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15 Amazing Buyer Personas Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Marketers and business owners whether in a startup or established in business are continually making mistakes by avoiding the work of buyer persona development.

 

Culprits in the main, are social media marketers who operate under an I know the best model and simply continue to put relevant imagery out to your channels in the hope that they catch a potential customer's eye and help you to generate sales leads.

 

The thing is, this mode of operation can work, but it’s a very loose approach to marketing. At a basic level, no matter what the marketing type (see below) you need to identify who the customer is, what language they use, what messaging will resonate with them, and for what reason.

 

  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Print
  • Voice Search
  • Facebook Ads
  • PPC

 

Defining your persona will also tell you what they like and dislike about your companies product or service. You can then lean on that to up your lead generation and attract like-minded people, or those with the same points of pain within their businesses.

 

Please note that you can have one persona that has several positive and negative things about your offering, but this also enables your messaging to be varied and targeted at the same time.

 

Why would you want to be broad with your application of marketing messaging when you can be definite and purposeful. The more defined and accurate, the easier it to attract the right type of business over any type of business.

 

15 buyer personas facts that will blow your mind

 

  1.  Adobe saw a 10% increase in email orders, a decrease of 78% in time to market, a 59% increase in web visitors, and 53% increase in web revenues with a persona-based launch.

 

  1. Siemens saw a 200% higher engagement rate and a 50% increase in persona-based nurture campaigns.

 

  1. Metrica B2B saw a 721% increase in top-of-the-funnel inquiries using a persona led strategy

 

  1. Pegasystems saw a 20% increase in pipeline value, a 100% increase in sales qualified leads year over year, a 50% increase in conversion and 5x more contacts mapped to a persona and responding to campaigns.

 

  1. Companies who exceed lead and revenue goals were 2.4x as likely to use personas for demand generation than those who missed lead and revenue goals.

 

  1. Forrester said using personas increases email open rates 2-5 times

 

  1. MarketingSherpa said using personas drove a 3x increase in closed sales deals

 

  1. DemandGen state that persona-based content increased customer engagement almost six-fold when targeting cold leads (10% vs 58%)

 

  1. Pragmatic Marketing states that persona-driven development gave 10-20% higher customer satisfaction levels

 

  1. Companies that do not use a persona led marketing strategy can see wastage in their marketing spend of $0.2M annually in companies with a market cap of under $100M, $2.1M annually for mid-sized companies under $1B, and $3.3M annually for companies over $1B

 

  1. Companies that use multiple sources of information to develop their buyer personas see more stable continued success than those that use fewer sources of information

 

  1. 1% of companies who exceed revenue goals report themselves to be consistently effective at maintaining personas, compared to only 13% of companies who fell short

 

  1. 71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas vs. 37% who simply meet goals and 26% who miss them (Cintell)

 

  1. 82% of companies using Personas have been able to create a clearer understanding of who buyers are (ITSMA)

 

  1. 90% of companies using Personas have managed to create an improved value proposition (ITSMA)

 

So there you have it. Fact after fact after fact. I think that now, even if you haven’t thought of including buyer personas into your marketing strategy, it’s a no-brainer after reading this.

 

When looking for inspiration, we often need to know or at least see how other people or companies are using something to succeed and here you now have it.

 

 

Buyer Persona Development

 

If you are now inspired and you want to know how you can develop your own persona(s) for your business or department then you should definitely download my ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Buyer Personas.

 

In this guide I take you through the 5 pillars of understanding, bringing the reasoning for them to you and then I take you through the why, the how and explain the difference between a buyer persona and a buyer profile. I explain what you should do and what you shouldn't do as well as what to ask and who should ask it.

 

Understanding How Buyer Personas Work

 

The art of identifying common traits among your most successful clients and profiling them has been around for years now, but there are personas and there are profiles, and knowing the difference between the two will ultimately determine your success.

 

However, this isn’t something I can clearly demonstrate in one short blog post so I shall be writing a series of articles to help you identify the differences.

 

Let me explain, but first, to do so I need you to ask yourself a question, which type of person are you?

 

  1. The type of person who says to themselves, I tried that digital marketing stuff before, it didn’t work and it was expensive, a waste of time!
  2. The person who read a few articles and downloaded some ebooks on marketing funnels and content writing and is still not really seeing success?
  3. The type of individual who is proficient at marketing and has used personas and is only seeing limited results?
  4. Someone totally new to digital marketing?

 

Whatever your recognition, it doesn’t really matter, I asked more to see if you were aware of your current capabilities or understanding and become open to learning something new!

 

 

The Buyer’s Journey a Brief Reference

 

The buyer’s journey is the most commonly discussed pillar of understanding within buyer persona development. It particularly focuses on who the decision-makers are in the buying process for consumers of your business's products or services.

 

I’m making a brief reference to this now because most people only focus on this part of the buyer persona development process. They believe that by identifying each individual they can create content that that person would potentially be searching for and engage them within your marketing funnels.

 

The Fundamentals of Buyer Personas, Pillar by Pillar

 

There are in fact 5 pillars of understanding within buyer persona development. Combined they allow you to truly identify the information that you need to execute high converting digital marketing campaigns.

 

The Pillar of Priority

 

The pillar of priority explains the single most compelling reasons that a buyer would decide to invest in a solution like the one your business offers.

 

To grasp this pillar is to uncover the details of the personal, or business circumstances that push buyers to allocate their time, budget or political influence within a company into purchasing a product or service like yours.

 

Be aware that the information you will glean is typically focused on items with a high value as they often have a longer consideration time before deciding to purchase and closing a sale. Think of things like cars, software, property, etc

 

Lower value items do not need such intense focus and are usually socially referred or socially habitual like learned from friends or family.

 

The Pillar of Success

 

The success pillar is about the discovery of the operational or personal results that your persona expects from purchasing a product or service like yours.

 

They will look like benefits, but once you fully explore this you will see that they may resemble benefits, but they are not. The information gained here will stop you from second-guessing, assuming or trying to reverse engineer your marketing messages based on your solutions capabilities.

 

For example, you may think that the main reason to purchase your product or service would be to enable your persona to cut costs, but actually by researching this pillar may reveal that the customer is most impressed by the reduction of business risk.

 

The Pillar of Perception

 

Capturing the information to master the pillar of perception will give you an understanding of what your persona considers “bad news”.

 

This pillar is so named because it helps you understand what prevents your persona from considering your solution as a viable choice. It will also inform you as to why your buyers consider your rivals a better choice or why they have a better approach.

 

If you can pre arm yourself with the knowledge in advance of what your persona considers their negative barriers to be and what is supporting that belief, you can set your marketing and sales messaging to maximum benefit. You can reassure your persona that your product or service will help them achieve their priority and success pillars.

 

The Buyers Journey

 

And we now talk about the buyers' journey. The one part of the buyer persona creation process that all marketers are fully focused upon.

 

As previously stated, understanding this pillar helps you identify who is in control, or whom you have to talk to via your content at which stage of the decision making process during the evaluation of your product or service.

 

Use the data gained from this pillar to align your sales and marketing strategy and produce marketing media to speak to each different persona at each step of the way.

 

The Confirmation Pillar

 

The confirmation or decision pillar helps you understand what exactly appeals to the buyer about your product or service. It clarifies what the buyer is evaluating between your product or service. It clarifies what the buyer is evaluating between your solution and others and why they consider alternative approaches to yours.

 

This is one of my favourite pillars. When clients finally understand that “gut feelings” and “assumption” or “what worked last year” no longer matters, it’s a true epiphany.

 

This is the “ego removing” pillar and enables my clients to really move their businesses forward.

 

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The importance of buyer personas for content marketing

 

 

The principles of inbound marketing are based on knowing the personality traits and preferences of your target audience. Without a reasonable understanding of what ‘makes them tick, your promotions and content are unlikely to resonate or encourage them to take action.

 

To ensure that content is properly targeted to meet these needs, content marketers create a series of ‘buyer personas, based on what their ideal clients look like. The idea is that by creating a series of personas, you can then target every piece of inbound content more accurately – even for B2B sales. After all, people buy from people, even in business.

 

So what should your buyer personas include?

 

Gender

 

Despite this being an age of increased gender equality, some job roles are still heavily biased towards men or women. IT is male-dominated for instance, whilst PR is two-thirds female.

 

There is also a distinct divide in how each gender uses the web. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest for instance, while men favour Facebook. Recognising these differences will prove vital when it comes time to distribute and promote your content.

 

Age

 

There is usually a marked difference between the tastes of your friends and your parents’ friends, a generational divide influenced by all sorts of factors.

 

The cause of these differences is not important, but the effects can be profound.

 

Again, age plays an important part in getting your content in front of the right audience. 35% of teenagers use Instagram for instance, more than twice as many that use Facebook. For adults aged over 65, Facebook is the only social network of note.

 

Job

 

For B2B inbound marketing, you should include the job roles of each buyer persona.

 

More specifically, the job roles of the key decision-makers involved in making purchases of your goods and services.

 

Rather than making the best guess, analyse your existing customer base, and pick the brains of your sales team. This will help you better identify the people you need to target.

 

Business pains

 

Each job role comes with its own business pains and it is important that you understand your target audience well enough to know what they are.

 

Business pains are a vital aspect of your campaigns because your content will be designed to resolve them – or to subtly point towards your products and services that address them.

 

Being able to define business pains comes from a really good understanding of your target industry and the challenges they face. Your products and services will have been designed to solve these problems, but your personas need to address the subtleties of each role.

 

Personal interests

 

Even in a professional capacity, your buyers are still real people with real personal interests. No matter how we try, those personal influences colour virtually everything we do – including making business purchasing choices.

 

Personal interests are also a great way of making your campaigns less boring. You can try and inject interests-based humour into infographics for instance, not only increasing the interest levels for your target audience but encouraging them to share that information with their circle of friends.

 

Getting started with personas

 

Creating personas is really just a case of better understanding your customers so that you can better target other prospects. And it’s not all an exercise in imagination either. If your sales and marketing data doesn’t have the relevant details for persona creation, have your account managers ask your existing clients – if nothing else, it will help you better serve them!

 

If you would like to try and build better buyer personas, why not try out this buyer persona maker and start improving your marketing immediately.

 

04-naturally-charming-people-491131740-UberImages

 

Without questions, you cannot develop personas

 

It’s true, without questions you cannot develop buyer personas. To construct a persona without interviewing a pool of people that have and haven’t purchased a product or service from your company, you are simply reverse engineering. If you reverse engineer, you are assuming a customer exists for your product based on its functions and capabilities. There is no data or definitive methodology behind that.

 

An example of that would be Hubspot a leading marketing automation platform with an annual cost of around £8,500 saying that their ideal customer is one looking for a marketing automation platform.

 

That in itself is laughable. There are currently 50 to 60 marketing automation platforms of varying sizes, capabilities and functionality available at different costs of entry. So that isn’t their ideal customer.

 

Hubspot would have to interview its users and objectors to find out

 

  • What differentiates them from the rest
  • Why their users chose them over their peers
  • Why those that didn’t buy their platform, chose an alternative provider
  • Who made the ultimate decision to buy
  • Who were the “naysayers” in the decision process and why

 

This is not an exhaustive list of questions but you can get the general gist of where I am going and hopefully start to see why I am following this path.

 

Aren't you tired of underachieving?

 

If you are reading this post I have to assume that you have some level of interest in how personas support the marketing messaging process. But that isn’t all they are of use for!

 

If you correctly build your personas and identify

 

  • Which social media channels do they operate in
  • What platforms do they use to find content
  • What formats of content do they prefer
  • What they consider successful in your product or service
  • Which persona triggers the buying process for an investment of this type
  • What they consider bad news about your product or service

 

This is great for what to say and where to put it, but it will also help you define who your audiences are for the placement of paid search marketing adverts.

 

Quicker-Sales-2

 

By doing all of that you can also:

  • Shorten your sales cycle by aligning your marketing and sales teams goals and achieve up to 20% annual growth (2010 study by the Anderson Group)
  • Accelerate your consistency of higher quality leads
  • Know how to collect the information on a consistent basis
  • Stop being overly generic and broad within your marketing messaging

 

So you have to ask yourself if you are tired of underachieving and would like to do something that effectively underpins the whole of your marketing strategy?

 

Developing your buyer personas is akin to laying deep foundations for the tallest skyscraper. You would just build it from the flat of the earth and hope it doesn’t fall over, would you? No!

 

Marketing, like anything else, needs a solid and stable base to develop from. So please stop going for likes and shares, throwing content out that you think a person looking for your product or service needs to know and start aiming for measured success on a continuing basis. It's factually proven that you cannot reverse engineer success in marketing and sales so accept that without questions you cannot develop buyer personas and start doing the basics correctly.

 

how-buyer-personas-build-marketing-and-sales-Funnels

 

How buyer personas build marketing funnels

 

Despite the success that buyer personas have brought to thousands of companies and their marketing funnels, many of us are still not using them to their full capacity. Knowing how buyer personas build marketing funnels helps you succeed both on and offline.

 

When buyer personas are not adopted, it results in a huge drop in success in the following ways:

 

    • Reduced rates of organic/unpaid website traffic
    • Reduced rates of conversion from paid traffic
    • Broad-sense marketing and sales messaging in copy/content bringing the wrong traffic
    • Lack of understanding of what makes your product or service “a go” for your persona resulting in longer and often failed sales cycles
    • Increase in assumption and guessing for outcomes by your marketing and sales teams
    • Reduction in brand intimacy with your persona(s) making it easy for your rivals to steal the lead and convert
    • Increased waste in marketing spend which ultimately makes everybody look bad and can lead to you losing your job
    • Poorer levels of clients
    • Poor conversion levels
    • LOWER PROFITS

 

Why it’s a persona first approach

 

Despite the clamour for mobile-first, it is always a persona first approach. In fact, there are two types of persona companies should adopt.

 

The Buyer Persona

 

The buyer persona is a semi-hypothetical representation of the better part of your client base. We create them by learning what makes our customers tick. What makes them prefer our service over a rival? What makes our product or service perceptually worse than our rivals?

 

However, no matter how many clients we have, we should always be able to box them into three clear categories:

 

  1. The Worst Clients - often, the reason you get these clients is that your initial messaging wasn’t clear. Typically a by-product of reverse engineering your “ideal customer” to match your product or service. These often make up 20-40% of your current pre-persona client base. They don’t really know if your product or service is for them because the specifics haven’t been explained. You may find that your product or service is a general solution, often bringing complaints; too costly, hard to use, not giving success, not enough support etc!
  2. The Perfect Clients - these are the one-off customer that simply engages and buys without hesitation. They are often well educated around your product type or service type and can be brand aligned or socially referred. These customers are infrequent, but welcome and duly accepted. These often make up 10-20% of your client base.
  3. The Ideal Clients - these clients typically are your “bread and butter”. They require nurturing and coaxing through your marketing and sales funnels, but they convert at a consistent rate, do not give you a lot of headaches and typically make up 40-60% of your customers. They know what they want, have been assessing your product along the way and potentially have already done the comparison with rival/peer service providers.

 

The ambition is to spend time really analysing the ideal customer. By doing this over time those ideal clients and the perfect client will appear more frequently. As you pinpoint with accuracy the messaging that will resonate with that persona and speed up marketing and sales conversions.

 

“Companies that use a persona led approach typically see 2-3 month reductions in their closed sales cycles”

 

The User Persona

 

The user persona is a different type of persona. It is a persona developed around users or adopters of your product or service.

 

It is compiled on the feedback of the actual people that are using each product or service and what their feedback is. A user persona is a tool for optimising the user experience and should definitely be used in your website design process.

 

People often refuse to add this expense to the mobile application or website development process because they do not see the value in it. That is until it’s too late and they’ve finished blaming the website developer for a poor website that doesn’t convert.

 

Ultimately, everything we do in business is trial and error, even marketing, but with a persona led approach to marketing and product development, at least you can build something according to the DATA. Not on your gut feeling or based on a workflow, user experience that you think works.

 

How buyer personas build marketing funnels

 

Now that I have covered off the:

 

  • problems not adopting a persona led approach cause
  • discussed the buyer persona and who you should be building them around
  • and split user personas from buyer personas

 

We can now address how buyer personas build marketing funnels. If you have been following my buyer persona articles, videos and webinars, you should by now be in complete control of this. If you have not and you have found this article separately from that, please do read them.

 

So, firstly. We understand that building buyer personas correctly, means not profiling your ideal customer or reverse-engineering your customer to suit your product or service we can learn the following:

 

  • The compelling reasons a persona would invest in a solution like your business offers
  • Know that personas are mainly suitable for high-cost purchases that have a lengthy decision-making process behind them
  • Know when potential customers are open to hearing from you and which persona triggers the buying decision
  • How to define strategies that resonate with buyers at the earliest point in the decision-making process
  • Know what operational or personal results your persona expects from buying a product or service like yours
  • Understand what success looks like to a customer who has purchased your product
  • To stop trying to reverse engineer your marketing messages based on your product's capabilities
  • Know what your persona considers bad news and if your product or service is a viable choice and why your rivals may have a better approach
  • What internal resistance you may face and have to overcome
  • If your prospect has had a bad experience with a similar product in the past
  • How to set your marketing and sales messaging to reassure your prospect that your solution can help them achieve their ambitions
  • What buyers to do evaluate their options, eliminate other contenders and settle on their final choice
  • Which influencers are involved at what stage of the process and how they arrive at each conclusion to pursue an option like yours
  • How to align your marketing and sales activity to target the most influential decision-makers at each stage of the journey and create media resources to help them see your solution as the perfect fit at each decision stage
  • What exactly it is about your product or service that appeals to the buyer
  • That benefits related marketing messages often are not as fruitful as factual messages

 

These are not all of the benefits of developing accurate buyer personas, but we can attribute them to the inbound marketing methodology, a strategy to attract website visitors and convert them to paying customers.

 

InboundMethodology-Sep-18-2020-08-00-04-06-AM

So let’s look at the sixteen items I listed above and see where they fit into this strategy, as this is the marketing funnel system laid bare.

 

Attract Stage

  • Know when potential customers are open to hearing from you and which persona triggers the buying decision
  • Know that personas are mainly suitable for high-cost purchases that have a lengthy decision-making process behind them
  • How to define strategies that resonate with buyers at the earliest point in the decision-making process
  • To stop trying to reverse engineer your marketing messages based on your product's capabilities
  • Which influencers are involved at what stage of the process and how they arrive at each conclusion to pursue an option like yours
  • How to align your marketing and sales activity to target the most influential decision-makers at each stage of the journey and create media resources to help them see your solution as the perfect fit at each decision stage
  • That benefits related marketing messages often are not as fruitful as factual messages

 

Convert Stage

  • The compelling reasons a persona would invest in a solution like your business offers
  • Know that personas are mainly suitable for high-cost purchases that have a lengthy decision-making process behind them
  • Know what your persona considers bad news and if your product or service is a viable choice and why your rivals may have a better approach
  • If your prospect has had a bad experience with a similar product in the past
  • Which influencers are involved at what stage of the process and how they arrive at each conclusion to pursue an option like yours
  • How to align your marketing and sales activity to target the most influential decision-makers at each stage of the journey and create media resources to help them see your solution as the perfect fit at each decision stage
  • That benefits related marketing messages often are not as fruitful as factual messages

 

Closing Stage

  • Know what operational or personal results your persona expects from buying a product or service like yours
  • Know that personas are mainly suitable for high-cost purchases that have a lengthy decision-making process behind them
  • What internal resistance you may face and have to overcome
  • How to set your marketing and sales messaging to reassure your prospect that your solution can help them achieve their ambitions
  • What buyers to do evaluate their options, eliminate other contenders and settle on their final choice
  • Which influencers are involved at what stage of the process and how they arrive at each conclusion to pursue an option like yours
  • What exactly it is about your product or service that appeals to the buyer
  • Understand what success looks like to a customer who has purchased your product

 

Delight Stage

  • Understand what success looks like to a customer who has purchased your product

 

As you can see, I listed sixteen benefits of using personas that are KEY to your success in securing and producing high converting marketing and sales funnels. It’s also really important to know what to and when to do it, which is why we wrote the book to support all of this which you can download from the link below.

 

Currently, on the market, there are a large number of click funnel experts and software packages but they all fail to tell you that you still need to do this work upfront. If their packages are that good and you have all this great and accurate data about your personas you cannot go wrong. You can build the data and messaging you need to attract the right persona at the right time at the right stage of the decision-making process.

 

 

 

 

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