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How to build a strategic marketing plan: creating a buyer persona

Posted by Shade Wilson

May 15, 2012 9:08:00 AM

Marketing-Strategies-to-Increase-Sales

To build a strategic marketing plan with impact it's important to start with a few solid understandings.

The first is having a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the campaign. What does success look like? How will you measure results?

The second is a complete understanding of your target audience. You need to know who your buyer is, what are their motivations, their challenges, and how your brand can help them meet these needs. It's also important to understand the different types of buyers or influencers you need to engage and influence.

 

One of the best tools you can use in strategic marketing is a well crafted Buyer Persona for each type or cluster of buyers.

 

Every business will have different buyer groups or clusters. However here's an example of the different types of individuals a brand would need to influence to make and retain a sale.

Recommender Persona:

This is the individual that has identified a problem or need in their organization. They are charged with searching for the solution and evaluating potential vendors for that solution. This Buyer Persona has considerable influence on the sale, but may not have the final purchase authority.

Approver Persona:
Once the Recommender has settled on a solution and provider shortlist, they must sell the solution internally. The Approver Persona will be interested in how the solution will impact the broader organization by reducing costs, increasing revenue, or hopefully both.
User Persona:

This is the individual that will be using and adopting your product or service everyday. If they are not taken into consideration you risk low product usage rates and when it's time for contract renewal you're at risk of losing the account.

To build a complete strategic marketing plan you need to account for all of these types of buyers and create a Persona for each.

 

How do you to create a Buyer Persona? What should be included?

 

1. Give your Persona a name.

Its easier to discuss a target Buyer Persona and how you'll be influencing them when you give it a name and personality. It's also good to include a very brief description of this role.

2. Include a personal profile

What is your Persona's role, what are his major challenges in this role? Also think about how she is rewarded, promoted, and how can you help them be successful.

Its also good to include simple demographic information. It can help your team visual this Buyer Persona as a person.

3. What is their "pain chain"?

This is a discussion of the challenge they are trying to solve. How is the need or pain impacting their organization and how is it impacting their position. What is the root cause and how is it reverberation up the organization?

4. How are you finding or reaching this Persona?

How and where is this Persona likely to discover and engage with your brand? Think about context here, and media. Are they searching online, did they see something at an event, or were they recommended. Make some broad assumptions, but try to think about other influences.

5. What are the goals of the Persona? What are the goals of your business?

What are they trying to achieve by engaging with your brand, website, content, etc. As important as it is to understand your goals, it may be more important to understand your Buyer Persona's goals.

Speaking of goals, what is the outcome you're hoping to influence by building a strategic marketing campaign to this Persona.

Building a Buyer Persona is a central starting point in developing an effective strategic marketing plan. It will help you and your team to better understand your target audience and how you can best reach and engage them for your brand.

 

Topics: Marketing Strategies

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