What Are Buyer Profiles or Personas?

A buyer profile is a descriptive outline of the person you are seeking to attract. It is used in marketing automation platforms, such as Salesforce's Pardot, to ensure the right information is going to the right person at the right time. 

Buyer profiles help you understand who you are targeting to secure as customer.  

A profile makes it easier for you to share the types of people the business is seeking to attract and to therefore tailor content, products, services and behaviours to meeting this group. 

Yes, it is just like a 'Segment' in traditional marketing speak.  However, in the world of content and automation, it is a tangible Profile which you can assign to a prospect and trigger automated actions from. 

The best profiles are based on good research with strong insights into demographics and psychographics.  

Using different profiles allows you to deliver different lead nurturing campaigns to clients and ensure the right information is being delivered to the right person at the right time. 

An advanced use of buyer profiles is to connect your profile to the right stage of the buying lifecycle. 

For example, a property business might establish their profile hierarchy as:

  • First Home Buyer - LEAD
  • First Home Buyer - Qualified
  • First Home Buyer - Strong Opportunity
  • First Home Buyer - Purchaser & Resident

By developing four different types of the First Home Buyer Profile according the buy stage will allow the property developer to design and target emails, content, social media and unique offers to very specific buyers. 

 

How Many Buyer Profiles Should I Have?

As many as the distinct types of buyers who need different communication to.  Some businesses have 1 or 2, others have 10 or 20.  It all depends on the complexity and market whom you are chasing. 

It is always best to keep life simple.  How many buyer profiles can you remember off the top of your head?  That is perhaps where you should max out the total amount of profiles. 

 

What are Negative Profiles?

Content engagement allows the digital marketer to develop a 'negative profile'.  A negative profile is a type of market segment you specifically don't want to market to.  

For example, if a prospect has a high level of engagement and represents a high score but that engagement has come from lots of time reviewing the careers section of your website, it is highly likely that prospect is not a future customer.  

A negative profile can be applied as 'job seeker' and whilst useful to know if this person is your next super star, they're certainly not going to be your next client so don't serve them through to the sales team for follow up. 

 

How Can I Work Out A Profile?

When building data capture elements such as forms or sign up pages, design the right questions to help you determine if this prospect will be in your profile.  

You do not need to capture all the data you need in one take, rather use functions like progressive profiling to gradually attached the right data to your prospect. Then leverage automation rules to change the prospects profile and trigger more personal marketing. 

 

Are You Leveraging Profiles Correctly?

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