One of the most critical elements of attracting the right target market  is understanding who your ideal customer is, and I will show you how to do this by researching your target market and documenting your buyer persona using a buyer persona template.

Once you understand your customer, you can create a buyer profile, otherwise known as a buyer persona or buyer avatar. This persona is one “imaginary” person that represents your target market as a whole.  This persona, is the target of all your marketing message and materials. When you create your messages, you must always ask yourself “what will it take to reach THAT specific customer, with the right message, in the right place, at the right moment”?

Consider a room with 50 people in it. You are selling organic baby food. 20 people in the “room” are mothers of babies, but 10 of these are not in the slightest bit interested in the organic movement.  They don’t care whether the vegetables in the baby food have been grown organically or not. So out of 50 people that are in the room, there are 10 that are your target market.  The other people int he room?  You are not going to waste your time taking to them.

So how do you ensure that your marketing message is crafted to talk to those 10 people, to talk to them with the appropriate language, and to create a marketing message that resonates? This is where your buyer avatar, or buyer persona, and your buyer persona template, comes into play.

Buyer Persona Marketing

Buyer persona marketing is all about understanding our ideal customer, and tailoring marketing efforts  to meet their needs and solve their problems. This is the basis of buyer-centric marketing. First understanding a customer’s needs, then creating products and marketing messages to meet their needs.

As mentioned, your marketing materials should be all focused on this one persona—what he or she wants, their pressure points, their needs, their solution and their desired result. When you do this successfully, you will continue to generate targeted messages that speak to that “ultimate prospect”.

You’ll want to note their demographics – geographic location, age, gender etc, but more importantly, you’ll need to note their psychographics; personality traits, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle etc. Some examples may befavourite television shows, music, books that they enjoy. The causes that they support, political leanings, whether their life revolves around family, friends, and so on. You will find the commonalities in your target customers, and document the most relevant ones in your buyer persona template.

This information gives you insight into their values and motivators.  When buyer persona research is done correctly, and you have completed a buyer persona template with succinct and relevant information on your target customer, you can understand why they get out of bed in the morning, their ultimate goals, their WHY.  Once you know this, you can understand what influences their buying decisions that will affect whether or not they buy your product. Powerful, right?  Well, let’s get started on researching your buyer persona/s.

In this post, I will walk you through the process of buyer persona research, creating your buyer persona, and documenting this in a Buyer Persona Template. Once you do this, you’ll gave a name to the persona, and choose a photo or picture to bring that persona to life.  The good news is that as you grow, so will your insight into your buyer. It’s important to understand that throughout time you will revisit your persona’s description. You may continue to add more as your business evolves, as you will get a deeper understanding of your target market. So don’t worry about not knowing enough to get this exercise done. Research and develop your persona early on as much as you can, document it in your buyer persona template, and accept that you won’t get it exactly right from day 1.

Note that you may fill out more than one Buyer Persona Template if you have  more than just one distinct type of buyer who sees value in your product.  Your prospects may not all fit into one group – they may be distinct enough to require different marketing messages to attract them to your brand and products.

Buyer Persona Research

The first thing you can do when conducting buyer persona research, that will come together to complete your Buyer Persona Template, is to start a dialogue with people who fit your general idea of your ideal customer. At the bottom of this post there is an email form that you can fill in and submit, to receive a Buyer Research Template. This template gives you guidance when doing your research, so you know what to look for during your research.

If you are researching your target market in person, discuss key points and listen openly and without judgment to their viewpoints. Share your ideas about the product or service and suggest more solutions to their problems. Take note of their responses. This is valuable information and you won’t remember everything they tell you verbally. A lot of the information you gather during your research process will be condensed into one document; the buyer persona template, which we will discuss shortly.

It’s not always possible to talk face to face with your ideal customer. The good news is that the internet has brought about a culture of information sharing. Use this to your advantage. You likely will find that a lot of the data and you need for your buyer persona research, about pain points, values, their research habits and other characteristics, are openly available on the internet. In most cases, you will be able to find enough information to complete your “first draft” of your Buyer Persona Template.

Visit online forums and blogs. Facebook groups are a goldmine of information.  Just jump on to Facebook and in the search bar type in your keywords – the topics that your customers would be interested in. For example, if you are selling baby clothes, then join groups for mothers. You would search for groups using the keywords Moms, Mums, Baby, baby clothes etc.  When you are in the groups, use the group search function to type in keywords that are related to your product. Make sure you download the Buyer Research Templates and Buyer Persona Template using the email form below and download your templates to guide you through the research process.  Create a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel or similar, to note any valuable information you find.  Ask questions in the group or forum.

After you’ve completed your buyer persona research, and have filled out your Buyer Persona Template, ask yourself how you can best use this added information to further define your target market and to create even better products that your potential buyer will see as valuable.  Take note of which posts perform well and which don’t. What posts do your target market engage with when they pop up in their news feeds?

The fruits of your buyer persona research can help you focus on:

  • Relevant keywords
  • The right platforms to use
  • Marketing tactics
  • Targeted content
  • Content types
  • Voice, style, language, and imagery
  • Incentives
  • Expectations
  • Product development
  • Hypothesis testing (whether site visitors do what you think they will do based on your target market research)

Creating a Buyer Persona Using a Buyer Persona Template

Are you ready to create buyer personas for your business? Download the Buyer Research Templates and Buyer Persona Template, by entering your name and email below. There are three files – two which  guide you through the research process , and the other, a Buyer Person Template, to bring all of that research together,  nailing down all the important areas. All three are in a simple PDF format, so you can download, print, and begin your research and persona creation straight away.