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How to Use Big Data to Identify Buyer Personas

Jul 16, 2018   |   2 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

buyer-personas-big-dataCustomers expect personalized customer experiences. But in order to deliver, brands need to know who their customers are.

Real-time, accurate third-party data is key.

By enriching your customer records with everything from zip codes to homeowner status, you can uncover new, revealing details about the people on your email list.

Once these insights are unlocked, it’s time to interpret the data to understand what it’s telling you. This process will help you better define your buyer personas, a “semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers,” according to HubSpot.

Here are four key questions to help you better define your buyer personas.

1. What types of customers do you attract?

Take a look at what your demographic information is telling you. For example, a health clinic may find it attracts senior citizens as well as families with young children. In this case, the clinic might name their buyer personas “Retired Robert” and “Mary, the Busy Mom.”

Painting a clearer, more personal picture of your customer helps you target individual messages more effectively. Because brands commonly struggle to collect all of the data they need to create a complete customer picture, consider adding third-party demographic, lifestyle, life stage and purchase intent data to build a stronger buyer persona.

2. How do your customers find you?

Did they look for your website directly? If so, this may signal they’ve heard about your company elsewhere – either from other brand advertising or through word of mouth. Or if they found you through the search engines, what search terms brought them to you?

As Derek Edmund explained in Search Engine Land, this information will give you more insight into the path your customers take to come to you – which can either reinforce your current marketing strategy or prompt a change.

Identity Matching can also help you understand your customers across channels. Identity Matching is the process of tracking and pairing user behavior and individual identifiers across channels. Marketers can use this information to improve attribution and prioritize channels.

3. How do your customers interact with your emails?

Do they read your emails on the train during their commute? Over lunch hour? Immediately upon receipt?

Let your buyers’ habits dictate the tone and flow of your emails. Someone who is slow and methodical will not appreciate being hurried along. On the other hand, if your buyer only has a few minutes a day to skim emails, you need to be efficient, giving them the most details in the shortest time needed to make a decision.

4. How do your customers interact with you online?

Are your customers on social media? How long do they stay on your website? What content is most popular? What forms do they fill out? What products are purchased?

These answers will not only tell what content your buyers want, but also where to promote it.

Buyer personas are crucial to helping sales and marketing understand and communicate with their ideal customers.

The goal of these questions is to develop a complete, composite profile of your prospects. Rather than working with a large set of nameless, faceless data points, buyer personas help you narrow down your customer descriptions into segmented categories.

Strong buyer personas ultimate allow you to know your customers and create powerfully personalized brand experiences.

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