11 Aug 2016 Digital

Everything You Need to Get Started with Buyer Personas

Kelsey Galles
Kelsey Galles
Content Marketing Coordinator

Empathy is a necessity in healthcare marketing. Every day, we communicate with individuals who are facing poignant circumstances, chronic illness, and life-altering decisions. How can we expect to effectively reach these individuals without first understanding them?

If you want to ensure your marketing dollars are getting the best ROI, you can’t rely on luck. Instead, you need to know exactly who your ideal customer is and what factors play into their decision-making process. In marketing, this is a called a buyer persona.

Personas are detailed portraits based on customer demographics and behavior, along with your own understanding of their personal motivations and challenges. Creating one (or several) will help you:

  • Inform marketing and sales strategies
  • Determine what type of content is most useful to your audience
  • Choose the right voice, style, and tone for your messaging
  • Develop a product or service

Below is an outline for a persona. Using details from your customer research, you can fill in details about your buyer and build a fictional character that encapsulates your customer. You can place this character in any story to better understand how they will respond to your content strategy and communication tactics.

buyer persona (I)
If you’re just starting out, you may consider creating 3-5 buyer personas. Gathering the necessary information to create these characters begins with segmenting your audience. For example, you may have three different segments: patients, caretakers, and healthcare providers. Of course, these segments can be further narrowed, but more broadly-defined segments will help you manage the initial undertaking.

Once you have selected your audience segments, you’ll want to create a persona for each. Below are a few starting points for gathering the appropriate details.

1. Check web analytics and social media data
With Google Analytics, you can see where your visitors came from, what keywords they used to find you, and the average time spent on your website. . Similarly, Facebook Audience Insights allows you to view your page’s audience trends including age, location, gender, relationship status, and job roles. You can even dig deeper to understand lifestyle and interest information as well as purchase behaviors.

2. Gather intel from your employees
Your customer-facing teams will have excellent insights from the direct conversations they
have with customers. They can help you nail down common characteristics, pain points, communication styles of both current and prospective clients so you can define a desired customer.

3. Conduct focus groups and interviews
Gathering feedback from existing customers is incredibly helpful. If you have the resources to conduct interviews or surveys, be sure to collect quotes as they can help to articulate the nuanced preferences and needs of your customers. You can also use these sessions to ask direct questions that may be harder to uncover without firsthand exposure.

Once you’ve gathered highly-detailed information, you’ll be able to paint a buyer persona and use the character to frame every marketing strategy and concept you ideate. For example you’ll be equipped to:

  • Build effective social media messaging around your customer’s aspirations and inspire them to take action
  • Solidify mid funnel sales tactics around your customer’s common objections to your product or service to nurture leads
  • Produce content in a format your customers will engage with based on their communication delivery preferences
  • Create new product or service offerings tailored to relieving the pain points your customers face

Are you new to buyer personas? Download our template to get started.

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