A buyer persona template is a marketing tool used by businesses to describe target segments of their customer market and online audience. Popplet is an ideal online visual thinking tool to use as a buyer persona template.
How Online Environments are Changing Business
The internet and mobile devices have fundamentally changed consumer patterns around the globe. We research and decide what to buy and which services to use by checking our smartphones, chatting in forum discussions, asking our social media networks, and by reading online blogs and reviews… we know that you know what we mean: because we’re all doing it!
As a result, we’re usually about 70% sure of what we want to buy before we even make first contact with some of the businesses on our list of preferences. For anyone in business, this has changed how to go about connecting with potential customers. Media marketing business experts like Nuria Gimenez, Head of Digital Services at GroupM predicts that “By 2016, we will no longer be buying space. We will be buying audiences”. What she means is that more and more often, businesses won’t get noticed by buying advertising space like internet banners or radio spots, but by buying the time and interest of audiences online, who connect with a business and then go on to share their experiences within their wider networks.
The Buyer Persona Template Technique
Internet marketing leaders, like Adam Singer at the Future Buzz, Barbara Gago on Content Marketing Institute and Lee Odden at TopRank all encourage businesses to enhance the experience of customers by really thinking about what customers want. You can use a buyer persona template in your business planning to describe your potential audience segments. This is a technique that can help you describe how your audience connects to businesses online, and what your customers want from the experience.
Above: Buyer personas: definitions and discussion from the experts
Hopefully, using buyer persona templates will mean your business is better able to respond to customer needs. This creates a deeper connection so that there is a personal, ongoing relationship between your brand and the value people get from it.
Singer, Gago and Odden all suggest asking yourself questions that help to understand your customers, and from the research you uncover, you can create a few profiles of different target market segments and their preferences. The thinking behind this is that you can better provide the type of online content for each audience segment if you have a clear picture in your head about who they are, how they move about online, and what are their common preferences and interests.
The Buyer Persona Template in Practice
Globally, many businesses are looking to connect with new consumers in the emerging markets of China, Russia, Brazil and the Middle East. We have used the internet marketing experts’ techniques to describe one of these new audiences. Here’s our Popplet buyer persona describing Russian consumers.
Above: Buyer persona template for Russian consumers using Popplet
For our buyer persona template, we drew from a combination of data sources and categorized our information by using some of the questions suggested by Adam Singer, Barbara Gago and Lee Odden to understand the audience better.
(Behind the scenes, we also filed all of our source materials (including the funky images we sourced from designcollector) in a delicious stack. Our monthly newsletter to blog subscribers will include links to these background tools and source materials. Our first newsletter edition also includes a step-by-step guide on how to build your own buyer persona template, and access to a blank template so you can start collecting data about your market straight away. Subscribe to our newsletter before December 31 to make sure you don’t miss out on these extra goodies!)
You can use a buyer persona template to dig deeper or step back to a broader level and understand your audience better. Our Russian consumer persona, for example, could be broadened into a category like ‘consumers in emerging markets’ or become more focused, for example, ‘Russian women aged 16 – 35’. Collating your information in a Popplet can give you new insights into your audience that improve your business operations and your customer’s experience with your business.
Work Collaboratively with your Buyer Persona Template
Popplet works as a collaborative tool that lets your business discuss who your customers are and what they want. You can share ideas within your business teams by selecting collaborators who can contribute to the popplet. Use the Popplet labs settings to decide who can add to the popplet and who can edit your existing popples.
How do you use Popplet as a business tool? Share your thoughts in our comments below.