Buyer personas are an effective way to align your organization and elevate your marketing strategy. When you create buyer personas, you are envisioning different representations of ideal consumers for your financial institution. By using buyer personas as a guide, you can focus messaging through more precise segmentation and personalization to meet the needs of your goal audience.
Below we’ll delve into more specifics on what buyer personas are, how to create them, and why your institution should implement them into your marketing strategy.
What are Buyer Personas and Why Should I Define Them?
Buyer personas are specific descriptions of your ideal consumers. They are semi-fictional, but based on real insights through research, data, and direct conversations with consumers. These personas help you define your target audience through details based on demographic data, interests, behavior patterns, and so on. Buyer personas provide valuable insight, and they allow you to focus your marketing resources on people who fit into these ideal target audiences.
How to Create Buyer Personas
You can create buyer personas with a variety of methods: market research, consumer data software, or direct feedback from consumers through surveys or interviews. A typical buyer persona will include basic demographics such as age, gender, and location, but it also has more specific details on income, financial challenges, life stage, behavior patterns, communication preferences, etc.
You should avoid overgeneralizing a consumer group such as millennials because there are a wide variety of influences that could impact the products or services a “millennial” may need. A compilation of these factors built into multiple buyer personas helps point your marketing team to the right products, services, and messaging for your target audiences.
Accessing and applying the right data presents many challenges for financial marketers, and we understand these obstacles. That’s why we recently mapped out the data maze to help FIs create their best path to data-driven results. By reviewing some of our best practices and recommendations, FIs can tap into their data sources to efficiently define buyer personas.
Example of a Buyer Persona:
- Ron is a tech-savvy engineer that lives and works in an urban area. He is a millennial-aged male between 30-35 years old with an annual salary of $70-90,000. Ron is a digital user, so he regularly checks his online banking portal and engages with his mobile app.
Looking toward the next few years, he is planning on becoming a first-time home buyer. Ron practices positive savings habits toward his goal of owning a home, but he’s still paying off a portion of his student debt and car loan. He may be interested in a better credit card to suit his needs, educational resources on buying a home, or a long-term savings plan. Down the road, your FI could be a trusted resource when he looks for a mortgage.
- Mia is a grandmother, aged between 55-65 years old, living in a suburban area with her husband. She plans to retire in the next 3-5 years, and she and her husband saved throughout their careers to build a sizable nest egg and enjoy retirement. She has used her online portal and mobile app, but strongly prefers more traditional interactions with her financial institution, including visiting her local branch.
Mia is also interested in diversifying her investment portfolio, including her options with real estate, CDs, and stocks to build her savings for her children. Your FI can be a trusted resource during this process, and Mia may appreciate in-person or over the phone customer service involving retirement planning and financial advice.
Should My FI Implement Buyer Personas?
Short answer - yes! For starters, buyer personas can improve your organization’s segmentation and targeting. You can start with a few personas and build as time goes on. We’ve previously talked about modern segmentation approaches that differentiate your audience, and buyer personas make it easier to group your consumers into distinct member profiles and meet them where they are in their financial journeys.
Personalization is another powerful benefit of buyer personas. By using these segments as broader target audiences, you can personalize the messages and channels for the buyer persona that belongs to each audience. By implementing distinct marketing campaigns for each persona, you create a personalized consumer journey that encompasses the right communication of products/services at the right time.
One of Prisma’s greatest benefits is that we make it easy for you to employ highly personalized, omnichannel marketing campaigns. This makes it easier to analyze and gain real-time insight to see what’s working with each buyer persona, and you can refine your messaging as you move forward.
Each FI department can use buyer personas as a guide. This builds a more unified and aligned approach to gaining and retaining consumers because everyone – from sales to marketing to front-line staff – is on the same page. These personas will help you tailor messaging, shape strategy, and even enhance your cross-selling capabilities with the insights they provide. By using this marketing tactic, your FI can attract and retain more high-quality consumers over time through communication that’s relevant and timely.
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