Apr 20

3 Steps To Build A Buyer Persona

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

One of the easiest (and biggest) mistakes a company can make is to dive into selling without figuring out exactly who they are selling to. Although it may seem like an unnecessary step, creating a buyer persona is key to helping you maximize sales and promote your company’s product or service. Here are 3 steps to help you understand how to create and define a buyer persona.

What is a buyer persona? A buyer persona is the ideal customer for your business. Creating a buyer persona allows to you customize your advertising and marketing efforts to target the customers most likely to purchase your products. You can have several buyer personas, but make sure to keep the number small (preferably under 5) so you keep your marketing more personalized. The amount of information you collect about your buyer persona varies from company to company. For example, some companies want to know things such as a buyer personas hobbies, relationship status, and personal goals, while others are more focused on just the basics such as income, gender, and career field.

In addition to buyer personas, it is good to create negative personas. A negative persona is the opposite of a buyer persona. The negative persona is the type of customer that represents the type of customer you do not want, likely someone who will take your time but not purchase your product. By identifying these customers, your sales and marketing team will be able to work to ensure they are spending their budget in the best way they can, and have a basis for what to be cautious of in a customer. Some signs of a negative persona are customers whose income bracket is lower than what they would need to afford your product, someone who is an avid fan of a competitor and is already using their product, or someone who is outside of your geographic region. However, some of these negative personas will still want to interact with your social media accounts, and can become big advocates for your brand, even if they themselves do not purchase from you. This will also give you more access to their followers, as customers tend to trust the opinion of people they know over a marketing campaign.

How to create a buyer persona: To create the persona of your ideal customer, start with broad topics and narrow them down. If you have an established company, researching your existing customer base is a good place to start. Since these are all people who have already interacted with and purchased from your company, there is a good chance that some of them exemplify traits of your ideal customer. Send them an email asking them to complete a short survey to evaluate what they enjoyed about shopping with you, as well as what they think could use some improvement.

If you do not have an established company, you will need to do a little more research while creating your buyer persona. It is important to take into consideration the buyer persona’s age, gender, psychographics, location, income, education level, buying motivations, and buying concerns. Visiting a competitor’s website and seeing what is and is not working for them is another good trick to help you create your ideal customer. Also keep in mind communication preferences and give them options if possible- for example, some customers might prefer a short text message with a link rather than an email.

It is important to remember that your buyer persona is not set in stone. Especially for newer companies, the buyer personas will be based largely on research and guesses. The more developed your company becomes, the more you can evolve your ideal customer. Don’t be afraid to continue updating as you learn more to make sure that you are targeting the best potential customer.

How to use a buyer persona: Many websites have templates to help you create a buyer persona. You can use silly names such as Marketing Millie, Sample Sally or College Student Calvin to get started pinpointing your ideal customer. Then you will add all of their information you wish you take into consideration into the template. For example, say you were trying to promote a new energy drink. You know college students love drinking energy drinks to help them stay alert while studying and participating in extracurricular activities, so you decide to target that demographic. You use College Student Calvin as your buyer persona. College Student Calvin is between the ages of 18-25. He lives in the United States and loves being active, as well as keeping up good grades. He works a part time job when he is not in class so his income level is fairly low. His buying motivation would be getting some extra energy without a crash, having an energy drink that is tasty, and ingredients that are natural and will not be harmful to his body. His buying concerns would be the price and accessibility of finding the drink. With this information, you would be able to create and ad that would let him know your drink has all of the qualities he is looking for while addressing his concerns.

While it might seem like a lot of work to create a buyer persona, it will make your targeted marketing campaign much more effective and save you time and money in the long run. Remember to continue to evaluate and update your buyer persona and your customer base grows and your company continues to develop. By following these steps, you will have excellent targeting content to increase ROI and engagement in no time.

Apr 13
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

One of the best things about living in the digital age is being able to expand your ecommerce business beyond what traditional storefronts allow. Not only can you sell products beyond your local area, but national and international ecommerce is becoming increasingly common. When selling internationally, it is important to keep the laws of all of the countries you are selling to in mind. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) was established in 2016 but will take effect May 25th, when all affected companies must be in compliance. This will affect any companies in Europe, or any companies that have customers in Europe.

What is the GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation, as the name suggests, is to protect the data of customers in Europe. The GDPR is used to regulate how companies handle and collect personal data and information, to make sure that customers stay protected and their data is not being distributed without their knowledge or permission.

Customers will have the right to access, correct, delete, and restrict processing of their data. There are also strict rules on how companies can get customers to agree to use their data. If you only use your customers data for filling orders, this is not a big deal. However, many companies like to take their customers data and use it for marketing and advertising without their express consent. The GDPR also makes it the company’s responsibility to protect the information, even if they are using a payment processor (such as BMT Micro) or a website platform.

What counts as personal information? The Information Commissioner’s Office of the UK defines personal information as follows:

Personal data means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified:

(a) from those data, or

(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,

and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.”

Basically, what that means is any information used to identify a customer is counted as personal information. This includes their name, email address,
IP address, what they purchased, etc. It even goes so far as to include indirect information, such as what area the customer is located, or what career field they work in.

What do I need to do to be GDPR compliant? Please visit the GDPR website to make sure that your company is following all of the guidelines the European Union has set. You might need to update your website’s privacy policy and make sure any third party apps you use also comply with GDPR. Overall, GDPR is not a huge change from privacy policies of the past if you were using your customer’s information safely and responsibility. It is always important to make sure you are following the law and putting your customer’s privacy and safety first, and GDPR helps achieve that.

BMT Micro is GDPR compliant, and continues to be a secure and reliable payment platform. For more information please contact vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Apr 6
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

 

 

When it comes to selling products and services, businesses want to make as much profit as they can while still offering customers the best deal possible. Two of the most common methods to decide a price are cost based and value based. Cost based pricing decides the worth of the product by competitive market prices, while value based pricing is based on how much the product or service is perceived to be worth. There are pros and cons to both methods. Here is more in-depth information to help you decide which is best for your company.

Cost based pricing is the more traditional method of the two. One of the reasons it has remained popular is because it so simple to use. How it works is by adding a fixed margin to the cost of production. Finding the exact selling point starts with the base price, which is determined by the fixed cost to the business. Then, find the floor price (the lowest you can go without losing money) and the ceiling price (the highest price the market will allow). Usually, your selling point will be somewhere between the floor price and ceiling price.

With this method comes some obvious pros. First of all, it is very simple to calculate. It does not take much market research, and it remains consistent. This means that businesses can simply add a margin on top of their calculated costs, and they will usually get a positive rate of return. You do not have to have a deep knowledge of the market or competitors when pricing this way. Cost based pricing is an easy way for small businesses or start up companies to begin learning how to price their products.

While this might sound appealing because of its simplicity, there are some major cons. By using this method, you could be undercharging or overcharging customers. It also does not take into account how much your customers are willing to pay for the product. They do not care how much it cost to make, they only care about your selling price vs their need or want. Cost based pricing discourages you from keeping up with market research. By only basing your markup off of how much money you paid, it is easy to forget to keep track of market trends. Bottom line, cost based pricing is not the best method for the majority of companies.

Value based pricing is another popular method. As the name suggests, value based pricing is based on how much the item is perceived to be worth, rather than a fixed margin. Although it takes more work to determine the value of a product and how much you can sell it for, it typically yields better results.

A good first step to take when using this method is to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is the ideal customer for your market. To find your ideal buyer persona, start out broad and narrow it down as needed. Take into account things such as age, gender, location, income, buying motivations. The next step is to conduct research to find out how to best market to your ideal customer. You can send short surveys to your customers to get feedback from their perspective. This also helps you gauge what they think is a good balance between quality and price. If you think your prices are too high, try lowering them. Alternatively, if you think you can make more profit by raising prices, make it clear to customers why your product is worth more.

After completing your research, you can set a price for your product or service. Although this method may seem more in-depth and complicated than cost based pricing, it will better serve you and your customers in the end. Some examples of companies that have excelled in value based marketing are Rolex, Apple, and Coach. All of these companies have set a price, explained to consumers why their product adds value to your life, and are now viewed as status symbols.

Although either method will allow you to price and sell products, value based tends to work to get you and your customers the best price possible. Make sure to keep in communication with your customers and create value for them, and your business will thrive. And no matter which method you choose, BMT Micro can provide you with a safe, reliable payment platform.

Mar 30
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

With so many ways to market your company these days, it’s no wonder email often gets overlooked. However, a 2018 Radicati Group study showed that there are more regular email users than ever before. Smartphones have made email an easy and accessible way for people to communicate. 91% of email users check their inbox on a daily basis, making it a great opportunity for lead generation. Here are 5 tips on how to make your emails great.

Be mobile friendly: As mentioned, the rise of smartphones has helped contribute to the success of email. If a potential customer cannot access the email from his or her phone, there is a high risk of them deleting the email without reading it, rather than reading it later from a computer. Luckily, most providers make it easy to optimize emails for mobile phones. Many email marketing services, like MailChimp, even allow you to preview how your email will look in different inboxes and on different devices.

Personalize: Customers are much more likely to open an email that is personalized. Putting a greeting with their name in the subject line is an easy way to catch a customer’s attention. Another good tip is to send the email from a personal email address, instead of a generic email address (for example. johndoe@yourcompany.com rather than noreply@yourcompany.com). Make sure to sign the email with the name of the team member who wrote it for the finishing touch.

Don’t over-email: Customers should be excited to see what new products, upgrades, and deals you have, but if they are constantly being bombarded, they are unlikely to keep opening your emails. An easy solution is to decide how often you want to send out emails, and to make it clear to the customer as they are signing up for your mailing list, so they are not blindsided by a flooded inbox. Another fix is to allow them to change how often they would like to receive emails, or an “opt-down” option.

Have a call-to-action button: Having a call-to-action button, or CTA as they are commonly referred to, helps increase the click-through rate by giving the reader a clear direction to take. You should take into consideration things such as size, design, color, and white space when designing your CTA. Customers are also more likely to click the CTA if you emphasize that they are learning more about the product, rather than asking them to buy or download it right away.

Make sure to track ROI: Tracking ROI helps you learn what content resonated with your customers. It is important to know how many conversions you are getting so you can change and improve your email campaigns to better suit your customers. Things to look for in tracking ROI are click-through rate (the percentage of links clicked in the sent email), conversion rate (the amount of people who completed the call-to-action), bounce rate (how many emails did not get delivered), list growth rate (how fast your email list is growing), email sharing (how many people shared on social networks or forwarded the email to someone they know), and total ROI (the amount of money earned vs spent on the email campaign). Open rate is something that many marketers keep track of as well, however, it has shown to be misleading. Once the customer opens the email, they also have to allow all images to be shown to count as “opened”.

Using email marketing properly can help boost your company's sales quickly 
and easily.  Make sure you're smart about what metrics you are tracking, 
what content your audience likes and your overall ROI goals, and you will be on
the right track to email success.
Mar 23
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Imagine having a way to quickly increase your company’s website traffic, brand recognition, and even sales- for free! With Social Media Marketing, you can do just that. Here are 4 of the best platforms to join:

1)Facebook: Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users, driving 25% of social media referral traffic. By creating a Facebook page for your business, you are not only able to list all of your company’s information in one place (such as contact information, a website link, and business hours) but you have a place where customers can interact with you directly through posts and messages. As a bonus, if a customer shares a post or “likes” your page, it is automatically shared with their network, reaching thousands of potential new customers for you, with no effort on your part! Businesses can also run advertisements on Facebook for a specialized price, based off of your budget and target audience.

2)Twitter: While traditionally Twitter was known for having a younger audience, that has changed in the past few years. Since Twitter is a way to get quick, immediate update, companies have started utilizing the platform to reach audiences of all ages. Studies have shown that 47% of people who follow a business on Twitter visit the brand’s website. Tweets are also a great way to get a message out to a large audience quickly. Similar to Facebook’s “like” feature, Twitter allows you to share tweets to your own network by liking, quoting (an easy way to tag a friend in a tweet you would like to share with them) or “re-tweeting” (re-posting the tweet to your own timeline). In addition to simply tweeting, you can pay to run a Twitter campaign featuring a promoted tweet or profile.

3)Pinterest: This platform is unique in that it primarily targets women. However, with 175 million active users, it is not one to overlook. One of the best things about Pinterest ads is that they do not distract or annoy users, since they blend in with pins the potential customer is already looking at. Because of this, the audience on Pinterest is very receptive to shop external websites. With everything from financial tips to travel planning to recipes, Pinterest is grounds to a wide variety of information, making it a great fit for most companies. To excel in Pinterest advertising, make sure that your pins line up with what is on-trend and are very detailed in the description and hashtags. Don’t forget to engage with your audience as well and have some “fun” boards (such as style, treats, or DIY crafts) to expand your reach and make your account more pleasurable to follow.

4)LinkedIn: Often described as “Facebook for jobs”, LinkedIn is a perfect place to show off your company and what sets you apart from your competition in a professional setting. With 75% of users making over $50,000 a year, this platform attracts users with the highest disposable income. Typically, LinkedIn users are looking to expand their professional network or to learn more about a certain field, making them a good target audience. There are three types of LinkedIn ads: Sponsored content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads. LinkedIn has a guide to help you choose which type of ad is best depending on the type of audience you want to reach (advertise to a wide group of professionals, send personalized messages, etc). They even have a Campaign Manager feature to help you utilize your ads in the best possible way for your business.

BMT Micro can help you provide a speedy, reliable payment process for all of the new customers you get using these social media tips. If you would like more information about our platform, you can sign up here or email vendors@bmtmicro.com. And make sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn pages.