Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.
Five Steps to Build a Persona
Step 1: Define their current situation
- What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
- What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
- What problems are limiting their success?
Step 2: Define their demographics
- Job title
- Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increasing change within the company, etc.
- Company size and revenues
Step 3: Identify their attributes
- Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
- Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
- Threats – what could derail the deal?
- Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
- Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?
Step 4: Understand their preferences
- Where do they spend time online? Offline?
- How do they participate with social media? Do they?
- What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?
Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement
- I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].
Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:
Use Business Intelligence Portals:
- Search by industry, size, title.
- Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
- Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
- Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
- BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.
Talk to Salespeople:
- What areas of the business are they focused on?
- Who are they speaking with?
- How do prospects frame the problem?
- Who else do they have to convince?
Talk to Customers:
- What problem did we solve?
- What else did that enable?
- Why did they choose us?
- What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?
Knowing your audience and having a personalized business plan is a foolproof formula to create new business leads, and strengthen old ones. If you know what companies need or want, and develop a marketing plan tailored for them, you will be more desirable to them than a marketing company that has not done their homework.
Infographic: Buyer Persona Process