What is a Buyer Persona and why is it important?
Knowing your customer is a key ingredient in the formula to success. The better you know your target audience, the better you know what you can do for them. But, how do you do that? With the help of a buyer persona!
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona helps you better understand your customer. It is a detailed description of a model-buyer, with name and face, based on research done on buying behaviour. Tony Zambito, the founder of the buyer persona, defined it as follows: "Buyer personas are research-based archetypal (modelled) representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behaviour, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions. Today, I now include where they buy as well as when buyers decide to buy."
A good buyer persona provides insight into:
- who your customers are;
- what they are trying to achieve;
- what information they need;
- what underlies their behaviour;
- how they behave (online) and on which channels they are active;
- how they think;
- what the buying process looks like;
- why they make certain (purchasing) decisions;
- what motivates them to choose your product;
- what their pain points are (that you can solve with your product or service).
Important to remember, a buyer persona does not describe one specific target audience, but characterises the corresponding (buying) behaviour and common goals of a group of people.
What is the difference between a target audience and buyer persona?
In today's marketing landscape, you frequently encounter terms like target audience and buyer persona. Many people wonder: "Aren't these terms the same?" Although a buyer persona and target audience may seem to have many similarities at first glance, there is indeed a distinction between the concepts. We will explain this difference.
A target audience is a group of people or customers you want to approach, to draw attention to your product or service. You often describe target audiences using averages. Factors you map out are:
- Family situation
So, as the word target audience indicates, this is a group rather than a single customer. You have roughly a picture of who they are, but not why they might be interested in your product.
With a buyer persona, you go a lot deeper into the specific person you want to reach. Of course, the persona's profile is important, but in addition, you also delve into what motivates that person, what makes them happy or makes them sad or angry. And last but not least, how does that person buy?