The role of buyer personas in your product development journey

Understanding the nature of your end users is integral to the success of your product. It involves a series of processes such as market study, user research, understanding users’ pain points, their problem statements, expectations, interests, etc. 

If you want your product to serve a great purpose, resolve a problem effectively, and offer an ingenious solution, it is more than important to understand your users thoroughly. Wondering how to do that? Here’s where the role of buyer personas comes into play.

Buyer personas help you get a hang of how your ideal customers are, their challenges, and the factors they consider before making a decision, etc. In this article, we will explore how to make the best use of buyer personas to bolster your product development journey. 

So, what’s ahead?

→ What is a buyer persona? 

→ How to draw insights for creating buyer personas?

→ How to conduct user research for buyer personas?

→ How to create buyer personas?

→ What are the benefits of using buyer personas?

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona refers to an indicative customer profile created after carrying out extensive research to depict the actual target customer in the best possible way. These buyer personas should help you visualize who your ideal buyers are, what their interests are, their challenges, and how they make buying decisions. 

How to draw insights for creating buyer personas?

Great answers come with great questions. If you want to develop an outstanding product, you should be on top of your customer demands and expectations. You should consider every question that your end users might probably have in their minds and incorporate them into your product development. Here is a list of questions that will help you draw resourceful insights to create great buyer personas:

→ What is the biggest problem faced by your potential buyer? 

→ How can your product help them fix those problems?

→ Why should they consider your product in the first place?

→ What are the possible reasons for them to reject your product?

→ What keeps them from becoming your regular users?

→ Where/how do your users spend most of their time?

→ How are their spending capabilities and limits?

→ How do they consume content and what inspires them?

→ What will entice them to trust you and your product?

→ What do they like the most?

→ What frustrates them the most?

Answers to these questions will help you not only to understand your buyers better but also to define your product’s USPs and features clearly. 

How to conduct user research for buyer personas?

The importance of user research is undeniable and it should be the first and foremost step in your product development journey.

Listed below are a few quick tips to conduct effective user research:

→ Observe your potential customers’ online behavior. For example – you can analyze how they engage on social media, how their website content looks like (applies to B2B customers mostly), what online channels they are most likely to buy from, etc. 

→ Conduct user surveys. This helps you hear from your buyers directly. These surveys can be both online and offline. You can also conduct customer surveys to improve your existing product through customer feedback. 


→ Analyze all the takeaways you inferred through your observations and surveys. Formulate them in an easy-to-understand format and convert the raw data into actionable insights. 

→ How to create buyer personas?

Let’s dive into the most important part – ‘creating buyer personas’. After drawing insights for buyer personas and kickstarting the user research process, the next step is ‘persona definition’. Here’s a step-by-step guide that walks you through the major steps involved in creating buyer personas:

Step #1: Know for sure who your exact buyers will be

Step #2: Categorize and segment your typical buyers 

Step #3: Create a persona template that best works for you

Step #4: Keep brainstorming and improvising your buyer personas

Step #5: Draw inspirations from everywhere


Step #1: Know for sure who your exact buyers will be

Effective and accurate targeting is critical to the success of a product. Targeting refers to identifying the right users for your product which not only helps you create cutting edge products but also helps you carry out your marketing efforts profitably. The factors to consider are:

  1. Personal background: Details like age, gender, etc.
  2. Professional background: Job title, skills, education, experience, etc.
  3. Economic/financial factors: Average income, investment/savings, spending capacity, etc.
  4. Demographic background: Location, marital status, employment status, etc. 
  5. Psychographic information: Interests, goals, aspirations, challenges, likes, and dislikes, etc. 

Wondering how to research these details? You can talk directly to people from different walks of life, conduct surveys and user interviews, and study the competitive landscape. Analyzing the product usage, social media reviews, and comments on the competitors’ handles are other helpful ways. Pulling out these details (both qualitative and quantitative data) helps you depict your target buyer with utmost accuracy.  

Step #2: Categorize and segment your typical buyers 

Done with the first step? Now you’ll have scores of buyer personas that are entirely different from each other. Although each of them is unique and important, you cannot prioritize your product features for every one of those users. So the best solution is to group your buyers with similar attributes into groups and create well-defined, articulated, and well-categorized buyer personas. 

For example, if you are creating an ed-tech product for schools, your buyer personas should be as follows: teachers grouped based on expertise, parent groups based on income criteria, students with specific skill sets, admin users, etc. 

Step #3: Create a buyer persona template that best works for you

If you have researched enough and created well-defined buyer personas, it’s time to give your personas a visual identity. A simple Google search will help you get an idea of how buyer persona templates look like and how to create one that suits your needs. 

Essential components of a buyer persona are:

→ Profile Picture

→ A short bio

→ Demographic details

→ Goals, frustrations, and motivations

→ Personality traits

→ Preferred channels and platforms

→ Brands they like/use

→ Other custom details needed for your product

Here’s how a buyer persona looks like:

This is an indicative image that represents a buyer persona template. You can customize, curate, and create your own persona template that best works for your product and industry.

Step #4: Keep brainstorming and improvising your buyer personas

Once you have created your buyer personas with relevant templates you need to share them with the corresponding teams and product managers. Brainstorming with the product, technology, and marketing teams based on the buyer persona traits helps you improvise your product. Guess what? Your buyer persona creation doesn’t stop right here. Whenever you incorporate a new feature, upgrade your capabilities, or expand your market, you need to go back to the drawing board and rework with your personas to improve your product. 

Step #5: Draw inspirations from everywhere

Here are other best practices that you need to consider while creating buyer personas:

→ Draw inspirations from products that you use, refer and come across

→ Draw insights from customer conversations that are not necessarily interviews or feedback sessions

→ Leverage your own experience to make educated guesses

→ Take advantage of Facebook and LinkedIn audience insights

→ Turn your competitors to your advantage by studying their unhappy customers 

→ Be open to make inclusions and iterations to your buyer persona profiles as and when required

What are the benefits of using buyer personas?

The role of buyer personas in product marketing is of paramount importance. Here are the advantages of creating buyer personas:

→ Eliminate guesswork and make informed decisions

→ Enhance customer satisfaction and improve customer retention

→ Shorten your time to market and go to market with confidence

→ Improve marketing KPIs like email open rates, website engagement rates, etc.

→ Increase overall ROI

Here are some examples of buyer personas

Let’s handpick two distinct buyer personas from different walks of life, representing various audience segments with diverse interests and characteristic traits. 

1.B2C Buyer Persona

Here’s an interesting buyer persona that represents a B2C customer:

Persona: 
B2C Buyer 
Product:  On-demand healthy food planner and delivery app



Stella Mary
Personality
 
Stella is a working woman who loves to travel, explore new hobbies, activities, and experiences. As someone who wants to strike the right work-life balance, she makes extensive use of online resources. 


Spending Habits
 
●  Makes a competitive salary to afford an expensive city life
●  Willing to afford healthy food and fitness resources.

Age: 33
[Middle Age, In the thirties]
Hobbies and interests

● Loves pets and parties. 
● Enjoys working out and being fit
Loves to read news regarding the latest trends, health, and pop culture 
Research Method
● Google search
● Social Media
Community and discussion forums
Location:
Medium to large urban cities
Goals and objectives
●  To eat fresh and healthy food
●  To plan upcoming meals
To take a more nutritious and balanced diet
How they buy online
●  Instagram influencer recommendations
●  Shopping ads on YouTube and Google
Friends testimonials on Facebook or other social media platforms

Education:
Graduated. 
Employment Status:
Working in finance, marketing, or other professional industry
Social Media Exposure:
Very active Instagram User.
Checks Facebook, Twitter frequently. 
Pain Points
 
●   Lack of time to plan the meals
No resources to plan or select the nutritious diet
How can the product help the buyer persona?
With an on-demand healthy food planning and delivery service, Stella can be served pre-planned, nutritious, and ready-to-eat fresh meals at the doorstep tailored to her time, taste, and nutritious preferences. 

Insights from this buyer persona:

  • Understand the persona better to come up with more ideas to position the product as a direct solution to the buyer’s problem.
  • Devise the communication tactics and marketing strategy based on the insights from how Stella researches and makes purchases online.
  • Leverage all the takeaways from the buyer persona research and convert them into action items to communicate the product as the best solution to the pain points of users similar to Stella’s persona. 
  1. B2B Buyer persona

Here is another example of a different buyer who is one of the B2B audiences. Let’s see what works for him and what doesn’t.

Persona: 
B2B Buyer 
Product:  Online translation service that quickly and accurately translates volumes of business materials

 


Nash Stephen

Personality
 
Nash is a versatile and experienced business professional with abundant industry expertise. To keep pace with the changing trends, he loves to invest in learning new technologies and growth hacks that his business demands. 

Business Responsibilities
 
●   To sell electronics and office accessories to a wide range of audiences speaking multiple languages
●   To create marketing communication and technical documents in all target languages
Age: 38
[Middle Age, In the late thirties]


Hobbies and interests
●  Loves spending time with friends and families on weekends
●  Likes travel and outdoor activities
●  Loves to read industry updates and news, latest innovations, and pop culture 
Research Method
●        Google search for companies, vendors, and contractors
●        Referrals through known connections and networks

Location:
Urban city/capital town
Business goals and objectives
●   To identify a service provider for translating business documents on a regular basis
●   To get translations done swiftly and accurately whenever needed
How they avail services online
●  Through LinkedIn
●  Searching on app stores
●  Google Search
●  Webinars and business events


Education:
Graduated with a Masters degree 
Employment Status:
Working as a leader, key decision-maker, and an influential professional in a global company
Social Media Exposure:
Very Active LinkedIn User.
Uses YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter frequently. 
Pain Points
●  Delayed deliverables
●  Lack of accuracy and poor-quality translation
●  Different turnaround times and budgets for every translation project
●  Problems in hiring individual translators
How can the product help the buyer persona
With an online app that provides human-powered, accurate, and professional translation services, Nash can get his translation projects done on time, regularly, and whenever needed while also meeting the quality and timeline expectations. 

Insights from this buyer persona:

  • Take into consideration the buyer persona’s job nature, industry needs, position, role, research method, and tools to strategize your brand’s vision.
  • Understand the buyer nature and needs thoroughly so that you realize your role and scope in helping your future customers.
  • From this buyer persona, we realize that the product should have the following features as solutions to each of the pain points faced by the buyer persona. 
Pain points identified in user persona research  Product features / solutions 
Poor quality in translation  Human-powered expert translation to ensure accuracy
Delay in deliverables Automated turnaround calculator
Fluctuating prices Subscription packages
Other pain points Additional on-demand proof-reading servicesAutomated workflowsTranslators ratings

The above scenario is an example of how a buyer persona can help enhance your product with adept features that help directly solve the pain points faced by the buyer. 

Putting it together

Creating buyer personas is a great way to research your target customers and this research remains to be the backbone of your product.  Understanding the different types of people who will benefit from your products and solutions, and the challenges that your product will help them solve is crucial to attract and retain more customers. These personas are easy and quick ways to know your customers even before your product reaches out to them. They help you take the shortest route to your product development and success.

If you are looking for a free consultation on how to create outstanding products through well-crafted buyer personas, feel free to write to us. Drop an email to hello@siamcomputing.com and we’ll get in touch with you swiftly. Siam Computing houses a team of expert product developers, designers, technology specialists, marketers, and analysts who help have an accomplished history of helping hundreds of products go to the market. 

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