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How To Create A Buyer Personas, Pt. 1: What Is A Buyer Persona And Why Should You Use Them?

Buyer personas are a simple, powerful way for sales, marketing, and design & development teams to better understand, engage and impact their customers/users. They can help you set priorities, allocate resources, uncover gaps and put the spotlight on new opportunities, but more important than that is the way they get everyone on the same page, moving in the same direction, trying to reach the same destination.


Even though different teams use different tools and tactics, personas help to ensure that all those individual efforts are complimentary, not competing.


WHAT IS A BUYER PERSONA?


A buyer persona is a composite that gives you a richly-detailed picture of your target audiences by combining demographic and psychographic information and insights. It is part art, part science — the art is how you define and differentiate your personas; the science is all the traits, tendencies and characteristics that are associated with those types of people.



When done correctly, buyer personas tell you not just who your customers are, but how to engage them.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BUYER PERSONAS?


Whether created for B2B, B2C or DTC, buyer personas provide three powerful benefits:

  1. Focus

  2. Alignment

  3. Direction

They get everyone on your team on the same page, moving in the same direction, trying to reach the same destination.


This is true regardless of company size or growth stage:

  • startups benefit because they know who to target and how to target them

  • scale-ups get more consistency and predictability from their established sales and marketing process

  • large, well-established organizations benefit because even the best companies get complacent and periodically need to re-think who they are targeting and how they target their buyers


HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CREATE BUYER PERSONAS?


It really depends on you.


If you’re committing to formal research that will include customer surveys, focus groups, one-on-ones, etc., then you’re likely to spend a few weeks collecting and analyzing data, segmenting your customer base, and mapping your findings to individual buyer personas/ICPs.


On the other hand, when formal research isn’t an option, you can usually create good personas/ICPs from personal observations and experiences in just a few hours.


The key is to leverage whatever customer knowledge you can get, whether it’s coming from professional researcher or an afternoon white-boarding session with your team.


Next: How To Create A Buyer Personas, Pt. 2: Getting Started With Research & Analysis


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