Before you launch any inbound marketing campaign, you need to know whom you’re marketing to. You need to have a clear understanding of the wants and needs of your target customers, your current and potential ones, so that you can present your message in a way that meets those wants and needs – and at a time when customers are receptive to it. Creating a Buyer Persona strategy is an essential pre-marketing task that will help your travel business zone in on the perfect audience for a message and give clues as to what point in the sales cycle might be best to share your information.

What are Buyer Personas?

Buyer Personas are fictional representations of your target customers. They’re made-up, generalized “people” who take on given names like Agency Manager Margaret or Frequent Traveler Terry. These carefully created buyer personas help you relate to your customers by allowing you to see them as multi-faceted consumers with specific drives and intentions.

While general in nature, Buyer Personas assist a marketer in sifting away anything that might obstruct a crystal vision of an ideal buyer and the most effective message to send to that buyer. Buyer Personas encourage a marketing professional to get rid of any assumptions associated with customers and any old techniques to reach these customers that don’t prove useful in today’s marketplace.

Why is a Buyer Persona Strategy Important?

As you prepare to create a buyer persona strategy to market your product or service, you’ll want to envision your target customer. How much do you know about him or her? You may realize, after some thought, that you don’t know much about the details of this person at all. That travel professional you want to sell a tour to might only want to transact over the phone. The business traveler you think would appreciate VIP limo service could be on a strict budget and need help justifying the expense. One buyer might prefer learning about your new cruise offerings in an industry newsletter. The other may enjoy finding out about discounted flights via your Twitter feed.

To be successful at creating inbound marketing content, which should ultimately lead to the sales of a membership or hotel reservation or any other product, you need to research down to the finest details the wants and needs of what you’re offering and where they’re looking for it. To close the deal, you should create a Buyer Persona of your target customer, or customers, which begins with researching who is already buying from you and who is looking for your type of business.

How to Create a Buyer Persona Strategy

Asking questions is key to creating Buyer Persona strategies. Interviewing past and prospective customers can help build a buyer profile that will serve as a valuable marketing tool for many types of future campaigns. Online market research is a great way to get the information you need to create Buyer Personas. Depending on your marketing goals, you may need to come up with as little as 2 Buyer Personas or you might want to have as many as 20. Multiple well-thought-out and data-driven buyer profiles are beneficial when you want to segment your customer base for marketing purposes.

If done right, Buyer Personas become tangible packages of bits of data that any person in your organization can refer to when it’s time to launch a marketing campaign. Should your target customers change, due to an adjustment in your services or fluctuation in the marketplace, you can always update or completely recreate your Buyer Personas. Well-developed, and always-fresh, Buyer Personas keep your marketing on-point, useful, and effective.