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How to Create Better Business Personas and Actually Drive Sales

Customer personas are fictional characters representing the people most likely to buy your products, visit your site or otherwise associate with what you do.

Although they’re effective ways to understand your target audience, there are times when it’s necessary to tweak and improve them. Here are five ways to do that:

Become More Familiar With the Obstacles Customers Face

Buyers often think of their favorite brands as problem-solvers. For example, LUSH is a cosmetics and personal care brand that proudly advertises how it does not engage in animal testing. So, if a person is having trouble finding cruelty-free products, and doing so is crucial to them, LUSH might create a persona for an animal rights-focused individual. 

Your personas may vary depending on your industry and geographic area, and it’s smart to create ones that are specific to the difficulties in your sector or place where you do business. For example, state-specific laws for reducing emissions and becoming more reliant on renewable energy may introduce challenges that are not as acutely felt by people elsewhere. 

Knowing about the common obstacles your customers face puts you in an optimal position to help solve them, thereby driving sales. 

Make Personas Ultra-Realistic 

When business owners learn how to create a buyer persona, they often overlook how necessary it is that the result is as realistic as possible. Make the characters so rich and detailed that they are as lifelike as the people they represent.

Besides including demographic information in your character, delve into how their needs change based on the touchpoints they encounter or the avenues through which they reach your business. It’s also helpful to name each personality and include a picture with it. Doing those things makes it easier for people to use visualizations as they work with the characterizations.

Use Existing Data to Enrich the Personas

You probably use data in various ways throughout your company, such as determining which items are selling the fastest or which pieces of content on your blog appeal to the highest number of readers.

So, why not depend on data to create a buyer persona, too? You can use data to build out your customer personas fully, plus learn more about the journeys people experience while deciding whether to become your newest client. 

You may be surprised at the knowledge gaps that data could fill. For example, it might highlight customers’ goals, motivations and frustrations, plus what they do in a typical day. The more accurate and complete your customer identities are, the more effective they’ll be for helping your company do the right things to increase sales. 

Look for Possible Biases and Remove Them 

Humans are biased creatures, and, unfortunately, that means bias can appear in your characterizations. If you want to know how to create a buyer persona that’s as bias-free as possible, expect these inclinations and screen for them while assessing the state of your characters. Such preferences could be the reason why your personas are not working as well as expected. 

Are you over- or underestimating the need for the products mentioned in the characterization? Those inaccuracies may crop up because of bias. Bias can also become problematic if you don’t have information to support all the assertions contained within your customer roles. 

Fortunately, the data mentioned in the third point here can help you avoid many of these bias-based pitfalls. Once you find instances of biased data in your consumer roles, remove them and determine how to prevent the issue from happening again. It’s okay to make assumptions as long as you also have hard statistics to support them. 

Avoid Viewing Your Personas as Static Entities

There are several reasons why you might need to update your customer personas for maximum relevance. If you have recently moved into a new segment of the market, launched a new product or made a substantial change in your operations or business focus, those are some situations that require an updated buyer identity. Never assume that these characterizations are things you can create once and never change. 

Your customers’ needs, expectations and desires are not necessarily constant through time. And since your personas should reflect members of your target market, they should be equally fluid.

Besides updating your characters after the major fluctuations mentioned above, consider doing it on a schedule, such as every six or twelve months. Then, you won’t need to worry that they’re outdated. 

Perfect Your Buyer Personas Starting Today

Now that you know how to create a buyer persona that works better for your needs, you’re well-equipped to make beneficial changes. Doing so should lead to meaningful results.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a journalist and writer interested in business technology and cloud computing. Her work has been published on Computerworld, InformationWeek and Inc.com. To read more from Kayla, please take the time to visit her blog, Productivity Bytes.

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