An Easy Guide to Buyer Personas
For 20 years, I have been a leader in business development, whether as head of the organization or as a professional consultant. I am constantly astounded that nearly every sales or marketing resource I help knows what a “Buyer Persona” is but has never taken the time to document who their target Persona is! If this is a new topic for you, a “Buyer Persona” is best described as a fictional person who represents your target audience.
A “Buyer Persona” is best described as a fictional person who represents your target audience
Or this week…
Or this month…
Or this year.
The Critical Value of Personas
If you try to reach everyone, you will reach no one. If you try to be everything, you will be nothing.
A Persona Is Not A Business
If your Persona is a company profile, you are guaranteed to miss.
How Many Personas Should I Have?
My Rule For Personas: Three Per Vertical
At Tactical Marketing Automation, we made a deliberate decision to not market to “everyone we could help.”
We made a deliberate decision to not market to “everyone we could help.”
Instead, we focus on four verticals: B2B Services, Credit Unions, Membership Organizations, and Manufacturing. In this process, we have defined three Personas for each of these industry targets.
The Decision Maker Persona is typically the person who will approve the purchase but not directly engage with or use the service. In most companies, this is an executive who holds budget authority but doesn’t get involved in the nitty-gritty of the tactical execution process.
- Purchase Authority
The person who will use the service but isn’t likely to have the budget authority. Often this is the Manager or Director level of an organization that will directly benefit from using a product or service but doesn’t have purchase authority.
- Engages with the Product/Service
The person who will benefit from the service but is not likely to use the service. These are the people in an organization who may be suffering from the problem that your product or service helps to solve, but would not be involved in solving the problem.
- Problem to Solve
- Anywhere Within the Business
When you see how these fit together, a clear business case emerges. For example, a clever CEO (Decision Maker) looking to increase revenue will approve a budget for the savvy Marketing Director (Influencer) to engage with Tactical MA; Sales (Beneficiary) will receive an increased lead flow.
How to Build an Effective Persona
- Psychographic Traits
What’s In A Name?
This context breeds empathy in our human brains and facilitates genuine creativity.
As we refine these questions down, focus on the following attributes:
This is how you personalize your marketing. This is how you create marketing that hits. Now you have real and tangible targets that you can truly tailor your messaging towards.
The Whole Point
There are four absolutely critical questions that we ask for every single Persona. These four questions are the core of everything in the Tactical MA marketing methodology, every campaign we design, every image we create, every asset we build.
They are simple and yet oh so amazingly effective:
- “What’s the problem they need you to solve?”
- “How will your solution help solve this problem?”
- “Why is your solution better than any other option?”
- “Why would they object to the solution you offer?”
And I have watched the simple act of developing a Buyer Persona change the strategy and increase the output of marketing over and over. Statistically, by about 300%.