Understanding Your Buyer Persona

Customer Segmentation & Buyers Journey with HubSpot for Startups

As you build your business you’re probably thinking about many things – selling more, growing yourself, growing your revenue, sales, marketing, marketing techniques, and all types of strategies and methodologies to help you grow. But the one thing that many companies, both big and small, do is that they have all their time invested on the actual execution of sales and marketing, while many actually don’t invest the proper amount of time into understanding their buyer persona.

Understanding your buyer persona is the foundation of everything you do as an entrepreneur or a business owner. Buyer persona is not only a marketing concept, but a concept used to become better at how you see and service your customers. Everything you do should revolve around who you’re trying to help. Here are three key aspects of understanding your buyer persona.

Building Your Buyer Persona

What is a buyer persona? In short, it is a semi-fictional, generalized human representation of your ideal customer. It is not one specific buyer, but it represents a larger group of them. It would not be ideal to have a buyer persona that represents every single one of your customers. Instead, you would build a buyer persona that is the subset of your customers that you most want to work with; they will represent the people you like working with, the people who are best benefited by what you do, and the people who are most profitable for your business.

How do you build this semi-fictional persona? Most companies have a pretty good idea of who their target demographic is. Understanding your demographic is definitely useful, but it is not enough. When you develop a persona with the intent to connect with them through your marketing and sales, you really need to dig deeper and look beyond demographics. You must look at the psychographics. What are the motivations of these people? What are their goals? What is getting in the way or their goals? What challenges are they facing in their lives that are getting in the way of achieving their goals? By asking these questions you develop a deeper understanding of your persona because it helps you connect better with them. It helps you do better marketing because you are more relevant for them, which attracts more people to your website/ business. It helps you sell better to them, and it helps focus your resources on the right type of assets, campaigns, sales resources, products, etc. If you design everything around a very specific buyer persona, your business is going to be more focused and will grow better.

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

Once you have your buyer persona defined and developed, the next thing you should do is think about your buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the process they go through when making the decision to buy something new, engage in a new service, and ultimately change how they go about doing things. You have to understand that people are at different stages of the buyer’s journey, therefore how you connect with them must be relevant and in-sync with where they are in that process. There are three stages to understanding the buyer’s journey.

The awareness stage is the first stage; this is when a person has come across a problem, they have questions and are trying to understand the problem. After they have understood the situation, now they move onto the consideration stage; they evaluate possible solutions to the problem. Once they have alternatives or solutions to the problem, they decide on one, then compare the different suppliers or options; this is the decision stage.

It is important to think about your buyer’s journey so you can connect better with them at whichever stage they are in and move them onto the next stage so they eventually buy your product or service. This will be the foundation on how you execute your sales and marketing strategy.

Accounting for Status Quo

Even if people understand they have a problem, and they need to change their ways, there’s always something that gets in the way. Just because the person understands the problem, their alternatives, the solution, and that your business’ solution is the best, it doesn’t mean that they will one hundred percent of the time buy your product or service. There’s an illogical or rational side when people buy products or services. This has everything to do with the status quo. People go about their day to day lives, and when people buy a product or service, they are making a change. Most people don’t decide to make a change unless something triggers their desire for change. The trigger has to be strong enough to surpass the inertia to stay in the status quo.

As a business, you must be able to identify your buyer’s status quo. Ask yourself, what would cause them to stray from the status quo? What would cause them to stay with the status quo even if they’re not happy with it? What are the change inhibitors? Is it the product or service’s price? The risk? The idea that this change won’t be able to help them? These are some of the inhibitors that get in the way of people actually buying your product or service. It is important to understand inhibitors so that you can address them with your marketing and with your sales tactics as you’re going through this selling process. If you can do that, you can help your buyer move away from the status quo and execute change.

To conclude, the three key things to do to improve your business’ sales and marketing is to carefully develop your buyer’s persona, make sure you understand their buyer’s journey so that you can connect with them at different stages, and lastly go deep and understand their status quo and consider what would make them change and what prevents them from making that change. These three things will help you understand your buyer persona and ultimately help bring in more customers to make your business grow and become successful.

Special thank you to Jose from Hubspot for leading this webinar on Understanding Your Buyer Persona. Learn more at hubspot.com/startups.

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