buyer personas

Are You Creating Buyer Personas?

Buyer Personas:

Creating buyer personas, or profiles of your typical customers is key to segmenting your target market.  It also helps you identify the needs, characteristics, and desires of different groups of prospects. Additionally, this information is useful when creating marketing materials or ad campaigns. This article will focus on B2B personas.

Buyer personas for B2B are more challenging because they focus on a type of company.  B2C personas focus on types of people. Here is a checklist for creating a B2B buyer persona:

  • Use information about the persona’s industry, a prospective company’s place in that industry, its size, revenue, and other business data.
  • Outline the corporate objectives of the persona, and the obstacles and threats to achieving them.
  • Examine the pain points the business faces and what solutions you offer to relive the pain. 
  • Think about how they make decisions, what they value and the type of information they are receptive to.
  • Look at the information they need to push them into buying your product.

You may have to go deeper when it comes to a specific C-level person who makes the buying decision. That could mean identifying whether the prospect is in marketing, finance or sales. The main point is to understand the decision-making process and how that profile data leads to customers.

Where to Use Personas

Personas are invaluable when creating paid advertising. This is especially true for keyword research for Google Ads.  Its also useful for target audiences in LinkedIn ads.  The personas are important when it comes to images.  Personas help with the look of an ad, whether it should be light-hearted, elegant or have a more corporate feel to it. Businesses in heavily-regulated industries such as banking may prefer a more serious tone to imagery.

Once your personas are complete, remember that’s not the end. Make sure to update personas with new information that is learned about the buyers. It’s also important to get the right number of buyer personas. Too many will create narrow segments and too few will lead to general outlines. Of course, the number of personas depends on the nature of your product.  Most marketers create between four and six buyer personas.

Creating personas takes time and research, which cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands. In-depth research may mean hiring a market research company.  Getting salespeople and marketers to contribute to updating personas helps with the cost.  The benefit that salespeople know customers and prospects best.

Companies that hold a clear picture of their customers, and can sketch them out in a few words, will always have the edge over those that don’t.  Get starting creating your own buyer personas.  Here is a free tool from the folks at Hubspot to get you started.