How to build truly insightful buyer personas… it’s magic! [Part 1 of 2]

Posted by Alison Leishman

Targeting a buyer persona will make your marketing more focused and strategic.

If you read our previous blog post, “Buyer Persona - buzzword, prejudice, stereotyping or true insight?” you’ll know that for some people the concept of a buyer persona is a bit of a dirty word or phrase. In that post we explained why good personas are different to personas for the sake of personas. Now, we’ll explain how we build personas that hit the nail on the head.


Why is it so important to get personas right?

To answer this question, let’s go back to the purpose of marketing. Is it to produce attractive content and make people smile? No. Beautiful content and happiness are side-benefits. Marketing needs to be meaningful: it needs to convert. Marketing needs to help sales. If you’re just creating content and emails without focusing them on the person that you want to sell to, you’re shooting in the dark. Buyer personas are a strategy to give both the sales and marketing teams a focus - to understand who they are communicating with and selling to. When everyone in the these teams are aligned, they make the experience for the potential customer more personal and the sales results are far more effective.

The buyer persona allows you to single out a ideal customer and target them. When done correctly, it allows your sales and marketing teams to remain completely focused on that target and make sure that all the activities you do to reach that target (marketing) and close the deal (sales) are aligned to one objective: getting that customer to buy-in to what you do and, ultimately, buy what you have to sell.

When personas are created collaboratively and effectively, the sales and marketing teams can identify the traits that make a prospect likely to buy so that they can answer the prospect’s relevant questions well in advance.  This means that, rather than spending days pursuing an increasingly tired and annoyed prospect, the prospect actually turns around and says – I know you, I like you, I want what you have to sell.

Ultimately, that’s what great inbound marketing should be about.


Why should you get someone else to do buyer personas for you?

A question we often get asked is - "can’t I do this for myself? I know my customers".

There’s both an art and a science to creating the perfect buyer persona. While it is possible to create your personas in-house, it’s not always advisable for several reasons:


  1. It’s hard to do it yourself – and often difficult to see the wood for the trees. An external, unbiased perspective can add real value.
  2. There often isn’t the time to do it properly internally so companies end up doing a job that is ‘good enough’, but not truly meaningful. Great personas should combine quantitative and qualitative perspectives: facts, figures and emotions. If you’re working with someone who’s not personally involved they can take a long view, see the bigger picture, and ask the hard questions. When they do it right, they understand the psychology, the context, and the trends. They see the macro and micro environment in which your customers operate, they identify the mindset of your buyers and they know that, while personas may not change, the context in which they operate certainly will.

How do you know you can trust someone to produce a good persona for you?

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Read part 2 of our Buyer Persona blog series for more insights into how buyer personas can transform your business.



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