First thing’s first. We’re going to lay out how buyer personas differ from target markets. Look at it this way: If we rounded up all of Greater New York City’s 35- to 54-year-old college educated, married men earning $100,000 to $150,000, do you think every one of them would share the same interests, dreams, attitudes and habits? Of course not!
That’s why buyer personas dig much deeper than geographic and demographic targets to sketch a detailed picture of your ideal customer and get right to the heart of what would motivate that customer to book a stay at your property, visit your destination, take your tour or attend your event. Let’s dig a little deeper ourselves to reveal the many added benefits of buyer personas for your marketing plan:
Getting Your Messaging Right
If you went to an amazing new restaurant in town and wanted to recommend it to your family and friends, you’d probably pick and choose what you said based on who you were talking to. You might tell your “I’m-on-a-budget Great Aunt Sally” that they have a really reasonable early bird menu. Then immediately turn around to “Millennial Mike, your craft beer loving friend” and rave about the insane variety of IPAs they have on tap. That’s you getting your messaging right.
It’s the same for buyer personas. The who—with their unique needs and wants—dictates the what to communicate to convince them to take the desired action. Your message will resonate because it’s speaking to this buyer persona on a personal level in their language.
Want proof? A Huffington Post article about the staying power of email marketing points to industry research that found personalized emails not only improve click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10%, but also pull in 18x the revenue of more generalized broadcast emails.
Targeting Your Media Strategy
Of course, it’s not only important to know what to say to your buyer personas. It’s also important to know where to say it so they get the message—literally and figuratively. Are they watching cat videos on Facebook or posting wedding inspiration pictures to their Pinterest boards? Do they read the Wall Street Journal or People magazine?
When you learn your buyer personas’ preferred information and entertainment sources—both on and offline—you know where to place your messaging so it captures attention, feels relevant and hits your goals.
Steering Your Offerings
Understanding your buyer personas’ needs and wants can also inform your product offerings. As a hotelier, you’ll know which amenities are worth investing in (and which aren’t), as well as what types of packages will put more heads in beds.
For tourism boards, you’ll know what aspects of your destination to highlight on your website to increase visitation. Tour operators will be able to craft itineraries that will get travelers to click “buy” and event managers will understand the right buttons to push to boost attendee numbers.
Focusing Your Efforts (and Budget!)
Everyone knows you can’t be all things to all people (otherwise, you end up being nothing to no one). By creating well thought-out buyer personas and pinpointing your messaging strategy and media plan specifically to them, you’re also eliminating waste and exponentially increasing your efficiency and ROI.
Honing Your Talk Track
It’s not just your marketing communications that need to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk of your buyer personas. Everyone in your organization is (or should be!) a brand ambassador, relating to your customers in the way they’re most comfortable.
That means your front desk clerk makes a guest feel instantly at home. Your salesperson gives a meeting planner confidence that every detail will go off without a hitch. Your in-house wedding coordinator ensures a bride that her big day will be a dream come true. Or your visitor’s center representative maps out the perfect afternoon for an out-of-towner.
These are the benefits of buyer personas. If you want to take full advantage of them, reach out to Lynn Kaniper today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.466.9187 ext. 117 to learn how Dana can help you put a face on your ideal customers and motivate them to become real customers.