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  • Writer's pictureLisa Silverman

Marketing’s Critical Misstep: Not Identifying Your Buyer Persona

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Every business lives and dies based on the profitability of their sales. Smart businesses know that sales are dependent on its brand and marketing strategy. Why? Because great branding defines who you are and, if successful, builds loyalty and trust. Marketing is the engine that creates leads and drives customers to engage with sales.

Traditionally, the marketing team is responsible for developing the brand identity, defining the brand position, and creating the narrative that identifies the what, why, how and to whom your branded product serves.

and ultimately designs a sales playbook featuring a roadmap that aligns with a marketing plan, specifically prescribing tactics and schedules to effectively achieve the KPIs needed to meet or exceed goals and objectives. A key part of their market strategy harkens back to the “whom” of the marketing equation. The “whom” is called the Buyer Persona.

The most successful brands don’t skip the necessary step of defining their buyer persona because they know that, by identifying who their buyers are, gives them the competitive advantage to target their audience with the least amount of financial waste as metrics are directly tied back to the marketing strategy and tactics deployed. Companies that rush to market without a complete Go-to-Market Strategy (GTM) may struggle to meet KPIs and goals because their brands don’t quite resonate with buyers.

So how do you define your buyer persona?

Start with the basics. Consider their demographic (age, ethnicity, gender) and psychographic (lifestyle, interests and hobbies.) Consulting with your sales team will help identify pain points and opportunities for cross selling or upselling. Don’t be afraid to be inclusive. Buyers within your target audience may fall into multiple groups.

Make sure that you include:

  • The “Why” they buy your brand of choice (their needs and goals)

  • The “Who” they are (decision-maker, C-level exec, department manager, family member, best friend, colleague etc.)

  • The “How” they will use your product.

  • Their budgets (income - fixed and disposable, debt, savings)

  • Their stage of life (for B2C) or their corporate position (B2B.) Are they a recent graduate, newlywed, family-focused, empty nester, divorced, widowed, department manager or C-Level, decision-maker or influencer to decision-maker?)

  • Where do they live online (what social media are they likely to use?) What websites do they frequent?

  • Do they follow influencers? If so, who and why? Could their influencers include their spouse or significant other? Their children? These influencers should be considered secondary audiences and external stakeholders and marketers should include primary and secondary messaging that addresses these groups when necessary.

  • Their challenges: What does this person struggle in relation to meeting their goals? What serves as a roadblock for this person’s success?

A great tool for conducting buyer persona research is to create an identity for each segment of the audience that want to direct communications to, and then create a matrix of specific questions and that will elicit the most information to accurately profile that audience. For example, a buyer persona market research study might yield the following profile:

Bob Buyer is a Chief Information Officer. He is 35 years old, lives in Minnesota and works for a large microchip maker. Bob understands the importance researching and adopting emerging technologies that will make is job easier to ensure his company’s infrastructure is as secure as possible. Bob’s biggest challenge is to maintain his company’s SaaS to ensure no interruptions in productivity, workflow, product delivery, or customer service. He’s a gadget guy, and he is highly educated and intuitive, but loves online gaming, fantasy football, and is slightly introverted. Bob’s preferred devices are his mobile phone and desktop computers, where he manages remote servers and unlimited amounts of data. Bob responds best to digital marketing messaging with succinct, product-driven specific content with features and benefits, and he isn’t interested in overly clever creative and conceptual visuals. Bob has limited purchasing authority for his company and must have his company’s CFO approve capital purchases.

A well-developed buyer persona is the final piece that connects the marketing narrative to the sales deck. By clearly defining your audience, you will be better able to craft content, promotions, and offers that your target market likely to respond to.

A strong marketing plan has multiple touchpoints including:

  • Sales tools that provide insight into your buyers needs and goals, including how they can help them effectively achieve their goals.

  • Content that is relevant and valuable to your target audiences and will help them add value to their job roles or everyday lives (posts, infographics etc.)

  • A social media presence that helps establish your brand’s credibility while also educating buyers and positively impacting their self- or professional growth.

  • Google Ad Words and a strong SEO plan ensuring your buyers find you through organic search.

  • And, of course, a highly functioning website with a UI and UX (user interface and user experience) that your buyers can quickly identify the offer at-hand, supported by content and resources that educates them about your brands, products, and services in general, and moves them to take action by either purchasing or asking for additional information .

Long Term Benefits of Defining Buyer Personas

The buyer persona is a crucial tool in your business's arsenal because it creates exponential lifetime value to your company. These customers can help companies by: Guiding product development decisions

  • Providing constructive feedback to management throughout all phases of the customer relationship journey

  • Pledging loyalty by re-purchasing, posting positive reviews, and become brand ambassadors by sharing their experiences with your brand and referring new customers.

  • Surveying customers to gather product usage and specific demographic data that may uncover more buyer persona segments

  • Building relationship databases that can be used to retarget buyers with next gen products and expanded product portfolios and purchase incentive programs.

For more information on how Brand Device can help your company define your buyer persona or for FREE Matrix planning tools, contact us today.

About Brand Device, LLC:

Brand Device merges intelligent, strategic branding solutions with powerful, imaginative and interactive creative driven by a team of leading healthcare marketing veterans with a rich history in promoting medical devices, hospital products, nutrition, health institutions, pharmaceuticals, direct-to-patient and physician practices.


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