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3 steps for conducting buyer persona research for your business

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Public Relations

To stay in business, you need to know who you are talking to. Even in the PR business, this is true. People today expect businesses to know what their needs are and meet them in the best way possible. 

That is why buyer persona research is important. 

When PR pros do in-depth buyer persona research, they can learn a lot about the habits, likes, and problems of the people they want to reach. You can modify your plans and find fresh ways to connect with your audience now that you have this information. 

There are easy steps in this guide that will show you how to do buyer persona research that will change your business. We will help you build your sales and marketing campaigns around buyer personas by providing a simple plan.

Buyer persona defined

Buyer personas, also called customer personas, are made-up versions of your ideal customers.  They give you a lot of information about the people you want to reach, like their habits, wants, and traits. These personas help businesses and marketers better understand and connect with their target audience by combining real data and market research.

In this guide, we’ll break down buyer persona research into simple steps that can transform your business. We’ll provide a roadmap to help you optimize sales and marketing campaigns by building them around robust buyer persona research.

What are the benefits of creating buyer personas?

Using buyer personas can transform your marketing efforts. Hubspot says that websites that focus on buyer personas can be up to five times more effective.  

3 steps for conducting buyer persona research for your business

Image sourced from hubspot.com

Here are some other benefits of creating buyer personas:

  • Improved targeting: Personas help you change and focus your content so that it is strategically placed to reach people who are likely to be interested in it. Personas can help you reach the right audience at the right time. 
  • Content choice: Personas give you the facts and insights you need to make smart choices about how to present your brand’s messages in videos, articles, and social media posts. You can then make content that is interesting and meets the needs of each persona.

How does buyer persona research work?

Step #1: Preparing for buyer persona research

  • Setting clear objectives

Set research goals for buyer personas as a first step. Take some time to think about why you want to learn more about your audience. If you sell remote PC software, for instance, your goals might be to personalize messages and make more sales, or you could use buyer persona data to improve your product. This step ensures purposeful research and personas that match business or communication goals. 

  • Identifying target audience segments

Split your audience up into smaller groups. As an example, these groups could include people who are interested in different products, first-time buyers, and loyal customers. 

In public relations, your audience segments could be from media relationships, clients in different industries, or just regular people. When you figure out these groups, you can focus your persona research on specific parts of your target audience. This helps you get more accurate results.

  • Gathering existing data

Use the information you already have before you start collecting new information. Write down what you already know about your audience and read it over. This information could come from things like surveys, feedback, or facts about the people who have bought from you in the past. 

Using data that already exists is a quick and cheap way to start your persona research, no matter what industry you are in. From the earlier example, for instance, it could mean gathering existing user data on your remote control software to inform further research into customer needs.

Step #2: Data collection methods

You can learn more about your target audience in a number of different ways. This should come after you have set your goals and done the groundwork. There are different ways to gather information about your target audience.

For instance, you can utilize tools like Person Search software to access basic contact details about individuals, including their addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. This information can be valuable for understanding your audience and tailoring your marketing efforts accordingly.

3 steps for conducting buyer persona research for your business

Additionally, when collecting data online, it’s crucial to consider online privacy and security. Using a VPN extension can help protect your data and ensure your online activities are confidential.

  • Surveys and questionnaires

Questionnaires and surveys are easy ways to get structured data. When you ask your customers deep questions, you can find out what they like, do not like, worry about, and their habits. You can make smart business decisions with the help of the quantitative data from these polls and surveys.

  • Interviews and focus groups

Focus groups and interviews with customers are the best ways to get good, detailed information. Talking to people directly through these tools lets you find out about their issues, plans, and objectives. More interview and focus group data means better services and strategies. 

  • Social media insights

Real-time social media data can show you what people in your target audience are saying, feeling, and following. Public relations experts can learn a lot about public opinion and media coverage by monitoring social media conversations. 

  • Customer feedback and reviews

You can learn from getting feedback. To make your communications, services, or products better, find out how happy your customers are with them. You can learn something from the review, good or bad.

3 steps for conducting buyer persona research for your business

Step #3: Data analysis and segmentation

In this step, you will start to make sense of all that data you have collected. You need to do this by looking for patterns, making detailed persona profiles, and knowing what your audience wants and where they are having trouble.

  • Finding patterns and trends

As you analyze your data, you should find patterns and trends. These patterns reveal the characteristics that your target audience has in common. 

For example, a pattern could show that people of a certain age like certain brands or have similar security issues. Having this information means you can give them exactly what they want and boost their loyalty to your brand.  

  • Creating detailed persona profiles

Now that you’ve identified these patterns, you can start making more in-depth persona profiles. This means recording more than just demographic information. The personas you create must include user traits, behaviors, and preferences that are relevant to your business and industry.

These detailed buyer personas will allow you to personalize your business, marketing, and communication strategies to maximize their impact.

  • Defining pain points and goals

The data you collect should reveal patterns concerning your customers’ pain points. The idea is to use that information to evaluate your product, services, or communication strategies. Find out how you can adjust or redefine your offerings to address those pain points and deliver more value to your customers.

Putting your buyer personas into action

The most powerful benefit of conducting buyer persona research is that it provides unique insights into your target market.

For the PR industry, buyer persona research will help PR professionals create value-driven messages and campaigns that resonate with their target audiences. This will create stronger customer relationships and help drive sustainable growth for your organization.

Sam O'Brien
Sam O’Brien is the Vice President of Marketing for RealVNC, leading providers of secure, reliable remote access solutions. He is a growth marketing expert with a product management and design background. Sam has a passion for innovation, growth, and marketing technology. Sam has written for other domains such as Copyrighted and Planet Compliance. Here is his LinkedIn.

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