How Buyer Personas Build Marketing Funnels

How Buyer Personas Build Marketing Funnels

Despite the obvious success, that buyer personas have brought to various 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 makeup 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 by building buyer personas correctly, that 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 messaging 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

 

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 messaging 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 I wrote the ebook 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.

 

Like anything in business, you have to learn things in stages to proceed in the best way so feel free to comment and ask questions on this article, I’d be happy to oblige in any way that I can.

 

Buyer Personas

Paul Sullivan
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