Buyer Personas Help You Evaluate Customer Perceptions (and Your Own)

Had an interesting conversation with the owner of a PR firm the other day. I asked how much business she gets from her website. Her response?

“I don’t use my website for lead generation. PR is personal, and people rely on word of mouth because PR is all about trust.”

I don’t doubt that referrals are important. But I think this PR person has fallen victim to what happens to many of us: our perception of our business is not necessarily the same as our customers’ perceptions of our business.

Sure, she may like to believe that choosing a PR firm should be all about trust, but I’d be willing to bet that someone searching for a PR firm isn’t thinking about grand themes like trust. He or she is probably thinking about concrete things like “I need a press release for my new product.”

Google’s Keyword Planner shows that the term “pr firms boston” receives a decent number of monthly global searches (anywhere from 100-1000 — Google is now cagey like that). Considering that there are only 215 competing web pages that use this exact phrase in the title tag, our trustworthy PR chick is likely missing out on some potential business.

Make sure you don’t fall into this trap. The only way to avoid it? By talking to your customers and finding out how they found you, what their buyer journey was like, and what went into their decision when they decided to hire you. (It’s also smart to talk to lost prospects as well.)

In the biz, this is known as a “buyer persona.” A good buyer persona will ensure that you’re not making silly assumptions about your customers and prospects.

By the way, I do a lot of work with Precision Marketing Group, and creating solid buyer personas is something the team over there does exceptionally well (and, no, they’re not paying me to say this). I wrote a post for them about buyer personas called “Here’s the Last Article You’ll Ever Need on Buyer Personas.” Check it out!

UPDATED 6-14-17