Buyer personas basically describe the attributes of an ideal customer for your product or service. Factors like age, buying habits, needs, likes, and dislikes help describe who your ideal customer is. And every entrepreneur has a fairly good idea of who their target audience is. But in today’s world of savvy customers, you can never be too sure. This could mean that you are missing out on an important and substantial chunk of prospective customers. Here’s how you can begin to build your buyer persona, after analyzing and understanding today’s buyers.
Why is it Important to Understand Today’s Buyers?
The sole aim of every business is to grow and become successful. And when has any business been successful without catering to the needs of their public? This makes it important, if not crucial to track and understand the shifts in consumer behavior in the recent past.
And mind you, there has been a significant change! The younger generation, for example, has abandoned the use of print media quite unlike their predecessors. Broadcasting on television is also losing its audience. Facebook says that in the US today, a person spends 60 minutes on an average on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
Major companies have shifted their focus to studying shifts in consumer behavior and they are relying primarily on:
- Real-time insights from social media and other platforms to inform their campaigns.
- Deploying modern digital marketing techniques to long-term relationships with consumers.
- Gathering real-time feedback from customers.
The Process to Understand Your Potential Customer
To understand today’s buyers companies rely heavily on what these consumers have to say. The insights come directly from the horse’s mouth. And over the past, there have been many techniques for such market research. Some of these traditional methods include:
- Focus Groups: Groups of people are assembled to share their opinions on a product or service.
- Surveys: Forms with questions and prompts, served to existing or potential customers to gain insightful responses.
- Face-to-Face Interviews: A set of questions asked in an interview format to customers and the answers recorded.
And though most of these techniques have worked in the past, they still have a lot of limitations.
The major limitations include:
- The process is time-consuming and slow.
- The use of data from past experiences renders the data outdated soon after the process is completed.
- True representation might be a problem as the interviewee may feel uncomfortable about giving negative feedback face-to-face or in the presence of a group.
Use of Real-Time Insights
To understand today’s modern consumers you need more modern techniques. AI tools like social listening help you track real-time interactions happening in the online world. And the reason why this procedure is working successfully is that consumers today post on social media. Consumers post about their experiences, consume product-related ads and interact with brands online. Tracking all this information gives you a complete picture of what your target audience likes and dislikes.
The two main advantages of real-time listening:
- It is time-efficient as it happens in real-time so the data does not go obsolete.
- The data is available on a global scale or can be made to zero in on a specific location/industry/demography etc.
Social media experts have been using such information for a long. And rightly so, because they know the value that can be derived. Social listening tools aren’t just a means to gain real-time customer feedback. It allows you to track potential threats, brand sentiment, track competitors et cetera. And for a true marketer, a tool delivering all these features is a worthy investment.