20 Jul How to Get Inside Your Client’s Head
We all know that annoying guy (or gal) at that party who, immediately after meeting, everybody tries to avoid. We avoid him for several reasons. Mainly? For boisterously talking about himself all the time. For not showing any interest in what you have to say. For talking too loud. For insisting too much.
Some companies, unfortunately, use marketing strategies that are similar to this guy’s approach to social events. To get your attention, these companies bombard you with advertising you haven’t asked for, talk only about themselves and spread phony messages that hide their vulnerability or authenticity. The effect that these companies have on their sought-after audience is the effect generated by that guy at the party: they avoid, ignore, and mistrust them.
Companies aware of the pitfalls of this marketing tactic can choose to counter this reaction by honing a basic, human skill: empathy. We define empathy in several ways, the most common being the ability to identify with other people’s realities and experiences.
The goal of developing this empathy when designing a marketing strategy isn’t to manipulate your audience. It’s not about getting conversions. If that were the aim, that would mean following in the footsteps of that party guy no one likes. It means being fake in order to get what you want. It means selling out, losing touch with your values, and disconnecting from yourself and others.
As a marketing strategy, it’s important to empathize with your customers so you can know how to talk to them, relate to them, help them in a much more direct and personal way. Empathizing will in turn help your customer listen to you, come closer, and trust you.
Here’s a useful strategy to boost that empathy and, as a result, create better marketing strategies: the buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
Buyer personas are fictitious representations of potential customers of your product or service. They’re profiles that you create precisely to be able to get inside your client’s head.
(Note: the buyer persona is NOT the same as the target audience. The buyer is a particular person, whereas the target audience is the group of people who share similar characteristics).
These representations can be based on current customer profiles or can be totally made up. The aim is to create profiles that follow a series of characteristics, including answers to questions such as:
- Name and age?
- Where does he work? Study?
- What types of problems does he face at work? In his personal life?
- What interests him? What motivates him?
- What worries him?
- What does he idealize? What does he want to achieve in life? What does he aspire to?
- What does he spend his money on? Where?
These answers and profiles can be obtained in several ways. For example:
- Listening, watching and thinking about others via social networks, comments on your blog, etc.
- Relying on your existing client portfolios and detect purchasing behaviors and habits.
- Conducting surveys and interviews.
- Talking with your company’s Customer Service rep to see what complaints your customers have, what they buy, what they value.
- Sending emails to your existing clients.
- Investigating and reading forums and FAQs.
- Speaking and asking your marketing colleagues, even if they are your competition. By pooling resources together you can help each other out, generate good vibes, and be supportive.
- Learning about human psychology to know how we function, how we respond, how we interact.
How to create buyer persona profiles
The easiest and most effective way to create a buyer persona profile is through a template, outline or whatever suits you best. The idea is to start with 3-4 profiles (don’t over do it, it’s best to be specific). The template will make it easier for you to organize and visualize your thoughts more clearly.
What other advantages does using the buyer persona profile have?
- Creating the profile allows you to segment your audience and create messages targeted specifically to each potential customer. You can’t please everyone, and pretending to do so will weaken your campaign, ad, post, or whatever content you have. Your message will be diluted. Tasteless. Too generic, ambiguous, and therefore less effective.
Imagine it’s a friend’s birthday. What do you buy her? That’ll depend on your friend. You’ll have to think about her, what she likes, what she needs. You’re not going to buy something you would like (even if it coincides). You buy what you think she’ll like. Same with the buyer persona.
- The profile specifies, polishes and improves your value proposition.
- You save time and money because you get your message across more effectively.
- It increases your website’s impact, with examples of businesses that increased their sales by 124% after incorporating buyer persona profiles into their marketing strategy.
No one should want to be that annoying guy at the party. We want to be that other person, the one who’s always invited to every single party on Earth. The one who attracts people, be it for being fun, interesting or intelligent. For being a good person. Empathetic.
Again, the goal isn’t to manipulate others. We want to develop empathy because it’s what connects us as people. It’s what unites us in our experiences and lives on this planet. It helps us to understand, support, love each other. To be human.
If you have any questions about the why or the how of the buyer persona profile, don’t hesitate to contact our marketing team. We’ll help you with whatever you need, simply because we believe we should. And because we want to.