Do You Get A “So What” To Your Buyer Personas?


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In ancient Latin, persona meant In ancient Latin, persona meant “mask.” Today it does not usually refer to a literal mask but to the “social masks” all humans supposedly wear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You have just gone through the process of developing buyer personas. The reaction you get is not what you expected. What your colleagues are saying is – so what?

In my experience, I have seen this common pitfall:

The creation of a buyer persona becomes the end means.

This is not so.

Here is why your colleagues will say “so what”: the buyer personas are not at all or inadequately research-based. They may be representations of profiles, which already exists.

To gain actionable insights from the process of buyer persona development, building takes place on the foundation of qualitative buyer research. The optimal form of qualitative buyer research is third party in nature to remove the mental barriers for candidness as well as deep insights.

Another pitfall is this:

You end your efforts with the buyer persona itself.

What do I mean? The design of buyer personas is a methodology for conveying the findings and insights gained from third party qualitative buyer research. Meaning there is a full story of your buyer to tell. What can be in this story?

Who they are
Who they care about
What they are trying to accomplish
How your buyer thinks
How they behave
How they buy
Why they buy
What choices they make

These become elements of your buyer’s story. This story told artfully through insightful buying scenarios. Without such a story or buying scenario, you cannot know how or why a buyer persona will decide to engage with your organization.

If you lack knowledge to tell your buyer’s story, you will have a very low probability of success with tactical efforts that contribute to an overall customer strategy. Demand will be less, conversion will be less, leads will be less, content engagement will be less, and sales will be less.

Now who wants that to happen? Next time your colleagues say “so what” to your buyer personas; ask yourself if you have the research, insights, and understanding to tell a compelling story about your buyer.

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.


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