5 Tips on Using Buyer Personas for The Holidays
by Al Gomez
Creating buyer personas is a marketing strategy that aims to help businesses personalize their products, services, and content to ideal customers.
If properly employed, this method can allow companies to better allocate resources, time, and effort, thereby saving precious dollars. Buyer personas are also a great tool to bring out what customers really want. This helps you develop strong marketing campaigns at each stage of the customer life cycle.
Although this marketing strategy is important to have year round, they become crucial during the Holidays. Not only are customers primed for purchasing, they can be highly nitpicky about small details. But by carefully crafting your buyer personas – along with these five tips – you can leverage them to gain bigger profits before the year ends.
How To Effectively Employ Buyer Personas for The Holiday Season
1) Add Negative Personas
If you have developed buyer personas that would help your sales team identify hot leads and possible sales, you should also take the time to recognize negative personas. Also known as ‘exclusionary’, these people might never, ever buy. Depending on your industry, they can be spotted thanks to their common identifiers:
- People who usually have high engagement on your social media accounts but never seem to buy anything. This type of interaction could go on for years, with individuals never converting.
- People who are so hesitant to buy, that when they finally do, it’s usually below your average sale price. There’s a likelihood that they may also never buy again.
- People who make calls to your company, touting their own products and/or services.
You should be at least aware of these types of customers because they can a) waste valuable time and effort from your sales team (and still NOT convert), and b) once they finally buy, recoup costs might not meet average sales prices.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of them or engage with them. However, by identifying WHO they are and WHAT their habits are, your sales team can effectively handle them without wasting too much time and energy.
2) Use alongside the Customer Life Cycle
Although the traditional customer journey has changed over time, we can still glean some insights from it. From Reach, Acquisition, Conversion, Retention, to Loyalty, they tell us a little bit about the consumer at every step. This knowledge can help us turn hesitant leads into actual sales, and eventually, to loyal customers.
For example: Hectic Hector is a busy business owner who has heard about SEO, but doesn’t have the time to sit down to learn about it. But he found one of the content from your blog and has called to inquire about your free 15-minute consultation. If you have prepared for this scenario through your buyer personas, hooking Henry should pose little problems.
You need to understand how customers make decisions today in order to make it work. By aligning the new customer journey with your buyer personas, you can create flexible strategies to apply at every stage of the process.
3) Tailor Your Product/User Solutions
Even if you’re selling just a single line of merchandise, developing the right buyer personas can aid you in maximizing your profits. Say you have three personas: Picky Polly, Hectic Henry, and Eager Ella. How do you satisfy these different personalities while catering to their varying needs?
Again, go back to your buyer personas and the customer life cycle (tip #2).
- Picky Polly – She’s the senior VP of a large corporation, so she’s more than busy, she’s also hesitant about any strategy that doesn’t yield immediate, tangible results. SEO for her looks like a sketchy investment. However, by highlighting the long-term benefits, you can help her see how this process will keep generating positive results long after the campaign is over.
- Hectic Henry – After sitting down with Henry on the 15-minute consultation, you follow-up on your proposal. But he’s still very busy. As he barely has time to talk, sending him reminders via email newsletters is a good way to remind him of your presence. At the same time, this should help him learn more about SEO at his own pace.
- Eager Ella – Ella not only knows about SEO, she’s done her homework and has seen how this strategy has helped others in her industry. The problem is that, she wants the same method as her friends. After studying her business, you realize that she needs a different approach. Try creating a comparison between other strategies and your own proposal. Continue educating her so she would feel that you really do have her business’ best interests at heart.
By modifying your approach based on buyer personas, you can provide a different value for every customer every time.
4) Don’t Forget Big Data
If you have reports, data sheets, surveys, and analytics about your target market, use them! Don’t just have them sit around languishing at your desk.
Did your recent study reveal how many customers are directed to your site through voice search? What percentage of your audience ends up contacting your customer support after discovering your content? Did customers come in from social media ads?
If you or your team can’t make heads or tails of those numbers, ask an expert. While stats don’t usually provide the bigger picture, it helps you focus your gaze to what really matters.
5) Ask Your Sales Team
Whether you need new data for your buyer personas OR you need to create one, your sales team is the first persons you should go to. After all, no one knows the customers better than they do.
Day in and day out, they deal with people from all walks of life, through all kinds of platforms. Prioritize their feedback and try brainstorming together. You’ll be surprised at the ideas they bring to the table.
How are your buyer personas this season?
It might be the busiest time of the year, but take a moment to customize the experience for your customers. Not only will this leave a lasting impression, it will help distinguish your business from the fierce Holiday competition.
January 5, 2018