buyer persona 101

29 Apr SMB Buyer Persona 101

This past week here in Stockholm, some friends of mine over at Nordic Agency (they’re our office neighbors) shared an excerpt from a memo regarding 10 writing tips from the infamous David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world’s largest and most successful marketing communications agencies. Ogilvy has widely been hailed as the, “The Father of Modern Advertising” and when it came to communication, he was a proponent of,

“using their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”

David Ogilvy is someone who most certainly understood the concept of a buyer persona and the importance of developing them. Without taking the time to develop your buyer personas, you’ll be stuck communicating your brand on a very general level; meaning, you won’t be able to, “use their language,” because you won’t have a good idea of who they (your audience segments) really are.

A big part of the reason more and more small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) are adopting marketing automation software is so that they can sharpen their communication in hopes of driving in more business, but without taking the time to develop your buyer personas you’ve essentially sold yourself short. It’s as if you’ve purchased a fancy new bow and arrow to shoot into a dense forest in hopes of nailing your target; in other words, develop your targets if you’re going to successfully reach them with your fancy new tool.

Lets take a look at how you as an SMB can begin developing your buyer persona’s, even if it means you start with just one:

The What

In short, buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your real-life, ideal customers based upon data gathered from your existing clients, interviews of prospective clients and various other forms of market research.

The Why

Buyer personas help you as a business to distill or isolate key findings on the people who will be interacting with your brand. This includes behavioral patterns, key motivations or goals – things that may vary when you take other analytical factors into account.

Once developed, you can use your buyer personas to avoid sending the same messages to your entire database and instead begin segmenting according to your personas; the result of this is that you now have a select few different messages that match up very well with each particular persona they were crafted towards. This is what getting personal and relevant is all about: increasing relevance and delivering more value with each and every communication touchpoint.

The How

When it comes to creating buyer personas for your company, start small and aim to develop 1-3 personas. You can curate your personas as you progress in order to dig deeper and deliver more relevant messages to your target audience, but don’t overwhelm yourself to start.

Here are some ways to begin gathering the information you’ll need to craft accurate buyer personas for your business:

  • Utilize your web forms on different pages throughout your website to capture important information on your visitors over time
  • Dive into your lead analysis & reporting features to make note of how visitors are finding your website, what they’re doing when revisiting your website, how they’re consuming your content and more; this allows you to take a bird’s eye view of the digital footprints left on your website over time
  • Have a sit down with your sales reps and take notes on some of the most commonly heard objections, pain-points and the likes surrounding their leads. This will help you to refine your messaging across various channels
  • Survey or interview existing clients as well as prospective clients and those outside of your network that may fit the bill to see what valuable insights you can gather to factor into your personas

This should be enough for you to get a good start.

To help you even further, we’ve included a free template for you to download and begin crafting your buyer personas. Feel free to print this out and put pen to paper!


Leadsius SMB Buyer Persona Template