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Your Buyer Profile: How do we get from ‘one-size-fits-all’ to personalized content

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Meet Maya. 👋

Maya is 38 years old and lives with her partner and two dogs in North London. She is the Internal Communication Manager for a medium-sized construction company, earns £60,000 per year. She oversees a small team of communications professionals and is looking for a way to increase in-person interaction between remote team members. She wants to buy an electric scooter and wants to join a gym. She sees herself as an eco -warrior and recently installed solar panels for her 2 bedroom home.

How does any of this information help you?

It probably doesn't.

There's a saying that You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be something to someone.

One of the very first topics you learn in marketing is to understand and get to know your target customer. They start by listing out all the qualities and demographics of who you think would benefit from buying your product or services and create a Buyer Profile.

Buyer Personas

Traditional Buyer Profiles and Personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers used by marketers to help them create content and messaging that will persuade customers to make a purchase. In theory, buyer personas make sense but they tend to be very broad and often focus on your customer's characteristics and not what really motivates your customers to buy.

Strategic Storytelling uses your customer's journey and the different stages of your audience's level to make your copy more persuasive by tapping into their needs and desires. Keep reading as I breakdown my process

#1: Find out what is the Job-to-be-done

CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN, Author, Competing Against Luck said: “A ‘job’ is the progress that a customer is trying to make....When we buy a product, we ‘hire’ it to help us do a job. If it does the job well, we’ll hire it again. If it does a crummy job, we ‘fire’ it and look for something else to solve the problem.”

Think of your service not as something a customer is buying, but as something that is helping them solve a problem or achieve a goal. In other words, helps them get a “job” done.

Dig deep enough to understand why your audience has that pain point.

Theodore Levitt said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” Scott McKelvey takes this a step further by explaining the end results of those holes as being shelves to store things, which in turn tidies up his house. If the desired end goal is to have a tidy house then an untidy house is the true pain point and the job that needs to be done.

Q: What was the primary “job” this buyer is trying to get done?

#2 Trigger Points

Every purchase begins with a trigger event. A trigger event is a moment when your buyer moves from being oblivious that they even have a problem to being in the market for a solution.

​Katelyn Bourgoin, CEO of Customer Camp said:

If you don't know what triggers people to buy, then you're probably just guessing way too much stuff. You're guessing about what channels to hang out in, you're guessing about what messaging is really going to be meaningful to your audience, you're guessing about what they want from your product so that you can actually fulfill the promise that you make in your marketing with your actual product.

Q: What happened to make them want to start researching and eventually make a purchase decision to alleviate that problem?

For example; Your customer might want to buy a juicer on a surface level they want to get healthier but their trigger point may be to use up veggies and fruit that are about to go off. By writing content that addresses that trigger point in your customer's stage you can get ahead of their decision process - articles on recipes, how to tell if a veg is near expiry etc.

#3 Emotional Drivers

Customers make decisions from emotions and then justify those decisions with logic. Make sure your decision journey includes not just rational steps, but also what your customer is thinking, feeling, and needing at each stage.

  • What is keeping them from taking the next step in solving this problem?

  • What frequently asked questions do they ask?

  • What is the transformation they want to achieve?

  • How will your product or service make their lives better?

Write down all your features and translate them into benefits. A feature is an aspect of your product or service. The benefit explains why your customers would care about that feature.

For instance, a feature of the camera on the iPhone 13 Pro is:

[The] software and ISP automatically refine contrast, lighting and skin tones for each person.

And what’s the benefit?

you become a better photographer - your selfies will look great - you don't need to hire a professional photographer

At the end of the process, I create my Audience Muse.

Audience Muse:

There are 2 important points in your audience's awareness levels that you need to focus on. The Trigger Point and Conversion. When I write to the trigger point I think of my first ideal client. I map out how they found me (Trigger) What questions they asked; What was frustrating them; What is the job to be done. (pain) And when I write to the Conversion Point I think of what answer did I give and the results we achieved (Emotional and transformational).

When you struggle to identify your Customer's true motivations to buy, your content will end up confusing your audience. And confusion leads to lost action and sales.

TL:DR Focus on these points of your customer's journey

  • Trigger: What life event triggered them to begin the buying journey?

  • Job: What “job” are they trying to get done?

  • Pain: What pains do buyers have? What objections do they have?

  • Emotional desires: What was their underlying personal motivation? How did they hope their life would be better?

Aspirations: What is their idea of success? What is their desired transformation?

Do you know someone who would love to get better at communicating and writing?

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