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Understanding your buyer persona

Many business and product owners tend to feel confident in their understanding of their buyers, assuming they know all about their target audience's desires and needs.

Fortunately, there are reliable ways to validate these assumptions and hypotheses, ensuring that the marketing and sales efforts invested in a product truly deliver meaningful sales results. In fact, certain insights might even prove to be surprising.
Sep 8, 2023 ∙ read
Understanding your buyer persona

When the term “buyer persona” comes up, most people initially associate it with demographic information. However, insights about buyer personas go far beyond details like age, location, job, and interests.

In this article, we’ll provide a brief overview of key elements that really help you understand your buyers better.

Buyer persona

Think of buyer personas as semi-fictional profiles of your dream customers, built using data and research. These profiles reveal their needs, struggles, behavior and actions, enabling you to adjust your selling strategy to fit them perfectly and create content that resonates with their mindset when looking for a solution.

Once you truly understand your buyer persona to the point of empathizing with them, you’ll have the power to influence them and turn them into your customers without much trouble.

Five key areas of buyer insights

There are five key insights into how people buy, which help shape all your marketing and sales efforts.

Priority Initiative: Motivators and reasons for buyers to start looking for a solution similar to what your company offers. What buyer needs and situations trigger your buyer to start looking for a solution in the first place?

Success Factors: Outcomes your buyer persona expects from buying your solution. What results does your buyer persona expect to achieve?

Decision Criteria: Factors that this buyer persona uses to compare solutions and make a decision. What capabilities, features or services of your solution your buyer evaluates? 

Perceived Barriers: Things that prevent buyers from considering your solution. Why would your buyer persona hesitate or be unlikely to purchase a solution like yours or purchase it from you? 

Buyer’s Journey:  Process mapped to illustrate how your buyer made a decision. What steps will your buyer persona take to evaluate options and make a decision? What resources will your buyer persona trust (including people and written materials)?  What is your buyer persona’s role in the decision and who are the other decision makers involved?

How is the buyer persona built?

The only way to create a meaningful buyer persona is to invest into having one-on-one interviews with your customers, especially recent buyers. These interviews serve as a precious opportunity for customers to openly share their experiences during their evaluation and decision-making process. 
During customer interviews, we don’t follow a predetermined set of questions. 

This way, we encourage them to open up and share more than just what we’ve asked for – their insights, thoughts, and observations.

Method of interviewing buyers is based on giving them enough time to walk us through the whole purchase process from start to finish from their own perspective.

Customers usually talk about what business circumstances their company was in, what challenges they were struggling with, what was important to them when considering various solutions, what went well and what didn’t. 

It usually takes 10 interviews before insights aggregation and processing starts. Each interview is recorded and transcribed for thorough analysis.

How to use buyer persona?

Insights from buyer interviews are valuable for the whole company, not just marketing or sales.  From the product team to marketing and sales, everyone gains a better understanding of your buyers.

Inform Product Development Decisions: Buyer insights serve as powerful inputs for shaping product roadmaps and prioritizing product or offering improvements. By understanding customers’ most urgent needs, you can align your product development with their preferences, making informed decisions about which features matter most to each specific buyer persona.

More Effective Communication & Competitive Positioning: By having this in-depth understanding about how buyers think and behave, you can improve product communication and positioning on your website and in marketing campaigns. With these insights, you can craft distinctive messaging that sets your product apart from the competition.

Equipped Sales Teams: Sales teams benefit from buyer insights because they become aware of buyers’ concerns that they can anticipate and address.

Understanding how their buyer process looks enables the sales to create strategies and sales materials aligned with buyer expectations and needs during the evaluation and decision making process.

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