How to Build and Use Buyer Personas In Your Marketing Automation Efforts


Today’s buyers expect personalized communication and experiences. In order to deliver personalized messaging, you first need to understand who your customers are. A good strategy for personalizing your marketing efforts starts with buyer personas: fictional profiles that capture traits of your typical or ideal customers, from their pain points and challenges to their expectations and preferences. 

Once you’ve created buyer personas, you can tailor your marketing automation campaigns to provide your customers with the most personalized experience possible. This can increase click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 15%, providing 18 times more revenue than you would typically get from broadcast marketing emails.

Read on to find out how you can accurately define your buyer personas and make all the difference in your marketing automation efforts.

Building Your Buyer Personas

To ensure you build buyer personas that will steer your messaging in the right direction, you cannot rely on your assumptions of your customers — you need to use real data. With technology like your CRM system, you can call upon a wide range of data to create a set of personas

Keep in mind that creating too many personas can spread your marketing efforts too thin and defeats the purpose of segmenting your audience. Buyer personas, by nature, are intended to generalize segments of your customer base, using data-driven insights. It’s better to have a smaller, but more meaningful, collection of buyer personas.

Here are data-driven ways to create a set of high-quality buyer personas to inform your marketing automation strategy:

Consult Your CRM

As the source of truth for customer information, your CRM can reveal the demographics and digital behaviors of all your leads and customers with just a few clicks — provided you’ve been using your system effectively. This makes it easier to identify common characteristics of groups within your customer base, which can be used to form your buyer personas.

Survey Your Customers

If you want to know what your customers expect from your marketing and sales process, why not ask them? Your customers may be happy to tell you about their experience with your business if they think it will lead to better customer service in the future. 

Surveying your customers at every step along the path from lead to loyalty can help you refine your buyer personas. You can even include helpful quotes or terminology from your participants’ answers to give life to your personas.

Analyze Consumers’ Online Behavior

Understanding your customers’ typical path to purchase can also refine your buyer personas. Take a look at their online behaviors, which can help you hone in on what drives them to — and away — from your business.

Make sure you have a social listening strategy, and pay attention to the feedback you’re getting via comments, messages, and reviews — as well as what customers do and don’t “like” and engage with on your pages. You can also make use of analytics tools to determine relevant demographic information for your buyer personas.

Buyer Personas and Marketing Automation 

Once you’ve crafted your buyer personas, you can use them to develop a more personalized and effective marketing automation strategy. 

Your buyer personas serve as the framework for the automated actions within your platform. Leveraging marketing automation to segment your personas and personalize the messaging that’s sent to them allows you to successfully attract and retain customers, while improving the efficiency of your sales and marketing teams.

Here are a few of the ways buyer personas and marketing automation come together to help you reach your lead generation and customer retention goals:

  • Engaging customers: Use general persona information such as job titles and industry, as well as relevant customer language from your surveys to craft more targeted content.
  • Marketing your service or product: With an understanding of your audience’s shopping habits and typical decision-making process, you can anticipate their needs and automate messaging accordingly. That means they receive the information they want, when they want it.
  • Enhanced lead scoring and nurturing: Buyer persona information allows you to implement effective lead scoring and subsequent nurturing within your marketing automation platform. As your customers engage with your content, the systems scores their behavior; and where they’re at in the process can trigger the next piece of content or communication they receive from your business. This optimizes your marketing efforts and moves your customers down the sales funnel more efficiently.
  • Reducing time spent on irrelevant leads: If you want to take your strategy a step further, you can even build negative buyer personas to identify audiences that aren’t likely to become customers of your business, so you can better focus your sales and marketing resources on only the leads most likely to convert.

As a full-service Salesforce Platinum Consulting Partner and digital agency, the RelationEdge team of marketing specialists and technology experts can help you truly get to know your customers. Our strategists are experienced in identifying the right data, building buyer personas, and using them to create a strong marketing automation strategy with personalized campaigns. Ready to find out how we can help you develop your buyer personas and get the most out of your CRM and marketing automation platforms? Contact us today.