A buyer persona is a semi-fictional portrait of your ideal customer, including what is important to them, what their pain points are, and how they make decisions.
Personas provide insights that allow you to connect with your customers on a deeper level, focusing your marketing on addressing your ideal buyers’ specific concerns and criteria. On the surface, buyer personas might sound similar to target market segment descriptions, but personas are built around individuals, because people make purchasing decisions, not companies.
Base your personas on your best customers
Start by making a list of your best customers (the individuals, not the companies) – the ones you wish you had more of. Then note their job function or title, level of seniority, and the size and type of company they work for.
Review your list and look for individuals with the same characteristics and group these together. The individuals now left on the resulting (shorter) list will become your buyer personas.
There is no “right” number of buyer personas
The number of buyer personas you need to create depends on your business. For example, a forklift supplier may have one persona for the CEOs/owners of businesses with under $50m in revenue, another for CEOs/owners of businesses with $50-100m in revenue, and another for the VPs of procurement for businesses with more than $100m in revenue, because each persona will require a different marketing and sales approach.
Often, buyer personas align with the market segments you’ve produced, but this isn’t always the case. Further, because B2B sales typically involve more than one decision maker, you will likely end up with multiple personas for each segment, assuming these decision makers have different needs and perspectives.
You may be tempted to dismiss personas as just an academic exercise, but you’ll refer back to these frequently to help guide your marketing approach, so don’t skip this step!
Creating your buyer personas
For each individual persona on your list, imagine the actual person on which you’ve based your persona (give them a name!) and fill in as much detail as you can. You won’t necessarily know all of this information, so I’ve listed below some resources you can use to help fill in the blanks:
Once you’ve completed a detailed persona for each of your ideal customers, you’ll be armed with valuable insight that will make your marketing much more effective.
Let us know a bit about yourself, your business, and the kind of marketing support you need, and we’ll be in touch.