The expert advice above on buyer personas provides a great starting point for determining who is your customer. Take things even further with the below step-by-step guide to creating a meaningful, accurate buyer persona.
- Research your audience. Gather information on your current customers through Google Analytics and social media insights. Use that to identify demographic trends that tell you more about your audience. Better yet, figure out which social media platforms your customers use most often. Enlist the help of social media listening and sentiment analysis tools to see what customers on these platforms need.
- Research your competitors. Several online tools can help you gather (or at least approximate) the above data for your competitors as well. Pulsar and Similarweb are two great examples for performing a competitive analysis.
- Enlist your team’s help in determining needs. Demographic data is only the start when determining customer needs. Team members who actually correspond with customers and prospects might have insights you can only dream of obtaining from data. Maybe your sales and customer service reps have noticed certain trends in customer wants and needs. Consider meeting with team members to learn more about what they’re seeing firsthand.
- Assess your product’s benefits. Ask yourself, “How do my company’s standout benefits help the customer? What is it about our product that gives our audience what they need?” Try to distill your answer to just a sentence. Remember that your products and services may be different things to different people.
- Combine the above into an approximation of a person. The result is your buyer persona, the best theoretical reflection of who is your customer. A buyer persona might be a millennial professional who goes to bars twice a week, lives alone in a major city and uses public transit. Your alcohol-free wine brand helps him enjoy happy hour with a major perk: He can navigate the subways back home without getting disoriented. You may have several buyer personas representing different types of customers, all of whom use your products and services for their own reasons.