Friday, July 1 2022

Trying to sell to your target e-commerce audience without a buyer persona is like seeing in the dark without a flashlight.

You must resort to potentially misperceptions based on inaccurate details and guesswork. Buyer personas — also known as customer, audience, or marketing personas — while fictional, are based on research-based information gathered from potential customers.

E-commerce and social media platforms like Amazon, Facebook, and Walmart are no different. They need to put potential buyers in the spotlight, so marketers don’t make sales pitches in the dark.

Data-Driven Personas

Buyer personas are generalized characterizations of a type of customer. They don’t represent an exact buyer, because marketing to a specific person instead of to groups of people with similar interests can eliminate the possibility of reaching a wider audience, according to Raphaël Menesclou, head of marketing at Data Hawk.

DataHawk provides sellers with specially designed tools to access 21 Amazon marketplaces around the world. The advantage is a gateway allowing e-commerce players to stop trying to sell in the dark.

Why is data necessary to create buyer personas? Creating one without data is like answering a specific question without basing those answers on research, he replied. The result is at best inaccurate and speculative.

“Data is used to support claims. In today’s digital age, data is woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Almost everything we do leaves a digital footprint, and those footprints can be very telling about our behavior,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

By examining these behaviors through data, sellers can target consumers more effectively, he added.

The beginnings of the buyer persona

No, tapping into buyer personas isn’t some crazy new digital innovation spawned by the latest online software tracking mechanisms. However, the ability of websites to track your every move, gather your financial information, and sell that information to database vendors is a big part of the buyer persona picture.

The first buyer persona was named Kathy and was created by software engineer and design consultant Alan Cooper in the late 1990s. ‘interaction.

Kathy was a tool used for design thinking back when software and apps were notoriously difficult to use. The software was plagued with issues related to how a typical user would most frequently interact with it. Cooper solved these problems and then succeeded in defining a new product category.

Avoid mixed results

Creating personas that elicit specific responses from buyers depends on the type of research marketers conduct. Personas can be exact, but they can also be imperfect, Menesclou noted.

For example, knowing the type of buying behavior of a potential customer is a clue to recognize at what point in their customer journey buyers will be most receptive to buying. It takes extensive qualitative research for marketing teams to successfully organize marketing and advertising strategies to fit the buying behavior of a particular shopper.

Accurate research should be tied to key personality factors, Menesclou suggested. Some of the factors used to create a buyer persona include name, demographic details, interests, goals, pain points, and personality type.

“All of this can influence your marketing strategy,” he said.

Marketers obtain this information by collecting data through quantitative and qualitative research on existing and potential customers. The best way to get this information is through surveys, focus groups and interviews.

less is more

The same customer can be targeted with multiple personas. But more is not necessarily better.

“It is more advantageous to create fewer well-researched characters than several broad ones. Ultimately, creating too many buyer personas can cause you to dilute your messaging and lose sight of your original marketing strategy, Menesclou explained.

Multiple buyer personas aren’t the only mitigating situation marketers need to consider. Personas can differ for the same customer in Amazon and Walmart marketplaces, for example.

Studies have shown that the demographics of the average Walmart and Amazon shopper don’t differ much and that the only difference between the two might be a matter of income level, he proposed.

“It’s possible to do too much segmentation when creating one buyer persona for Amazon and another for Walmart,” Menesclou continued.

For example, a buyer persona split into multiple segments can potentially overlook other consumers who fall under a similar persona.

How personas work

Buyer personas work as marketing tools in the sense that they allow marketing teams to better understand their target audience and then promote them accordingly. They let you focus on your customers’ buying priorities rather than your own sales goals.

What motivates the characters? The marketer builds a detailed description of a person representing the target audience based on a thorough research of existing buyers or desired audience.

They help you align your ad content with the right influencers. They show you how to segment your emails or newsletters, plan the timing of your ad campaigns, and not waste marketing energy on unqualified leads.

According to Ethan McAfee, founder and CEO of Amify, an Amazon-as-a-service platform, buyer personas help brands target customers who are most likely to buy their product.

“For example, if a brand knows that you live in California and are between 15 and 40 years old, you are much more likely to buy a surfboard than someone living in the Midwest who is 70 years old,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Knowing your name or email address allows brands to combine this data to get a wealth of data on where you live, how much you earn, if you have children and many other statistics that help them determine who could buy their product, McAfee explained. .

With all this information, they can target customers who are five times, 10 times, or even 100 times more likely to buy their product.

“It’s very effective advertising for brands,” he said.

Personalized recommendations

Buyer personas are a primary marketing method for outlets such as Amazon and other online marketplaces, McAfee agreed. For example, Amazon and Facebook, along with many other marketplaces, use buyer personas to target the ads you see on websites.

“Most of us have probably seen an advertisement on the web that recommends certain items to you. These recommendations are different for each person depending on the personality of the buyer,” he offered.

A person can get a product recommendation for hockey equipment on Amazon. Another person in the same household logged into a separate Amazon account can get one for an item of clothing. This happens because Amazon knows your interests.

Persona software and platform developers drive the process of creating buyer personas through search. But you can find plenty of sources online that walk you through the process and provide software support and supporting hardware.

“While there are very sophisticated and expensive software systems you can use to create buyer personas, Facebook and other platforms try to make it as easy as possible for you to create and spend money. For example, if I owned a yoga studio, I could target people in my neighborhood by zip code who come across buyers who would more likely go to my studio,” he explained.

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