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eCommerce Marketer: How Well Do You Know Your Buyer Persona?

Posted by Murray Sye

on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 @ 09:07 AM

eCommerce Marketer  How Well Do You Know Your Buyer

To online retailers, understanding your buyer persona is critical to driving content creation and more. Buyer personas help us all – marketing, sales, product – internalize the ideal customer we're trying to reach and attract. And, of upmost importance, relate to our customers as real humans.

Okay, so if we all agree that buyer personas are vital to your business, how can we ensure that your ideal buyer is a fully developed, thoughtfully cultivated profile?

Although it may sound difficult, it doesn't have to be. You just need to ask the right questions of the right people, and present information in a helpful way.  The result will be that your company can get to know your buyer persona better than the back of their own hand!

As a starting point, ask yourself these 7 questions:

1) Does this buyer know your product?
Content must fit two separate levels of your buyer persona: the neophyte and the sophisticate. You should tailor content to fit one or (preferably) both at all times.


2) They consume other media. What is it?

There are a ton of social media outlets available to broadcast your message, however your buyer most likely favours one over another. The more you know about your buyers and how they receive information, the better you can provide the ideal educational content. If your buyer falls within the ages of 16 and 24 for example, Instagram shows the most promise over Facebook. Deciding on income bracket? 76% of Facebook users have a household income of less than $50,000 while LinkedIn boasts 38% of users with a household income of more than $75,000. Efforts showcasing housewares and home decor would be best spent on Pinterest.


3)
Why do they need your product?
Understanding the specific nature of your buyer personas' needs is particularly important. What is the primary and secondary need for buying your product? Take Netflix as an example: Consumers don't just want choice and convenience; they also want it right away. When they began, Netflix had to respond to their buyer by delivering movies right to the consumer's house.  Now, they deliver directly to their buyer's televisions (and other devices).


4) What impact does your product have?
You have to distinguish why your product is different – what makes your product "zig" when others "zag?" Netflix delivers instantly to your TV, Kindle provides your favorite author instantly while others are still waiting for the hard cover. Define your difference and leverage it.


5) What influences their buying decisions?

Consider that your buyer persona is not the only one doing the buying. Enter B2B products and services. A C-level executive needs a new laptop. Do you think that this C-level executive is searching for a laptop? It's more likely going to be the responsibility of the executive assistant that will do the necessary homework prior to purchase. Who is the actual buyer persona now?


6) What communication channels do they prefer?

Determine how your customers want to be reached before you start reaching out. Some of your buyer personas would prefer not to share their phone number, especially early in the buyer/seller relationship. That doesn't mean you won't have some buyers who are fearful of technology and would rather connect over the phone. You'll reach a young audience through social media channels, while more mature thirties and forties may best be reached through your blog.


7) Questions that separate one persona from another?

Separating buyer personas may be a little difficult unless you know which questions to ask. For instance, a mom and her college-age son may thoroughly enjoy many of the same Netflix shows. In fact, we'll say 90% are the same. How would Netflix know when to recommend something different for the son? By determining age, gender, activities, and maybe even income.


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Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
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