Each year, marketers across the world spend absurd amounts of money to get in front of vast audiences that would never buy their product. Understanding the mechanics of marketing is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of getting your message across, but if you do not understand who your audience is and how they make purchasing decisions you can very easily throw money down the drain.
Digital marketing tools have made the process of diving into core demographics much easier, but they are purely analytical. They provide great information, but in many ways only comprise half of the picture, with personas building out the other half. Think of it as the wax on, without the wax off. Daniel Russo would have never been able to do that flying crane kick in the All Valley Karate Tournament without both at his disposal.
Many companies struggle to identify and effectively market to buyer personas, and it can really sweep the leg to your marketing plans. The Your Business Marketer Team has experience in helping both new and established companies clearly understand who they are talking to and what it will take to get them to move from prospect to customer.
Demographics vs Personas
Before we dive into some of the key personas that you need to look at, it is important to understand the differences between a demographic and persona, because they are commonly confused. Chiefly, demographics are an analytical approach to categorizing buyers into groups, whereas personas look to appeal to consumer’s psychological tendencies. We know, that explanation is about as clear as mud.
Take a group of college students that might be interested in buying the latest gadget. We can reasonably say that the core demographic would be young adults ages 18-22. Then, this group can be dissected based on race, religion, gender… you get the idea. These demographics can be as broad or as narrow as needed and serve a valuable purpose.
Again, though, this is only half of the picture. Let’s say that within our college group we pinpoint Hispanic women that attend universities that have a student population of 10,000. Inside that demographic, each individual will have a unique buyer persona. Some might be early adopters who make purchasing decisions based on FOMO, while others are analytical purchasers using hours of research to quantify their purchase. There might be a few that will seek advice from friends or family members, taking a more collaborative approach.
Using demographics and personas together will help you effectively target audiences to get the best possible results. Ignoring one or the other can have even the best marketing campaign fall on deaf ears.
6 Types of Personas
Now that we have covered the differences between demographics and personas, it is time to dive into the different buyers that you might encounter. Each persona listed below has both an attribute that will help you sell to them as well as roadblocks that need to be overcome, so pay close attention when crafting your messaging to each one.
Decisive Daniel is among the most direct in the group. He is proactive, driven and very goal oriented. These are your type-A personalities, that make gut decisions and take risks.
Direct talk without the fluff is the best course of action for marketers when approaching Decisive Daniel. The slightest mention of collaboration can send him running, as he would prefer action over contemplation. Can your product be quickly implemented and solve his problem? If the answer is yes, he will jump at the chance.
Unlike Decisive Daniel, Consensus Charlotte, must have collaboration. She thrives off of it and needs to ensure that everyone on the team will have a chance to weigh in before moving forward. In the business world, she might need her team or other departments impacted to weigh in on the decision.
Working with a Consensus Charlotte can be a bit frustrating, as she is almost guaranteed to draw out the process. For marketers, this will require patience and information that can be easily shared with others involved in the process.
Do you have one person constantly interacting with your marketing? You have likely found a Relationship Rachel. Outgoing, creative and eager to learn, Relationship Rachel is driven by her ability to connect with others. Analytics does not have the same appeal to this persona and should be kept to a minimum.
Instead, focus on content that is relatable and entices her to engage. Information should allow her to fill in the gaps rather than filling out the entire picture. This persona can be a huge advocate for your brand, especially on social media.
We have all been there, you see something that is too good to be true or you have been burned in the past and BOOM you are a Skeptical Steve. In sales, these individuals are massive roadblocks who will derail a conversation with the flick of their fedora.
There is no way around it, if you encounter a Skeptical Steve, you will have to overcome more objections than Judge Judy. He will test you and cause frustration, but it is not his intention. Steve simply assumes the worst in every situation. Within marketing, backing up your claim is the only way to get through to this persona. Case studies are a great way to go, because Skeptical Steves often flock together in each industry.
Analyzing data from past wins will always be the path to future success for Analytical Alice. More than any of the other personas, this one thrives on data. The mere thought of a spreadsheet gets her excited. Analytical Alice is best approached with quantitative data.
The more detail that you can provide Alice, the better. Statistical analysis will drive her decision-making process. Ensure that information is up to date and can be backed up. Understand that this persona will move slower than any of the others and can blow up a deal if they are pushed too hard. In fact, these are the targets that are most likely to unsubscribe from drip marketing.
The last of our motley crew is Innovator Ivan, the most easygoing of the bunch and the polar opposite Analytical Alice. This persona could care less about the so-called rules and hates the phrase “we’ve always done it this way.” He craves progress, testing and pushing boundaries along the way.
Ivan is the big picture guy, and that is the best way to appeal to him. He will never be weighed down by the details like an Alice or Steve, and direct marketing will quickly be brushed aside. As an innovator, he gravitates to others that think like himself. Appeal to his early adopter mindset in your messaging and he will lead the pack.
Building A Persona Marketing Strategy
Now that you have a better understanding of the different personas and how they interact and complete demographic information, the next step is to put that information into action. These are just illustrations: personas can be created that are informed by your specific buyer demographics and that carry your ideal customer’s traits.
If you are still unsure of where to start, the Your Business Marketing team is here to help. With years of experience in helping companies build out their digital marketing strategy, consider us your personal Mr. Miyagi.