Learn the types of research/data and steps to profile your buyer personas including demographics, attitudes, behaviors, and more.
- How would you describe someone who you know really well like your mother, brother, or best friend? Would you say, "My best friend is 28 years old," leave it at that, and expect someone to understand what your best friend is really like? Probably not. For someone else to envision your friend you'd need to describe lots of information like maybe where they grew up, where they live, what type of job they have, and their attitudes and behaviors, such as what types of products they like or their favorite flavors. So, how do you uncover these types of insights to create, or what some people call to profile, your buyer personas? Through two types of research: qualitative and quantitative.
Qualitative research is directional. It can be conducted through focus groups, interviews, online blogs, or anecdotally through customer facing team members, such as in sales or customer service. It provides insights, such as customer attitudes or how they speak about your brand to friends or family. Quantitative research provides statistics, data, numbers, about a larger representative sample of your customers. It can be conducted by phone or online surveys or collected through website analytics or social media listening reports.
And if your company has it, internal customer relationship management data is highly informative. Both qualitative and quantitative types of research have benefits. Qualitative captures thoughts and emotions, and quantitative can follow actual, individual journeys of millions of prospects and customers. Together qualitative and quantitative research help you to create insightful buyer personas. Whether you use one or both of these types of research, remember to include both customers and prospects.
It's important to stay relevant to current customers as you also engage new prospects. Both are great sources to build your business, keep your current customers loyal, and attract new customers. Your research should include demographic information, such as age, education, or geography. If you're a business to business marketer, information such as the industry, job level, business challenges, or budget may be helpful. Or if you sell a consumer product or service, information such as household income, household size, purchase behavior, or seasonality might be useful.
Understand previous interactions such as which brands customers have used before, how they view those experiences, and what product or service needs must be met so they'll choose your brand over competition. For example, if you work in banking and know that people are frustrated because they don't understand the difference between the three checking products you offer, you'll learn that your marketing messaging needs to communicate the checking product differences and which benefits are relevant for which type of customer.
Research should inform what, when, how, and where customers buy. Let's say you own a clothing store, for each buyer persona what type of clothing do they like to buy, such as formal or casual? When do they like to buy, such as in the beginning of a new season or when there's a sale? How do they like to buy, such as researching online first and reading peer reviews or browsing in different stores or on websites? And where do they like to buy, such as visiting a store or online? There are many types of research out there.
What's most important is that you choose the right types and combination of research methodologies for your brand. Use research that helps you create insightful, meaningful buyer personas to inform your marketing messaging.
- How the decision journey has evolved
- Defining and using buyer personas
- Developing insight-driven journey stages
- Choosing touchpoints strategically
- Aligning messaging across the brand's touchpoints