THE BUYER’S PERSONA
A buyer’s persona is like a stereotype, but based on extensive research and solid data. By studying your target demographics, you begin to define clusters based on similar characteristics. You distill the important points of each cluster down to a single fictional character: the buyer’s persona. Depending on your individual business, you may have one persona, several, or many. Once you know what they are, you can target your content marketing and other efforts toward converting the real people that the persona represents.
THE BUYER’S JOURNEY
Regardless of whether you’re doing B2B marketing or B2C marketing, you need to understand your clients’ psychological process. Before buying from you (or from your competitor), each of them follows a predictable decision-making pathway. This is called the buyer’s journey, and it’s a critical part of the client profile / buyer’s persona.
The buyer’s journey will be different for each profile of customer and each industry, but most of them share the following characteristics:
- a realization that something is needed, something is wrong, or something could be better
- an investigative process
- the weighing of options
- a decision to purchase
buyer’s journey: examples
Example 1: the airline.
A US-based airline wanted to sell more tickets to Europe. First, the airline developed several client personas: honeymooners, the middle-class family vacationer, the international business traveler, etc. When exploring the latter, the marketing team was surprised to realize that the traveling executive was not their actual target. In most cases, executives delegated travel arrangements to HR, a personal assistant, or some other individual lower in the food chain. As they explore the buyer’s journey, they realized that they were actually targeting