information? Beyond where they spend their down-time, what resources do your prospective buyers use when they conduct research and make their purchasing decisions? Make sure your brand is there as an answer.

  9. What’s important to them when choosing a business with which to work? It’s highly unlikely that you have no competition, so figuring out how to remain a step ahead is essential to your ongoing success. What do your prospects look for in a provider? Is it extensive experience? Is it exceptional service? (Hint: ask your existing customers why they chose you over your competitors.)

  10. What are their most common objectives? Finally, you must have realistic expectations of what objectives your target audience may have to doing business with you. Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to develop a kick-ass response that will overcome most of these hurdles and increase conversion rate.

Now that you’ve asked all the right questions, separate your buying personas and start building marketing campaigns to address the unique needs of each of them. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but trust us, when John and Susie successfully convert thanks to your highly targeted marketing strategies, you’ll be glad you put in the extra time and effort.

Not sure where to start? Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got your back. Give us a call today and let’s discuss how we can help bring your marketing to the next level.