Why Buyer Personas Are Important and How To Create Them
According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your prospects and customers. With a buyer persona, you can answer these fundamental business questions, “Who are we talking to? Why will they care? What are we going to say that’s relevant to them?”
Using a buyer persona will help you. When creating a persona, consider including customer work experience and attitudes, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better a buyer persona you will create.
Benefits of Using a Buyer Persona
With a buyer persona, you attract leads and prospects to your business by:
- Determining the messages your buyers will respond to.
- Setting the tone, style, and campaign strategies (what and where) for your messages.
- Identifying the topics you should write about.
- Aligning sales, marketing, and product development activities.
Researching Your Buyer Persona
Without research, your marketing team will struggle to create accurate buyer personas because your team isn’t your buyer--they have too much knowledge.
Research, the most resource-intensive part of building a persona, is the secret sauce that turns a persona from a two-dimensional stick figure into a character you could talk with. The process can be slow and time-consuming, but it’s critical for gaining the insights you need to win business.
Good places to start doing your research include:
- LinkedIn profiles
- Analyst and research reports on the industry or role
- Industry blogs, thought-leader blogs, and webinars
- Competitors’ content
- AdWords Keyword Planner
- Twitter hashtags, influencers
- Job listings
Seven Criteria for Creating a Buyer Persona
To create a buyer persona with depth, Ardath Albee, in her presentation How to Develop Audience Personas That You’ll Actually Use, recommends including these seven criteria:
- Create a day-in-the-life scenario - Capture persona voice in the first person. “I’m struggling to get products to market because...”
- State the persona’s specific objectives - “I need to increase efficiency by reducing time to market by 25%.”
- State the persona’s main problems - “Lack of automated workflows adds six months to our product launches.”
- Persona’s orientation to job: 20-year veteran, strong leader, mentors employees.
- State the persona’s relevant obstacles - What information would your persona need to convince management or a committee to consider your product?
- Understand the questions your persona would ask at every step along the buyer’s journey. What do they need to know to move forward?
- Discover which phrases and keywords your persona uses. What are they most inclined to type into a search box?
Adapted from Ardath Albee’s ICC 2016 presentation, How to Develop Audience Personas That You’ll Actually Use
Buyer personas can be powerful tools that connect your team with your prospects. By taking the time to create personas based on customer data and behavior, along with your own understanding of their motivations and challenges, you can develop messaging that resonates with and appeals to them.
With messages that take into consideration your prospects’ needs, you’re more likely to accelerate your prospects through the sales funnel. And convert them at the end--they will feel that you understand them and the problems they are facing and that you offer the solution that will resolve their challenges.
With a buyer persona, you can answer these fundamental business questions, “Who are we talking to? Why will they care? What are we going to say that’s relevant to them?”