M-m-m-my Personas

February 14, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

3 Things You Must Know about Buyer Personas

Buyer personas have been touted as the next big thing in marketing. Everyone needs to drop whatever they’re doing and focus on personas. There’s a whole persona industry now—a spin-off from the Inbound Marketing mega-machine.

The thing is, there’s nothing really new about buyer personas. They’re just a condensed version of your primary customer demographics with a little fictionalized story built around them (based on research) to provide a more detailed view of who you are marketing to.

There’s already a ton of helpful advice out there for creating personas, but here are 3 important things you might not know.

1. Don’t skip the legwork. Ask a lot of marketing execs about who their ideal customer is, and they’re going to have an answer ready. The problem is, often-times these are assumptions, and they may be incorrect. Take the time to reach out to your best customers and ask them questions, collect a lot of information and then draw conclusions. You might be surprised. Many businesses skip the research, because they think they already know who they are.

2. B2B? Start with 3! Depending upon your business, you may have one distinct buyer persona or many. For B2B companies, we typically recommend you start with three main personas – an end-user, a decision-maker and a financial authority.

This is because you will be having very distinct conversations with each of these personas based on their needs. For example, if you are selling software, the end-user may want to be assured that it is easy to use. The decision-maker wants to know how it will impact the company’s bottom line, increase efficiencies or provide better customer service. The financial authority will be interested in cost, ROI, and payment terms.

Those are three very different conversations, so a one-size fits all messaging strategy won’t work.

3. Personas only work if you use them. This sounds obvious, but it’s important. Once you go to the trouble of creating detailed, well-researched personas, don’t just tuck them away in a marketing deck. Your content team should be referring to them and interacting with them every day. Every time you create a piece of content, you should know which persona you are addressing, what pain point you are trying to solve, and where your persona is in the buyer’s journey. Track this information so you make sure you are creating content for each persona, each pain point, each step in the process, for each product or service you offer.

That might be a lot of content, but it will be precisely targeted content which will result in more qualified leads.

And if you’ve read through all this and thought to yourself, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” no problem. We can help you develop personas and all the targeted content you need. Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.