Get to Know Your Customers Through Super Simple Buyer Personas

By Raubi Perilli

      Oct 8, 2018     Solutions    

Four times a year, we're reminded how important it is for businesses to know their customers. On the third Thursday of the month in January, April, July, and October, we celebrate #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay.

#GetToKnowYourCustomersDay is all about reminding business owners of the importance of intimately knowing their customers.

Knowing who your customers are, what they like, what they need, when they buy, what they read, how they spend their time, and even how they talk is essential in creating powerful marketing campaigns that really resonate with shoppers and buyers.

So in honor of #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay, we've put together a guide to help you learn about the people who shop in your store or visit your restaurant -- so you can attract more customers, create more effective marketing campaigns, and boost your revenue.

Create a Buyer Persona to Get To Know Your Customers

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, but how much do you know about them, really?

  • Do you know what demographic categories a majority of your customers fall into?
  • Do you know what your typical customer likes to do in their spare time?
  • Do you know how much your customers spend with you each year and why they spend that way?
  • Do you have different product groups related to different customer types?

These answers are all answered with the help of buyer personas.  

Buyer personas may seem hard to develop, but you can adjust the complexity based on your comfort level.

Start with step one of this guide and keep working your way down to build your personas.

Step #1) Identify Basic Demographics of Your Customers

If this is your first time developing buyer personas or really trying to research the people who buy your products, the first place to start is with basic demographics.

Understanding the age, gender, basic income levels, and other lifestyle factors of the people who buy from you can help you paint a picture of what your average customer is.  

This consumer data can also help you understand the percentages of people who come through your door. For example, you may know that the vast majority of your customers are men between the ages of 25-35, however, you may discover that your second biggest demographic is women 25-34 rather than men age 35-45. This information can guide your marketing efforts in the future.  

There are a few easy ways you can get to know the demographics of your business. If you have an online presence, Google Analytics is easy and free to use. You can also talk to your staff to get an idea of your customer base, or send out surveys to people who come through your door.  

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Step #2) Identify What Your Target Customers Want

The next step in developing your personas is to understand the types of products people buy in relation to their demographic. While you may have five or six different type of people who come to your business, you might only have two or three different buying offerings related to your brand strategy.  

A great example of brands that need to know what their customers like are cocktail bars and other drinking establishments. Bartenders need to be up on the latest trends:

  • What do people want to drink?
  • What brands are hot right now?
  • How much should the bar keep on hand?

While Sparkling Rosé may be popular right now, it is also mostly preferred by women. The owner needs to decide how much to order based on the percentage of customers who are women -- and their likelihood of ordering a glass of rose. Plus, a bar could lose business by not having the right inventory or by having too much of the wrong thing.  

Step #3) Learn How Often People Come to Your Business

Understanding the products and services that are most popular is important, but so is understanding when people buy and how often.

This is called the buyer’s customer journey.

Nike is a great example of this. They might have multiple audiences that vary how often they come into the store such as: 

  • Customers who need one pair of running shoes that will last them years
  • Customers who buy sneakers monthly and look for fashion and function
  • Customers who are athletes who need multiple pairs of high-quality shoes

With this information, you understand how soon it is to use remarketing tactics to connect with your customers after they make a purchase. While the first group isn’t likely to buy pair of shoes again in the near future, they may be inclined to buy running clothes or accessories. Similarly, knowing when various sports seasons begin can help you promote items to seasonal customers who need new shoes for basketball or football season.

Step #4) Calculate the Customer Lifetime Value

Knowing how much customers spend and how often they buy can also help you calculate the customer lifetime value of your target buyer personas. You take these two factors and multiply them by the number of years a customer is likely to stay with you. 

For example, a customer at a nail salon comes in once per month for a $75 manicure. If the salon keeps her coming back for five years, then their customer lifetime value is $4,500. 

  • ($75 x 12 times per year) x 5 years = $4,500

Each of your audience personas will have different lifetime values. Some customers may visit your store more often but spend less, while others make big purchases a few times per year.  The same nail salon might have customers who only come in for birthdays, anniversaries or major holidays. If these customers get basic manicures at $25, then their customer lifetime value is only $500.

  • ($25 x 4 times per year) x 5 years = $500

It’s in the best interest of the nail salon to invest more in retaining customers and turning them into regulars than to bring low-spending customers back a few more times per year. You may discover that one audience persona is more profitable than others, even if they don’t make up the majority of your customers.

Step #5): Connect This Information to Create Buyer Personas

As you continue to get to know your customers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information you uncover.

This is where the development of target buyer personas comes in.

Each company creates their own customer profiles with different levels of detail. Some companies condense this information into a one-sheet, so any new employee or contractor can understand the company’s target audience in just a few minutes. Meanwhile, other companies create entire books and stories related to their customers.  

Ideally, you would create three or four customer profiles to get a general understanding of the majority of people who come through your door. If you have your information on hand, Hubspot has an Audience Persona Builder that can create easy profiles by answering a few questions. These personas can last your business a few years, or until you conduct an audit to see if anything has changed.

Related: 7 Audience Segmentation Examples and How to Use Them   

Step #6) Use This Information to Cater to Your Customers

Knowledge is power. Once you have developed your buyer personas, look at your digital marketing strategies and messages to make sure they align with your goals. Are you communicating with your top demographics where they want to be reached? Do each of your target audiences have marketing messages that appeal to them?  

After completing this buyer persona process, some companies discover that there is a disconnect between their customers and their marketing materials.

They may be targeting one group but appealing to another. They may be sending out messages that their target demographics never receive. When your marketing efforts align with your customers and their buying goals, you can watch your business grow and track your promotion efforts to see what is a success and what fails.  

Some of these concepts are more advanced that your business can handle, but any attempt to get to know your customers can help you take steps to invest in the right products and create marketing messages that really resonate with the people and reduce customer churn.

Get to Know Your Customer Better

If you go through this process but still struggle with create detailed buyer personas that help you get to know your customers and shoppers -- contact MyArea for Business.

We specialize in working with small businesses to help them stretch their resources by targeting their most important and highest-spending customers.

Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you get to know customers so you can create more targeted and successful marketing campaigns.