Before A Website Redesign, Identify Your Buyer Personas

Donny Kemick

Hello, I'm Your Ideal Buyer

Gearing up for a website redesign? Great! I hope we're helping you! :)

Either way, it's an exciting time! I hope you are also working on a full inbound marketing strategy. Doing both simultaneously has some advantages, such as ensuring you don't have to rework your new site design to accommodate your inbound marketing efforts. One area that should most certainly be identified and thought about is the various buyer personas your organization has. When visitors arrive on their site, they don't want to figure out what's in it for them. They need to be hit over the head with the value you provide to the buyer persona they fit in.

True or False: If a visitor finds content that is highly relevant to them they are more likely to spend more time on your website.

TRUE!

True or False: If a visitor identifies better with the content that you provide them because it is more relevant to them they are more likely to lead to a sale.

TRUE!

Okay, now that the common sense is out of the way, let's talk about buyer personas...

Establishing Your Buyer Personas

Call it segmentation if that makes you feel warm and fuzzy and is more familiar. Regardless of the name, we're simply trying to identify differences in the characteristics of your buyers. Every product/service you sell may have a unique buyer persona associated with it. Conversely, every product/service you sell may have the same buyer personas, plus some unique ones. The bottom line is, you need to be able to identify them and know what differentiates one from the other.

Marketing automation software company identifies Buyer Personas this way:

Buyer personas are the result of slicing your target audience into individual groups of people. These people are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

Want to make it fun?

Make each persona a fictitious person and create their profile. When you are preparing to market to a certain persona, you can ask, "Would Bertha respond to this?", or "Would Herman be receptive to this?"

An Example Of Buyer Personas On A Website

If we look at a large manufacturer like John Deere. They have a huge selection of products from consumer-grade lawn mowers to industrial-use farm equipment. Each has a distinct buyer persona. If you look at the deere.com website, you'll notice they are narrowing their buyer persona from the beginning:

Deere.com Homepage with Geographic Selector

After choosing your geographic region you are taken to another broad level page, focused on narrowing down the visitor's buyer persona. Each of the large rotating banners is focused on a different buyer, hoping to grab their attention and whisk them away to the solution to their equipment problems. Even the Top-Navigation puts the narrowing criteria as the very first item, Industry.

Deere US HomepageWhile Deere likely has a very detailed description of each buyer persona, the average Joe can identify with some general personas while looking at the homepage, including:

  1. Investors
  2. Current Customers
  3. New or Upgrading Residential Customers
  4. New or Upgrading Commercial Customers in various industries

They do a good job of getting out of the visitor's way to let them find the right experience for them. This is harder than clumping all of their products together and having the visitor sort out which are best for them. Once you identify the area of the site best suited for you, they speak directly to you. They don't use the same copy when talking to the Forestry industry as they do the when talking to Military and Government visitors. For example, on the Forestry, they tailor photos and copy directly to the Forestry buyer:

Deere Forestry PageThe site becomes all about the Forestry industry when the visitor selects Forestry. Including the left nav bar, which now speaks directly to the Forestry industry.

It's About Personalization

My discussion of the example above only goes as deep as the industry, but Deere no-doubt has customized the experience based on more details of each buyer persona, such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Salary/Hourly
  • Household income
  • Education-level
  • Marital status
  • Number of kids
  • Number of years employed
  • Commonly faced problems (even outside of their products)
  • Values and goals
  • Common sources of related info
  • Many more...

Knowing your prospective buyers at these levels makes identifying content to create much easier, and much more effective once created! It will also make sure you are speaking directly to them, making a connection that your competitors aren't.

How Do You Identify Your Organization's Buyer Personas?

Identifying and creating your organization's buyer personas involves some research about existing clients/customers as well as your ideal customer/client. This research should be focused on

  • Basic demographics (see some listed above)
  • Common background
  • Online behavior
  • Hypothesis of:
    • Personal history
    • Motivations
    • Fears
    • Concerns
    • Problems
    • Values

You should research/interview/survey good and bad clients/leads along with people you've never been in contact with. Does this take more time than just jumping and getting your site done? Of course! Is it a way better way to handle the process and ensure you are more successful? Absolutely!!

We Want To Help!

We want your website redesign and inbound marketing to be a success. To see how we can guide the process, contact us. We're very friendly, and our goal is to help you do things right the first time!

VIEW MORE STORIES IN Close, SEO, Websites, Strategy, Design, More, Attract, Inbound Marketing

More Interesting Reads

Copywriting Tips at Inbound 2017: Bring on the Science and Sweatshops

I was a newspaper guy for over a decade. Just old enough to be stuck in the print age, yet young enough to grasp the power of an internet-based message. Maybe, as a business owner or marketing guru,...Read more

Increase Brand Awareness by Feeding Your Blog a Well-Rounded Diet

In the filthy, weedy backyard that is the internet, growing a beautiful blog is key in your company’s quest to increase brand awareness. If you’re still thinking, “Do I really need to start a blog?”...Read more

Inbound 2017 - The 3 Sessions We're Most Looking Forward To -- Josh C. Edition

The annual Inbound conference is awesome for a variety of reasons. It covers marketing, sales, leadership, culture, growth, and more. There's a ton of great inspiration. The networking...Read more