Before reading this book, I was honestly a little sceptic about the whole buying persona model. I have never heard of it, even though I was working in big companies. But anyway the book showed many interesting aspects to make one understand, why a buying persona is important for a business.
Everything is about the customer experience today. In the past, producers of goods and services were the ones who determined the distribution channel to the customer. Today the product is becoming more and more secondary. The target group ‘’dilemma’’ Unfortunately, target descriptions are rarely accurate enough. In the typical target group, customers are both male and female, their incomes are in the broad middle range, the age of the addressees is given as “between 25 and 65” and the offer is aimed at people with both a simple and a high level of education. Such a description corresponds to the facts, but is largely useless. Because the target group is so big that it is impossible to target them. The way out is provided by the Buyer Persona model. It consists of the detailed description of a fictitious person. As a pars per tote, this buyer persona has all the characteristics of a real person and represents the prototypical customer.
The abstract customer can be modeled using one of the following three categories: “Personas evolve out of the target group definition.”
• Buyer Group: These are the people who actually bought the offer. The company has good access to the data in most cases. To check your own Buyer Personas later, this data is very helpful.
• Target group: In contrast to the buyer group, the target group is a target description. As part of its marketing and sales strategy, it provides answers to the question of who the offer is aimed at. Frequently, target group descriptions are enriched by sociological and psychological parameters. In practice, two models dominate: the sociologically differentiated sinus milieu and the neuropsychological limbic types.
• Buyer Personas: The abstract target group description forms the basis for the focused, prototypical personalization of the core target group in the form of one or more personas. This creates a very concrete, especially internally well communicated personal description of the typical customer.
Personas help to demarcate target groups meaningfully and to define them clearly. A heterogeneous product portfolio can certainly address different target groups. Here it makes sense to formulate a persona for each product line. The sports car manufacturer Porsche, for example, works for each series with a specific buyer persona. For the number of personas, the formula is as many as necessary and as little as possible. Personas are communicative. Audience descriptions are abstract and written in marketing language. This cannot and must not be understood by everyone in the company. With Personas you can reach the heart and brain of the whole workforce.
I personally have only learned about buying personas since I took the Sales course in school. Before that, I was more aware of it subconsciously. Back at Google AdWords we had our target groups that we wanted to reach out to and we wanted to sell to. It was more of a big picture as the target groups were broader. Nobody talked about a buying persona ever. But the meaning is the same. The way of understanding is the same. For me personally it is so important to have enough social skills to understand what you or the customer needs. To understand which product suits the best for which customer. It is in fact very helpful to ‘’draw’’ a buying persona for your marketing plan to make sure everyone understands who your target group is. But in the end, it is just an outline of a big picture of possible customers. When it comes to the deeper selling process, the seller must show that he really understands people’s needs. And needs and wants are always affected by different life situations, previous experiences or other happenings. And that’s the tricky part.