Our founder has created well over 300 persona profiles in his career - this is what he's learnt:
Throughout his career, Founder of Engaging Partners Boyd Wason, has been fortunate enough to work with many different organisations and brands, all in different stages of their marketing maturity. In this blog, we sit down with Boyd to pick his brain about persona profile creation and the buyers journey.
First of all, what is a persona and why are they so important?
A buyer’s persona is a semi-fictional representation of the people that you ideally want to engage in business with. You can think of a buyers persona like a composite sketch - it's not intended to be an exact portrait of a specific person, but rather a reflection of their drives and motivations.
On a broader level, they help to align efforts between marketing, sales, and operational teams by creating a common perspective of your business's ideal customer.
It’s so important to have a deep understanding of your buyer personas - they drive content creation, product development, sales follow ups, and anything related to customer acquisition and retention.
What is the most effective way to create buyer personas?
When it comes to creating buyer personas, you definitely don’t want to take the easy route. While they’re not difficult to create, personas are essentially the foundation of your business plan - so you want to make sure that they’re created right the first time!
First, you need to obtain market research and quantitative and qualitative analyses. Ask questions that will help pinpoint their specific needs, such as what are their key goals when considering your product, or what are the problems that keep them awake at night? The strongest buyer persona’s are based on market research and information collected from real customers through things like interviews and surveys.
Then, once you have a through understanding of your target audience, you can begin to draft your personas! You want to describe who they are, their goals, pain points, and triggers, and the reason you think they'll want to use your product. Find more about persona development here, or check out this persona profile example from HubSpot below.
Can you tell us what not to do when creating buyer’s personas?
While there is no one correct way to create personas, there are, however, a few rookie mistakes that are commonly made. Below, I’ve outlined three common mistakes people make when creating personas and and how you can avoid making them yourself.
1. Creating too many personas.
Some people think that creating more personas will give them a clearer picture of their target audience. However, in reality this only confuses you more. Having too many personas can create confusion and there won't be a clear delineation between them all - making it really hard for you to actually attract, engage, convert, and delight any of them.
2. Thinking persona's are only for the marketing team.
Personas are for your entire organisation. They establish a vision and align your sales, marketing, and customer service teams around the same goals. Next time you create persona profiles, be sure to include your full team in the workshopping process so they can understand their relationship in proximity to the persona.
3. Under-representing your target audience.
Persona's are designed to represent a key segment of your target market. So if your target market is ‘athletes’, it is perfectly acceptable to create different kinds of personas for the different types of athletes that your business is trying to target. While they do need to be different enough to warrant as separate personas, don't avoid creating a persona because you think it may have already been represented.
What are the main things you've learnt from creating over 300?
Because creating engaging content is a top challenge for marketers, it’s definitely worth investing the time and resources into developing your ideal buyer personas. The buying process has undoubtedly changed over the last few years, and therefore we need to engage with our audience in different ways.
The most effective way to engage with the right audience is by understanding who they are - and this all starts with the creation of persona profiles. If you want more detailed advice about persona profile creation, don't hesitate to book a chat with Boyd now.