How Do You Pumpkin Spice?
What Does My Pumpkin Spice Latte Have To Do With Developing Buying Personas? The answer is: EVERYTHING!
You can tell it’s fall, even here in Orlando, because everyone has a pumpkin spiced latte (or pastry or ice cream or even beer!) to sell. Now, you may be thinking all this pumpkin spice hoopla is overkill and I’d probably agree with you, but I have to point out that it’s a prime example of targeted audience marketing.
There are a few reasons businesses jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon:
- They are capitalizing on the popularity of the seasonal pumpkin spice flavor.
- They’ve determined that they have a target market of pumpkin spice consumers.
- They have a product that lends itself well to pumpkin spice.
Businesses that are most successful in their pumpkin spice efforts have married points one, two, and three above. They are taking advantage of a seasonal craze because they have both a product and a receptive audience. If either points 2 or 3 don’t exist, the campaign will ultimately fail. Simply slapping a pumpkin spice label on a product because it’s fall doesn’t guarantee success, especially if you don’t have a market for it.
We’ve looked at identifying your target market in previous posts and explained how essential that is with making sales. This is exactly what the successful ‘pumpkin spicers’ have done. They’ve examined their buyers/audience/target market, found it to be full of consumers who will respond to the pumpkin spice label, and marketed a pumpkin spice product as a result.
It’s All About The Buyer
This type of targeted audience marketing isn’t anything new and it isn’t particularly difficult to do, but it does require a thoughtful approach and an investment of time and resources. The first step is developing buyer personas. A buyer persona is a generic representation of your ideal customer. These personas help business understand their customers and their motivations. Once you have your buyer persona, you can use it to tailor marketing efforts and messaging. It’s a way to target a market of likely buyers as opposed to blindly marketing to anyone and everyone in the hopes that your product will get in front of the right people at the right time. That’s a very inefficient and risky way to do business. Targeted marketing using buyer personas reins it in so your messages get in front of people who will actually make a purchase.
Developing Buyer Personas
Market research can be used to develop buyer personas, but you should also try to use information gathered from your current customers. Surveys, interviews, ratings, etc…they can all be used to gain insights into your customer’s buying habits. Here’s how to get started with developing buyer personas:
- Research it all. Examine your customers and sales to uncover trends about how certain customers consume your product or service.
- Capture the data. Use website forms to capture relevant persona data. Do you want to develop personas based on income level, gender, age, geographic areas? Ask for that data on your contact forms.
- Talk to your salespeople. What insights do they have about your buyers? Can they generalize buyers into different groups/personas?
- Talk to your customers. Find out what they like/dislike about your product or service. What keeps them coming back? What turns them off? Talk to your dissatisfied customers as well as your happy ones. Unhappy customers can be a wealth of useful information, particularly about customer pain points.
After all of your work you may discover that you only have one or two buyer personas, or maybe you’ll have 15 or 20. That’s ok. Don’t force it by trying to gain more personas than you really have. It’s best to start small anyway to test out how the personas support your marketing efforts before branching out and developing more personas.
Find Your Pumpkin Spice Latte
Once you have buyer personas in hand you can go about developing a targeted marketing campaign to reach them. Targeted marketing is not an example of “if you build it, they will come.” It’s more about identifying a need or opportunity for your buyers and taking advantage of it by providing a solution. Let’s face it, consumers want to experience “the fall season” all in a cup…or cookie, or oatmeal, or chips or any edible product!
So, I have to ask, what’s YOUR pumpkin spice latte? What product or service do you provide that meets the three criteria of the pumpkin spicers:
- Timeliness or relevancy
- Existing target market
- An in-demand product
Find the answer to build your brand!