Words by Gary Ingram, chief executive officer, TheDiamondStore.co.uk
All too often, we fall into thinking more about what we want to sell than what our customers want to experience. But any successful jewellery retail team must understand their audience.
One of the easiest ways to empathise with our customers is by building buyer personas. These semi-fictional characters based on customer data are a great strategy tool that can help solve 3 key business problems and prevent costly sales and marketing mistakes.
1. Nurture better sales leads
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. It can be fictional to a point – with a made up name and a stock photo face – but the actual profile must be based on real, existing customer data you’ve collected.
Creating a buyer persona goes beyond demographics like age, gender and income.
It requires market research like polls and exit surveys and chatting with customers to discover their behavior patterns, values and goals. What events trigger your customers to buy specific jewellery products? What do they find challenging about the shopping process? Is their primary goal to make their partner happy or to save money, or both?
Imagine your key customer type is a 53-year-old engineer called Marc. He owns a successful local building business. He’s married and has two children under ten. He drives an Audi, owns a labradoodle, holidays in Antigua, runs charity marathons, and his wife grocery shops at Mark and Spencers.
Knowing all this immediately puts you in a much stronger position to nurture the right kind of leads who are likely to buy your products, than simply targeting ‘males aged 45-54 with an income of 50K+’.
2. Stop wasting advertising money
Vagueness is the enemy of effective advertising. We should never assume that we know what our customers want based on our own opinions. Even some statistics can be misleading. For instance, last year’s product performance is helpful to a degree, but it’s still product-focused, not customer-centric.
Buyer personas remove the guesswork from advertising. After all, it’s our best potential customers we want to attract, so why not speak to them directly?
If we take another look at the above example of a buyer persona, Marc, we know that he’s married with young children and owns a business. He’s a busy man with a comfortable lifestyle. Therefore, we’d want to tell him about fast 24-hour shipping and gift wrapping service first, rather than lead with price. We also know he’s married and holds a certain status, so his next jewellery gift purchase will probably be something like a tennis bracelet or an eternity ring.
Most importantly, we won’t be wasting time and money trying to reach Marc with an Instagram engagement ring advert peppered with emojis.
3. Welcome global opportunities
In the past, only big companies were able to operate globally. Today, thanks to technology, the world is our oyster. If you’re expanding abroad, buyer personas will help you to create strategies that are culturally relevant, and help your sales team respond to different regional customer preferences.
In conclusion, unless we know who our customers really are, presenting them with new jewellery products or advertising campaigns is risky. The point of creating buyer personas is to view our customers as real people instead of statistics – it’s a powerful tool that has a direct, positive effect on the bottom line.