There’s an old adage that states you can’t know a person unless you’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes.
In the marketing world, at least, that theory is proven day in and day out with strategies and campaigns cultivated with particular individuals in mind: buyer personas.
A buyer persona is just what it sounds like. When we put our heads together and come up with messaging and delivery tactics, we ask ourselves which types of customers or clients will be receptive to certain content, and which ones will need a special campaign of their own. To answer these questions, we put together a profile of someone representative of the categories to which we want our product or service to appeal, and then metaphorically go for a walk in their shoes. For example, if you wanted to market your services as a real estate agent that specialized in helping others buy second homes, or private vacation getaways, your message would need to speak to those that would actually be in need of your expertise in the near future. These clients would presumably be well-established – enough so that a second home wasn’t so inconceivable in a financial plan – and career-oriented, not a college student who’s in the market for an affordable off-campus apartment for the next year.
The key is to be thorough when you construct the persona, the better to hit on all the major selling points that could possibly make or break a contract with this particular buyer. So let’s presume you want to appeal to the quintessential busy young adult. Here’s the type of persona you might create to guide your marketing and advertising:
Meet Sarah. Sarah is a twenty-five-year-old grad student who works part-time at the local book store. She doesn’t have a lot of spare time, since she goes to classes in the morning at 9 a.m. and typically starts her shift at work by 2 p.m. each week day after a late lunch on the go. If the store is slow, she might be able to sneak in a little study time in between her duties, but otherwise Sarah waits until she gets home to work on assignments or prepare for the next day. When she closes the book store, she heads home to her apartment and, if her roommate is home, enjoys a late dinner coupled with a little unwinding in front of the TV or an impromptu study session. She takes some time to scroll through social media on her phone and see what she missed during class or work, then heads to bed around 11 p.m. or whenever her homework is through for the night.
Once you have a fairly good idea of the type of person to whom you want to market, the question becomes how. In Sarah’s case, the key isn’t to give her long-form content to read, as she really doesn’t take much time to read or browse the internet for fun. To catch her eye, short and to the point is the better approach.
We hope this has given you a little more insight into how we construct our messages and use them to reach your target audiences and potential clients. For more on our thought processes and how to hone in on the buyer’s journey for better sales and interaction, stay tuned to our blog. If you have specific questions or want to begin recreating your own strategies, contact Sage Island!