The 10 Rules for Creating a Buyer Persona: Rule 10 and Final Recap


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Some of the great orators of our time had the gifted ability to communicate as well as rally an entire nation.  One of the most gifted was Winston Churchill.  His “we shall fight them on the beaches” and “this is our finest hour” speeches rallied the entire British nation and Allied forces in the epic fight against Nazi domination in World War II.  Those speeches were born out of Winston Churchill’s many years of political service and his intimate knowledge of the British people.  He knew how to tell a story about his own people.

For senior level executives today, the need for a rallying speech of the century may not be that pressing but they need to rally personnel around a deep understanding of customers and buyers like never before.  The 10th and final rule:

Rule 10: Buyer Persona Development Serves as a Communications Platform to Tell the Story of Customers and Buyers

A struggle for any CEO is to communicate the story of how the organization can and will best serve the goals of it’s’ buyers.  How to interweave this story into the daily mechanisms of an entity can be a challenge and an epic one at that.  Buyer personas, derived from a rich and robust process of getting to know customers and buyers experientially, can serve as the media for executives to tell the story about their buyers and how their company will help to continue the story. 

It has been a privilege to tell the story of the 10 rules for creating a buyer persona.  These rules are a reflection of over a decade of contributing to persona development in general and taking the first step in 2002 towards making persona development a useful process for sales and marketing when I asked the question: “why not buyer personas?”  (See article The Origins of Buyer Personas)  The term “buyer persona” has been popularized over the last four years in particular and taking on many different meanings.  It is my hope that these rules will serve as guidance for understanding the foundational principles of buyer persona development as a process and methodology for understanding buyers.  The recap of the 10 rules with links to the original articles:

Rule 1: You Can’t Make Them Up
Rule 2: Don’t Confuse a Buyer Persona with a Customer Profile
Rule 3: Get the Right People with the Right Attributes and the Right Skills Involved
Rule 4: Buyer Personas Are a Translation of Goals
Rule 5: A Buyer Persona Offers Insight into the Unarticulated and the No-So-Obvious
Rule 6: Buyer Persona Development is Not a Quantitative Process
Rule 7: Avoid Building a Wire Mesh of Data Points When Developing Buyer Personas
Rule 8: Goal-Centered Qualitative and Experiential Analysis is the Foundation of Buyer Persona Development
Rule 9: The Purpose of the Buyer Persona Development Process is to Inform on Goal-Centered Customer Strategies
Rule 10: Buyer Persona Development Serves as a Communications Platform to Tell the Story of Customers and Buyers

Thank you to those who have retweeted these articles and to those who have emailed me.  It has been great to engage in these conversations.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


  1. Bob, thank you and very privileged to have had the opportuity to contribute to the Customer Think community. I hope these 10 tips and rules will help many to have a body of knowledge about buyer persona development.


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