The Latest in Marketing Fashion
Piggy Buyer Personas
Can I Get Some Respect?
Our research on the state of personas reveals that marketers’ top frustration with personas is the lack of respect they command inside their company (What about that report on the state of personas? You can get one here). But we also discovered that there are good reasons some personas are viewed poorly while other personas are smart, powerful, and even inspiring! Here are the top four elements our work has identified as making the difference.
How to Tell if You’re Dealing with “The Real Deal”
These are the questions that distinguish between “poser” buyer personas and those with pure pedigrees.
1. Prospect buyer persona or ‘pizza’ persona: Where did your persona come from?
2. Picture with a point: Does your persona help you focus on the most important insight about your prospects?
3. Snapshot or video: Does the buyer persona describe behaviors in the multiple stages of the decision process?
If it doesn’t show what’s happening at each stage of the decision process, you won’t know who to target at each phase or where they look for input at each stage. You also won’t know how to match your company selling process with the prospect’s decision process.
4. Every picture tells a story: Does the buyer persona tell you why you lose prospects as well as how you win them?
While it’s not unusual for marketers to interview their customers, the best personas come from interviewing prospects you’ve lost as well as ones you’ve won (your customers). After all, those are the people you are trying to win! This way, great buyer persona research is also a great source of win-loss learning-which makes it a win-win for you.
Are Buyer Personas Worth the Effort?
Now that you know how to avoid ineffective personas, keep in mind how much of a difference real personas can make.
- They have always energized companies we have worked with by uncovering surprising insights about prospects we didn’t even know we didn’t know.
- They have focused companies on the most important truths about their prospects.
- And this has ended up inspiring their messaging, increasing marketing effectiveness, and exciting their sales force.
Originally posted on the MENG blog.