The best practices for creating realistic buyer personas include conducting interviews, social listening, and using Google Analytics. It is important to have a low number of personas to ease segmentation, and there should be a collective understanding of the personas in an organization within the different departments such as sales, marketing, public relations, content and design, and customer service. Market segmentation improves the efficiency of marketing campaigns by tailoring them to target specific persona.
USING GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Google Analytics helps in acquiring information about the people actively interacting with a brand online. It helps in providing information about the number of people who visit the site and the time of their visit, their age, gender, and if they buy or return later to purchase from the website. Linking Google Analytics with information from social networks helps to provide data on the personal attributes of the buyer. It helps to discover information such as their passion, lifestyle, occupation, consumption habits, their other websites or blogs of interest, and how they discovered the business. It provides information on real-life customers that enable the building of realistic buyer personas. This information helps in tailoring messages to specific customers and increases the value of their order on the business website.
The social media provides an important platform for acquiring insights that help in developing buyer personas. Social listening requires monitoring tools such as Hootsuite, Social Mention, and Infegy Atlas that collect data such as the buying behavior, feelings, inclinations, cultural interests, and who the customers interact with most. It provides real-time, fast, and flexible information about the customers, influencers, and competitors. Social listening helps to understand how the customers feel and think, and monitors their reaction, emotion, trends, and the progress of other competing brands. This is important in realizing how ideal customers are likely to react to a new product in a specific area and if the trends are likely to appeal to their interests and buying behavior.
The four main ways of improving the efficiency of social listening include monitoring, listening, interpreting, and transforming. It is important to observe the actions of customers across websites and their social media platforms and connect the relationship between the actions. Listening helps to isolate significant opinions and conversations that can influence the marketing efforts of a business. Interpretation is essential in exploring the short-term and long-term trends from different groups of customers before transforming data from the real-time platforms into useful and applicable conclusions.
CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS AND SURVEYS
Interviewing real-life customers provides a deeper understanding of their needs, feelings, personalities, motivations, and opinions on different products and services. The interviews can be offline or online, and it is essential to ask open-ended questions that allow them to express themselves to learn about their personas and acquire actionable information. The questions should be few and inclined towards the obstacles they find when purchasing, their mindset, and behavioral drivers. Interviews can be conducted in person and using phones or can be in the form of web and exit surveys. In-person and phone interviews are likely to be expensive, but the information from the interviews is important in ensuring growth and success of the business. Web and exit surveys include pop-ups that present a question to customers visiting the website at a specific time. The approach of the interview should be based on active listening and should lead to enough qualitative information about the personality of buyers, ambitions, and what motivates their purchases.
In conclusion, the best practices in developing realistic personas include social listening, using Google Analytics, and conducting interviews. The creation of an efficient buyer persona involves asking the relevant questions, conducting research, and perfecting the few primary personas.