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How can a manufacturer identify their ideal customers?

Who is buying your product? More importantly, who is your ideal customer? What drives them to purchase? What are their likes, dislikes, needs, and wants? Knowing how to answer these questions will help you connect more directly with your clients, which will lead to more sales and higher customer satisfaction and engagement.

In this post, we'll explore who an ideal customer is, how to understand their needs using a buyer persona, and why manufacturers need to adopt this technique.

Table of Contents:


Key Takeaways:
  • Marketing to a target audience is more effective than marketing to a broad group.
  • A buyer persona is a fictional person who has the same traits as your target audience. You can have more than one buyer persona.
  • Key data for buyer personas include demographics, firmographics, job information, and content consumption preferences.


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What Is a Buyer Persona?

It's not too hard to figure out what an ideal customer is – it's the client who would get the most value from buying your product. As you're providing something that meets their needs so well, they'll likely stay a loyal, high-value customer of yours.

How does a buyer persona come into this? Well, a buyer persona is a fictional character that you create to represent your audience (or segments of your audience). When you create a buyer persona, you use a blend of market research, internal information (i.e. customer information), and first-hand experience from customer-facing departments. A simple buyer persona might look something like this:

Mary is a 40-year-old purchasing manager from Company A. She needs to ensure her company has a steady supply of Product 1 so it can meet its production goals. Her chief pain points are incorrect deliveries, late orders, and unhelpful customer service reps. However, prompt replies to her emails and a dedicated account manager make her job easier.

A more complex, detailed buyer persona would include details about job role, position within an organization, personality, management/working style, education, and more. And you can have as many personas as needed to cover your main customer groups.

Challenges Solved by Buyer Personas

  • Insightful content – “Our content isn't getting enough website views.” “People don't stay long enough to read our content.”

  • Customer engagement – “Clients don't seem interested in our sales pitch.”

  • Sales-client connection – “It seems like there's a disconnect between our sales team and our audience's needs.”


Using Buyer Personas to Connect With Your Ideal Customers

What data do you need to develop an actionable buyer persona? Realistically, the following areas will make a good foundation:

  • Demographics: Basic personal info like age, education, location, gender, etc.

  • Firmographics: Business size, type, industry, revenue, competitors, etc.

  • Job & Organization: Job title and role, career path, seniority level within their organization, reports/supervisors, etc.

  • Tools & Preferences: How and when they prefer to consume information (e.g. reading industry blogs with their mid-morning coffee) and what communication channels they use (email, phone, etc.).

  • Goals: Business and personal primary goals, and secondary goals.

  • Challenges: Primary challenges and secondary challenges.

  • Common Objections: Why wouldn't they buy your products and services?

  • Research: Where do they go online (e.g. watering holes) to get the information they need?

You can add or change details over time as new information emerges.

Why Buyer Personas Are Vital

What's the practical use of buyer personas? They help you target your marketing messaging and approach to the person, not just the organization or the job title. You can adjust the words you use to reflect your awareness of their unique challenges and position yourself as a trusted partner. You become a problem-solver instead of one more supplier. You can also make the contact feel valued as you work with their preferences instead of simply pushing your message when and how it's most convenient to you.

All of this adds up to one of the pillars of inbound marketing: making the customer the center of your decisions.

Up Next: Map Your Buyers' Journey

As you know, it takes time for prospects to become clients. If you send the wrong message at the wrong time, you risk alienating a potential customer. In our next post, we'll explain the buyer journey and how that can help you tailor your marketing and sales efforts.

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