Define your Buyer Personas to avoid Marketing failures

buyer persona quote

Usually, when we think about our ideal customer, we tend to have a general idea about the persona who we want to target because we think that we intrinsically know our own target audience. However, the term buyer persona is way more complicated. For example, if you are a company that sells proteins, who would it be your ideal buyer persona?  We can think that our ideal buyer persona would be someone that does sport often or goes to the gym regularly. Nevertheless, this is not enough; we should do a deeper research, to understand what their needs are and how to satisfy them. We can find the location of our target audience, for example. Are they close to the gym? Are there any other gyms nearby? What are their preferences? Which flavors do they like? We can also study their age range to understand what they would be looking for. Do they want to build muscles, or do they want to strengthen their core? Do they have back pain? The income can help us understand how much our target audience is willing to spend in our proteins. Are they single? Do they spend money only on themselves or do they have a family? Do they follow social media fitness influencers? Which social media platforms do they use? Getting these answers about our persona helps us understand how we can reach out to them and how we can craft our messaging in order to make our marketing activities relevant to them. Aspects to consider include getting more information about their gender, the age, the location, job position, income, buying motivations and preferred social media platform, amongst others. The more information we get, the more detailed and specific is our buyer persona.

  1. Why is it so important to find your ideal buyer persona?

Because your customers are one of the most important factors in your business, and you need to get the optimal way to reach them and connect with them to satisfy their needs. Furthermore, it will help your company to perform better in its marketing strategies and it will avoid you wasting your money on useless marketing campaigns. In fact, according to a study made by  Cintell’s “2016 Benchmark Study on Understanding B2B Buyers”  71% of the companies who exceed their goals and revenues is because they find their buyer persona.

  1. Case study: not understanding the buyer persona

Gap is a clear example of not understanding the buyer persona. Gap, a renowned clothing company, tried to rebrand in 2010 targeting a younger audience. However, this brand targeted a new segment without understanding its current customers and their needs. Gap has always been a basic option for those who did not follow trends. However, in 2010 they decided to transform themselves into a fashion-forward company. Their existing customers did not like the change, and while Gap opened itself to a competition with other fashion-forward companies, they risked losing their existing customer base in the process. The problem was that Gap targeted a segment without understanding their existing audience and the brand image they had, and as a consequence the brand faced a backlash. If they had created a different buyer persona for each segment they had (i.e. one for existing customers and one separate for young trendy people), they would have understood that they were targeting different segments with different needs. They would have also created the right marketing campaign and made the rights investments. This mistake caused them a huge cost.

  1. Case study: understanding the buyer persona

On the other hand, Apple, is one company that has one of the most successful marketing campaigns. The reason their marketing campaigns are so successful is that they study their buyer personas and they target the right segment. For instance, in 2011 Apple created a new segment for the business professionals and by defining their buyer persona they could create the right advertisement to attract them. This new segment was composed of the business professionals who wanted to make both their job and personal life easier. The ad that Apple created was based on this buyer persona, and it showed how business professionals can make the most of the iPad for business purposes as well as social life. This helps professionals to see how an Apple product can fulfil their needs.

apple ipad

  1. How can you find your buyer persona?

Here are some tips you can follow to help you find your buyer persona:

  • Start by looking at your customer database and understanding what leads them to purchase your products or services. Do they always buy the same product? How frequently? Can you see repeating patterns? How did they find out about you? When did they make their purchase? What kind of enquiries they have?
  • Interact with your target audience through social media, understand their needs and their preferences.
  • Upload content to your social media about the new products and see what people comment.
  • Check with your sales team and ask them feedback about your customers.
  • Create a buyer persona template that you can share with your existing customers.
  • Use form fields to get as much information as you can about your customers.
  • Send questionnaires to their emails asking for their feedback.
  • Interview customers and prospects via phone or in person to know what they like about your product or service.
  1. Conclusion

To achieve a successful marketing or branding campaign, we need to understand our audience. And to understand the audience we need to find our buyer persona. This helps you to invest in the right marketing campaigns.

Need help with finding your buyer persona? Contact us



Chaimaa Sajid is a second year Marketing and Advertising student at Kingston University, London where she has been recognised for her high academic achievements. Chaimaa is an intern at KnowThyBrand and creates marketing content related to Strategic Branding and Digital Marketing.



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