Buyer Personas: What Sales Research Means for Inbound Marketers

by | Aug 8, 2016 | Inbound Marketing

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Buyer Persona

Every savvy marketer knows that buyer personas are the foundation of a successful inbound campaign. Creating buyer personas is a well-treaded topic – there’s even a Buyer Persona Institute founded to help marketers learn how to immerse themselves in the psyche of their customers. But many organizations are overlooking an important element of their buyer personas.

What your buyer persona should really reveal

Buyer personas don’t just have to be about demographics. Lots of marketers get caught up trying to classify their target audience with details like age, title, industry, and so on.

These characteristics are important, but there’s a deeper level of buyer persona that many businesses miss out on: the mindset of their buyers. How do they process information? Are they more analytical or big-picture in nature? How do they share with their network?

These are all questions much tougher to answer than finding a person’s gender or geographic location. However, if you can drill down this deeply into your customer avatar, you’ll have an edge over your competitors when it comes to understanding buyers in your field.

How do I go deeper than a demographic buyer persona?

Knowing that this level of sales research exists and accessing it are two different things. If you want to resonate with prospects on a deeper level, try these steps:

  • Don’t just research: communicate. Your buyers aren’t a specimen in a lab or a complicated theorem to be studied: they are people with emotions and desires. Stop treating conversations with your prospects as intelligence-seeking missions and start talking with them. Consider subtle cues in how they communicate, such as voice tone and body language.
  • Listen, don’t hear. It’s not enough to let your prospects tell you what they want, or fill out a form that reveals their interests: you also have to understand and process that information. Consider what they say in a larger context, and remember that sometimes you can pick up a helpful clue in a conversation when you least expect it.
  • Iterate. Once you’ve done the research and talked to your prospects, it doesn’t mean your job is finished. You still need to stay abreast of changes and developments in your buyers’ world. For example, if a new social media network is becoming extremely popular among your target audience, you’ll want to explore ways that you can reach your prospects and customers on it. The more current you are with your buyers’ interests, the more competitive you can be in your field.

The surface-level details of your audience are only the beginning. The more deeply you can understand how buyers behave and what drives them, the more value you can add, which translates to increased sales and satisfied customers.

 

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