Small businesses have become more marketing savvy over the years. This is partly due to the wealth of information at our fingertips on how to start and grow a business. There are also tons of expert advice and many seem to agree when it comes to digital marketing and developing marketing plans that it's critical to start with a buyer person, aka target market.
I'm a little unconventional when it comes to creating marketing plans. I have sat down with clients to develop these buyer personas. We usually create 2 or 3 fake people, give them fun names like Luxury Lovin' Lenny and list their income, hobbies, lifestyle, etc.
A persona is supposed to help you figure out where your ideal client is located, where you can reach them, and how much money they have to spend. Sounds great doesn't it?
There is only one problem, what if you are wrong? As I began helping clients create these ideal persona's I realized, they all seemed to be the same person. Everyone's ideal client is a male / female (mostly female) in the mid-life range an executive, with extra income to spare on hobbies and luxury items. Sound familiar?
Sometimes, it takes a while to not only discover your own story and voice as a company, but it takes a while to discover your true target market. If you want to go through the process of creating a buyer persona, I suggest you think outside the box. You don't want to get so stuck on one ideal client that you neglect other groups that may be more lucrative to your business. In other words, don't be a persona snob. Marketing is a learning process, keep an open mind!
Here is Lenny's Buyer Persona...
I did not write the persona to be funny. For someone out there, Lenny is a real client. I may do the purchasing but the purchasing is to fulfill Lenny's needs. That is what I mean by thinking outside the box when you create a persona. What did we really learn from Lenny?
1. He needs more training. (In need of a trainer)
2. He LOVES treats (Treats for small spoiled pups)
3. He needs to run and play to burn his energy. (Doggy Daycare)
4. Upset stomach (1 tablespoon of plain yogurt solved the issue)
If you were in the pet industry, how would you market to the person with the money? In understanding Lenny, you understand how you can fulfill his needs.
If you have a service or product that is focused on mom's with young children, I wouldn't do a profile on the mom. Create a persona about the child. Then you can begin to understand, talk to, and fulfill the mom's true needs. Makes sense?
If you feel inclined, use Lenny as a guide to create your ideal client.