Typical buyer personas in financial services content marketing


Typical buyer personas in financial services content marketing

Successful content marketing hinges on knowing who you’re talking to, and these days it’s about more than simple demographics. No doubt the term ‘buyer personas’ is familiar to you. But how important are they really?

Technological advancements have lead to a proliferation of channels that people can use to source information and compare products, and with ever-evolving purchasing behaviours, buyer personas are more important than ever for understanding your target markets and honing your communication efforts.

US inbound marketing and sales platform HubSpot explains buyer personas as semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on market research, and combined with real data that you’ve gathered from your existing customers.

Essentially, buyer personas help you write the right content for the right audience by helping you define what motivates their purchasing decisions. This includes their needs, budget, where they are in the purchasing cycle (the buyer’s journey), their location, among others. You can then craft your financial services content in such a way that it appears to talk directly to a specific customer and offer them exactly what they are looking for, resulting in a positive interaction with your brand that leads to a purchase.

There are many stats proving the importance of buyer personas. HubSpot found that using them helped make websites up to five times more effective and also more user-friendly, while personalised emails improved click-through rates by 14%.

So now that we’ve convinced you of the importance of buyer personas for helping you write strategic financial services content, here are some typical buyer personas you might find useful:

Practical Penny

“I’m not interested in risky investments.”

“I want to feel empowered to make financial decisions.” “I want to know more about saving and investing, as well as retirement funds.”

  • Mostly female and married
  • Aged 30-45
  • Has young children
  • Saving for retirement or her children’s education or both
  • Does administrative work or works from home
  • Strong family focus
  • Household income between R300 000 and R600 000 per annum
  • Lives in a suburbia
Financial goals:   Practical Penny would like to learn to save smarter so as to send her children to college or university. She is also aware that she should be saving for her retirement.
Information sources:   Practical Penny feels she has basic knowledge about finances that she learnt growing up from her father, and now she listens to advice from her husband and friends. While she doesn’t read financial publications, she would like to expand her knowledge so as to make informed decisions. She also needs a retirement annuity.
Social media hangouts:    She enjoys keeping up with friends and overseas family on Facebook. However she prefers face-to-face interaction. She goes to book club once a week and meets friends over coffee.
Common objections:     Practical Penny wouldn’t use a financial product if it involved risk or required a large investment.


Executive Ed

“I want to be more involved in my investments but my time is limited.”

“I’m looking for products and services specifically tailored for me and my lifestyle.”

  • Mostly male and married
  • Aged 40-50
  • Has young adult children in college
  • Employed by a large corporate as a managing director
  • High income earner
  • Lives in a wealthy suburb
  • Owns a luxury home
Financial goals:   Executive Ed works hard and long hours to the detriment of family time, but with the aim of retiring early and enjoying life to the full. He has been in the corporate world most of his life, working his way up the ladder. Executive Ed would like to buy a holiday home and travel more. He also wants to invest offshore.
Information sources:   He reads financial publications online to get his information quickly. He is also interested in reading about the property market. On weekends he reads the newspapers.
Social media hangouts:   Twitter is Executive Ed’s go-to source for a quick update on current affairs and business/financial news.  He has a LinkedIn account and follows thought leaders in his industry.
Common objections:     He is only interested in top-tier investments and financial products.


Upwardly Mobile Mark

“I want to make quick bucks.”

“I am impatient, I want everything now.”

  • Mostly male and single
  • Aged 20-30
  • High earning potential
  • Working his way up the corporate ladder
  • Lives in the Sandton CBD
  • Rents a luxury apartment
Financial goals:   Upwardly Mobile Mark lives in the moment and burns through his disposable income. He is highly aspirational and now that he has a Sandton address, he wants a flashy sports car to complement it. He also wants to earn ‘big bucks’ and soon. He is interested in learning to trade on the stock market and is a risk-taker.
Information sources:   Upwardly Mobile Mark is constantly online, skimming through blog posts and interviews with business moguls.
Social media hangouts:   Having grown up with social media, his preferences are YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
Common objections:     Upwardly Mobile Mark does not want to get bogged down in detail. He wants financial products that offer quick results.


Sensible Sally

“I want to start adulting when it comes to my finances.”

“I want more control of my spending.”

“I want to be financially independent.”

“I don’t want to feel guilty about spoiling myself.”

  • Mostly female and unmarried
  • In her early 30s
  • Lives with her boyfriend
  • Lives in a gated community
  • Works in the communications industry
Financial goals:   Sensible Sally in the short term wants to spoil herself with an overseas holiday and in the longer terms she wants to save for her first home. She earns a decent salary now and wants to take charge of her financial destiny. She wants to learn to control her spending. She is looking for medium-term investment products and is risk-averse.
Information sources:   Sensible Sally googles all her information. She listens to advice from her friends. 
Social media hangouts:   Mainly Facebook and Instagram. She also follows bloggers.
Common objections:     Upwardly Mobile Mark does not want to get bogged down in detail. He wants financial products that offer quick results.

Now that you are armed with this valuable insight, you’ll be able to craft content that makes your buyer personas feel like you are addressing them and their needs directly; as though you know them personally and know exactly what is going on in their lives and in their heads. They will feel delighted and nurtured and will eventually become your customers. It’s a win-win!

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