Developing Accurate Personas: Part 2
In my last post, I hoped to help readers understand the answer to the question "How Do I Research A Buyer Persona?" – a critical part of persona marketing. Specifically, I discussed the need for a balanced approach in researching buyer personas from both a qualitative and quantitative approach. In this post we're going to talk about what you can do with all of that great research and what a completed buyer persona should look like.
The first thing you're going to want to do with all of your shiny new data is segment it between decisions makers and the needs they have that are relevant to your product or service. These may center around common pain points, buying journey behaviors, his or her’s level of influence upon final decisions and personal priorities within the organization. The number you come up with really depends on the organization, although we typically find that four to six gets the job done quite well. Now that you've sorted your content into four to six main groups, it's time to bring these marketing targets to life – after all, they are built around relatively specific characteristics of real people.
We typically start by defining the persona’s primary job responsibilities and then their primary priorities in meeting their goals at work. Then, we'll carefully describe the pain points the persona experiences throughout the day. This is vital in ensuring we create inbound content to help solve those pain points as we build out our content marketing offerings. Finally, we'll be very specific in describing how we want our persona to behave. Do they need to be an advocate for you in a larger conversation? Is he or she the final decision maker? Are they only involved if there is a problem and if so, how can we ensure we have enough trust established to help us through those rocky portions of a business relationship?
Once this is complete we're ready for the fun part - giving your prospect a name, job title, and typical salary. Outline what media channels they're likely to frequent and their education level. This is where your quantitative research will pay dividends. Be specific - you'll use this persona later to help make solid choices in how you engage. Finally, write a summary statement and a quote from the voice of the persona to bring them to life.
At this point, you have an actionable persona to develop marketing strategies and tactics around.
You can also hit me up on twitter @paulmanz or leave a comment in this post and I'll get back to you.
Tell us - are you using personas to help target your content?