Target Audience and Buyer Persona: What’s the Difference?
By Small Screen Producer. Publish on March 10, 2014.
Name changes happen almost everyday in the celebrity world and are publicized on tabloids and blog sites all over the web. Not so much for marketing terms, unfortunately. What was formally known as target audience has now changed its identity to buyer persona. And if you aren’t familiar with it, it’s time to make it a priority to get familiar quickly for the sake of your digital media marketing strategy!
First, What’s a Target Audience Again?
Determining your target market allows you to focus your marketing dollars and specific marketing message on a particular group of people defined by a certain criteria specific to your products and services. For example, a target market for restaurant catering service would be:
Age: 25 - 50 year old
Annual Income: $40,000 – 80,000
Location: Houston and surrounding areas
From this short profile, marketers and advertisers were able to focus marketing efforts and ad messages to reach this type of customer, “flying blindly” in the right “general” direction. Instead of guessing what to say to these customers, technology and big data that’s appeared in the last few years has provided us with resources to know how to speak to customers and provide them with information they want to receive. And thus, buyer personas were born.
What is a Buyer Persona?
Buyer personas take it one step further than target marketing. Buyer personas include the demographic information you get from target markets but include more information that helps marketers create great content and messaging. Buyer personas are absolutely necessary for developing a successful content marketing strategy so that’s why you see these two terms paired with each other a lot of the time.
Content marketing is the heart of an online marketing strategy and without it, your marketing doesn’t see very much action. Creating relevant content to customers and prospects monthly, weekly, and daily helps you speak directly and begin forming relationships with leads and customers who are already interested in your business.
To develop your buyer persona, companies need to ask themselves several important questions, including:
What is our customer's biggest challenge?
What do they need help with the most? What are their pain points?
What are they searching for?
What is their typical day like?
What are their goals, values, and motivations?
Where do they spend their time?
What social media sites are they most active on?
Do they check email, read blogs, or watch videos?
This is what a buyer persona would look like (elaborating on the previous profile):
Name: Katie Customer
Annual Income: $60,000 – 70,000
Location: Spring, Texas
Role in the Buying Process: Corporate Events Coordinator
Time at Company: 2-3 Years
Job Description/Responsibilities: coordinates event details for all corporate events, selects chefs and catering companies to prepare food for event, samples food and select dishes for menus, calculates budgets
Triggers: She needs a restaurant that can offer a variety of food and drink to pair with her vast array of business clients and provide consistent and dependable service.
Concerns: Cost & convenience; fast casual chains with drop-off lunches can be more appealing to her at times. Because of the nature of the business, she might have a hard time staying loyal to just one catering service.
Content Consumption: She likes getting information about new trends, foods, catering services, venues, and deals/promotions for parties and get-togethers. She constantly commissions catering companies that can offer great food and ultra-dependable service. In addition to this, she's always on her phone and checks email throughout the day when she can.
So you can see that buyer personas are more helpful by getting companies and organizations to zero in on who their ideal target is and how he or she behaves. Her triggers, concerns, and content consumptions styles help companies develop a content marketing strategy that speaks to her directly. By creating content that she can connect with, she's more likely to become a customer and continue to be one.
Defining your target market is your compass while buyer personas are your GPS navigation system. Both give you a direction on where to go, one just provides you with more information to effectively get to your destination.
About Small Screen Producer
Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand's web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company's web presence. Your company deserves it.
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