“The room is filled with summer sun and she is smiling sharply waiting for an answer. He is still uneased, not sure what to make out of her question. “What do you mean more specific? Isn’t women, 35-45, high income specific enough?”. She looks at him for a second and smiles again replying “Well, maybe it is. If you are sure you can sell dresses that will appeal to both Marissa Mayer and Kim Kardashian. After all, both of them have the same target audience traits, according to your answer””.

Unfortunately this isn’t a scene taken from a movie or a book as you can imagine, but a reality that happens often in my office. I thought about it this morning while I was enjoying my orange and cinnamon tea because I got an amazing email from one of my clients. An email that starts with “Raluca, I got it. I now get who my main buyer persona is”. I call this amazing because in my opinion this is where it all starts in digital marketing and marketing in general. In business in general. As they say, the one and only condition for a business to exist is a paying customer. And identifying your main buyer persona, that target audience segment that will love your business and that will become your brand ambassador and that you should focus all your efforts on, is amazing. It’s magic. It’s serendipity.

Mr. Right versus Mr. Right Now

I promised myself I will never compare business with dating, not only because it is cliche but also because the 2 are so separate in my mind and so they should be. However, I find this comparison to be meaningful so, just this once, I will use this similarity. Finding the main buyer persona for your business instead of using a general target audience description, like the one my client in the previous example, is using is exactly like finding Mr(s). Right instead of Mr(s). Right Now. There are plenty of people that can be part of a target group that a TV commercial is aiming at, but there is a narrow segment of early adopters, who need your product/service/business and for which your business will make a difference. They are that target audience that should fall in love with your business and they are the ones you should be targeting first.

How should a buyer persona look like?

In my opinion there is no strict set of rules as to how a buyer persona should look like. As they say, perfection happens when there is nothing more to take out, as well as nothing more to add, that would really make a difference. A buyer persona profile should consist of all the essential details and features of your target audience – essential for your business.

These feature could be:

  • information sources;
  • habits;
  • likes and dislikes;
  • job/role/position;
  • hobbies.

You should add those features that make this person unique for your business, those features that influence buying decisions.

Having a clear buyer persona in mind doesn’t exclude other customers

What business owners and managers usually fear is the fact that targeting a clear buyer persona in mind when promoting a business, they somehow limit their audience. This is not true of course as a message will never be meaningful just for the person it is most targeted for.

However what the success of personalization in marketing has showed us is that targeted campaigns have the highest ROI and the best conversion rates. When surrounded by tens of mass market messages, potential customers pay more and more attention to those messages that speak their language, to those messages that they feel are addressed to them.

Of course your business addresses several buyer persona profiles and each campaign and message should be targeted at one of them. Of course you should target them one by one in different campaigns in order to grow your business and extend its audience. But what you should never lose sight of is that core buyer persona that is crucial for your business. Your core buyer persona is the one your business could not exist without so it is essential to keep him or her. Therefore, all marketing decisions as well as product or business decisions should take this core buyer persona into account – you should never make decisions that would be in contradiction with this buyer persona.

Good luck with finding that perfect core buyer persona and never losing sight of him/her!