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Are buyer personas old school?

Buyer personas are profiles based on analytics of common behaviour, thinking, interactions, paths and characteristics of your customers. They are not a representation of your target group or ideal customer!

Joz Van Acker -

What are buyer personas?

Buyer personas are profiles based on analytics of common behaviour, thinking, interactions, paths and characteristics of your customers. They are not a representation of your target group or ideal customer!

How to use them?

Buyer personas should be used to inspire copywriters to create relevant content that can attract new look-a-like customers. Creating a life-like profile and putting a face to it helps them to write better copy to be used in content marketing and inbound marketing.
They can also be an inspiration to build flows that make as many contact points as possible with your consumers while on their Customer Journey. In today’s marketing automation flows are no longer squeezing your consumers into 6 or 8 personas but interact individually and hyper personalized.

How to create buyer profiles?

It all starts with collecting data about your customers:

  • website, social, shop behaviour tracking
  • transactional data by customer
  • profile data like age, gender, location, …

Most of this data is available in your company but is scattered over different databases.

Then data analytics and insights should show patterns of common behaviour that should be the inspiration of your buyer personas.

 

Some examples:

Example Personas, this one of a young female

Image source: blog.alexa.com

Example Personas, a middle aged man

Image source: Sirbacommunication

Example Personas, a middle aged female

Image source: Karen Veisblatt Toledano

Are buyer personas old school?

Not if you use them as described above. Although they have lost their importance over the past 10 years, when they were the core of inbound marketing, website personalization, content marketing and e-mail marketing.
Performant marketing automation allows you to orchestrate an omni-channel interaction with your consumers that is hyper personalized. The right channel at the right time with the right content, putting the consumer in the center.

Building a website that tracks visitors to squeeze them into 6 to 8 personas to show them 6 to 8 versions of your website is old school. Track them and use all your data to score them. Using extended and advanced scoring models, that drive personalised content is what you should be doing. This as a preparation for the next step: AI-driven marketing automation.

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Joz Van Acker
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DMI Belgium