"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself" - Peter Drucker. All successful brands subscribe to this. They possess a deep and profound appreciation of their target audience. With this knowledge, they are able to shape the brand story, marketing strategy and activities to build the desired relationship with the target audience. As the quote above alludes to, without that knowledge, misalignment may occur. Today, all brands are encouraged to build a buyer persona of their target audience. Thanks to the rise of doing business online, customers leave their digital footprints to be scrutinized by marketers. Indeed the pervasiveness of digital technology has created a wealth of information about people's search and buying behaviour. They are good starting points to understand your customers. In this article, we argue for the need to perform other activities to get-up-close-and-personal with your customers. They provide crucial insights into the lives of your target audience. This essential in the development of a successful digital marketing strategy. When well-executed, it creates the effectiveness and efficiency to drive the return on investment. What are they? 1. Scrutinize your data points and trends You probably have some amount of information about who is interacting and buying from you. Examining them will give you an idea of who they are. It is a sketch of their profile that can lead to a more detailed investigation of your target audience. To do this well, you have at your disposal a variety of analytical tools provided by social media platforms to turn to. Be they Facebook, Google or Instagram, these online advertising platforms provide useful data points waiting to be analyzed. 2. Conduct primary research Step 1 would have given you a sketch of your target audience or prospects. But the information may be shallow still to formulate a strategy or action plans. To do the latter, you will need to get up-close-and-personal. Only primary research, be they interviews or ethnographic studies, can do this job well. Primary research transforms the data and information gained in your insights. They enrich your understanding of prospects, reaching deep into the emotional side of them. They answer more of the 'why' questions you need to address to build a detailed buyer persona. 3. Know the pain points Too often, buyer persona exercises stop at knowing in some detail the target audience. This is of little value from an actionability perspective. A good buyer persona dwells into the pains they are experiencing. Not all will be obvious. Some exist only at the latent level. Pose these questions: - What led them to search for a solution like this? - What was the desired outcome? - What are the factors used to evaluate potential solutions? The answers get you closer to the hearts and minds of your target audience. A comprehensive buyer persona holds the key to your marketing success. It avoids the wastage misalignment poses. Speak to us today to build a detailed buyer persona.