Who’s Your Ideal Prospect?

Cutting through the clutter of information that is presented to consumer and business buyers is a challenge. Doing so requires us to hone in on the exact customer that we are looking to serve. Marketers talks to finding your “customer avatar” – a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. When complete, it will help you understand the motivating beliefs, fears and secret desires that influence your customer’s buying decisions. Creating a buyer persona helps you hone in on this ideal customer.

A buyer persona (a.k.a customer avatar or customer persona) is the single most important factor for effective marketing. A buyer persona is a vibrant profile of your company’s ideal customer. This should capture the type of person with an incredible need for your product and a love for your company; who will remain a loyal client for years, and tell all of their friends about how remarkable you are. A buyer persona can help you identify the forms of messaging which will convert the right website visitors into leads, and leads into customers.

“By establishing a buyer persona profile, companies of all sizes can improve their targeting.”

Creating your Buyer Persona

The following elements should make an appearance in your persona profile:

  • Demographics or Firmographics. What are the basic facts about your ideal customer, including age, gender, and geographic location? If you’re a B2B company, how big are the companies you’re trying to acquire? What industries are they in?
  • Pain Points. Why does your buyer persona need your solution in the first place? A pain point is exactly what it sounds like: a problem or need that’s causes a customer to search for branded products or services and spend money in order to solve it. Whether customers are driven to your company by a major life event or a need to prove a point to their peers, you should know how your company is used to solve problems.
  • Priorities. Do your customers tend to be budget shoppers, or do they worry about impressing their social circle? Do you sell to executive assistants with a need to please a particularly choosy boss? Priorities allow you to create marketing materials that cut to the chase.
  • Values. Are your ideal customers environmentally-conscious? Do they aspire to grow their company quickly? It’s critical to address values separately from priorities, because they affect how your company should define the bigger picture. Being able to clearly define how your company will help your consumers achieve their wants, whether that’s saving money on their monthly grocery budget or performing their job more efficiently, should guide your company’s presentation.
  • Research Habits. Are your customers engaged with the web every waking moment, or are they just starting to warm up to the idea of social media and search engines? The best way to determine research habits is through quantitative website metrics, specifically referral traffic sources and the keywords driving the highest volume of search to your website. Ideally, this research should be performed with the help of closed-loop analytics, which track how website visitors who become customers find your website, and the pages they engage w