Popplets At Work: Buyer Persona Template

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.

Buyer persona inset 1

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.

buyer persona template inset 2

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.

Share Ideas Or Stay In Control?

Work collaboratively and effectively

Popplet lets you share ideas and work collaboratively on projects. We have developed three levels of permission to let you manage your groupwork using Popplet and will continue to improve these capabilities. We get queries every week to our support email and to our online community page asking for clarification on how to use Popplet collaboratively. (Which reminds us – if you have a question or feedback, please share it with us by email or at our community page!)

Share ideas at three permission levels

You can use Popplet to work collaboratively in three ways:

share ideasShare ideas: This level allows you to show your popplet to others. You can email the page reference, embed it in your blog, or share it via Twitter or Facebook. When you share the popplet URL page or embed it in your blog, your readers will be able to move around your popplet and zoom in and out, but they will not be able to alter any content. You can see the choices for sharing your popplet board by clicking on the share button in the right hand top corner. First, you will be asked to make your popplet board public, and after that you can email it, embed it, tweet about it or post it to your Facebook page. (Don’t forget, you can also save your popplet as a PDF or JPEG and send it to people as an attachment.)

work collaboratively buttonCollaborate (add): This level of permission allows you to share your popplet and nominate others in your team as collaborators. They will be able to add to your popplet with new popples and connectors. When you work collaboratively, the name tag function comes in handy: you can see who has added popples and expanded on your original work. Your team can also use the comments function to explain the thinking behind their popple content. Click on the peg people symbol and add your team mates. To work collaboratively, your team mates must already have a Popplet account, or you can enter their email addresses and they will be sent an email and invited to join.

work collaborativelyCollaborate (edit): This level of permission lets your collaborators make changes to your existing work, as well as add more popple content. Under the gear cog (settings) symbol, choose “Popplet labs” and “Popplet permissions” from the drop-down menu. Select the option to let any collaborator edit your original popplets and click OK to save.

In 2012, we will be adding more features to help you to work collaboratively using Popplet. Please let us know on our Facebook page how you use Popplet to share ideas, and what additional features you need.