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How to develop buyer personas - step by step

Posted by Perceptive Insights Team - 12 June, 2016

How-to-develop-your-marketing-personas-step-by-step-cropped.jpgWhen creating your personas, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the info you need and asking the right questions.

Here, we’re sharing our best tips on how to develop your marketing personas and what to ask when you do. 

5 ways to collect the info you need to create your personas:

  1. Interview your customers face-to-face or over the phone to understand what they like about your product or service. Face-to-face is ideal, but may not be time efficient or always practical. You can also conduct a quick online survey for a large number of less in-depth answers.

  2. Analyse your contacts database to spot how certain prospects find and engage with your content, preferably through an automated online CRM or CMS.

  3. As your sales team about which leads they’re talking to the most. Think about the sales cycles your team work with; can they make any generalisations about what type of customers you serve the best?

  4. Capture important persona information by using specific form fields on your website. For example, if your personas vary based on position in a company, you could ask each lead about their role on your form.

  5. If none of the above works (or you feel that you're not getting enough valuable information), the last resort is to gather all of your important stakeholders (including senior sales people and anyone who deals with customers on the front end) in one (preferably, well-catered) room. Then, conduct a persona workshop or brainstorm to capture everyone's perspective on who your ideal customers are and why.


Read more: Understanding your Audience, the complete guide to market research.



8 important questions you need to answer:

  1. What is their background (are they a lead or customer, how long have they been with you or how much do they engage with your content)?

  2. What are their demographics (age, location, job etc)?

  3. What are their challenges (or their unsatisfied needs)?

  4. What major benefits are they looking for (the benefits of a product or service that they view as important)?

  5. What are their goals (their desires and wants)?

  6. What do they most value in a product or service offering?

  7. How do they search for products and services?

  8. How do they evaluate different products and services to choose one to purchase?


What next?

Once you know who your personas are, you can create specific marketing material to develop key messaging based on relevant keywords and search terms which focus on your persona’s needs and challenges.

This messaging is then transformed into relevant content which talks to your personas needs and will lead them through what we call the marketing funnel. This messaging is based on content relating to their current position in the buyers cycle.


For more information, make sure to read the Persona Development Worksheet, our all-in-one guide to developing buyer personas.


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Topics: Customer Insights

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