Adding Context to the Buyer Persona

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So much has been written about Buyer Personas, Empathy Maps, etc., I have resisted sharing how I create mine. I am not sure that I can add anything new, but a slightly different perspective may be worth something. I have found most Personas as an exercise that is seldom done in the sales and marketing arena outside of a workshop type atmosphere. Buyer Personas are usually the property of Service Designers and User Experience type people.

When, I first introduced Buyer Persona’s to my clients it was not an “aha” moment. It was like OK another exercise before we start doing something that matters. My template was based on Dave Gray’s Xplane model and pictured below.

Empathy Map
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There was one twist that I added to mine. I added the Pain and Gain Blocks at the bottom. It was my attempt to wrap some context around the subject. In the past year, as more and more work has become virtual, a Microsoft Excel sheet was used so that it was easier to transfer information and complete blocks while we are sharing screens. This resulted in adding a little more context.

Buyer Persona


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Now instead of building a customer persona, we created a Mini-A3 to demonstrate how different segments or people within an organization fit into our persona. By doing this it made it much easier to transfer these Personas to different organizations and made it more usable between the sales people and marketing. The fields are easily defined if you understand an A3. The difficulty is viewing the A3 from the Buyer’s perspective. It causes some rather stimulating conversation.

Any Thoughts?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.

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