I see it all the time. Whether it’s a new HubSpot portal, a PDF document, or just in conversation, there seems to be one, universally dangerous tactic that keeps marketers from having successful and useful buyer personas.
Now before I tell you what the one thing is, let’s just make sure we are all on the same page.
Buyer personas are meant to be fictional representations or cross-sections of your ideal potential buyers — a tool to identify and visualize your target audience.
When done correctly, they can help you better understand what drives a customer purchase, how to communicate with them in the consideration process, and what barriers they might have along the way.
Creating buyer personas doesn’t mean that you have a magical organization system that every potential lead, prospect or customer will fit in without exception. Defining personas will never compare to a real sales person asking real questions to identify what a company needs, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.
Why Are Buyer Personas Essential for Any Business?
- Clarity and Focus: Buyer personas should be based on your best potential customers. By focusing on the ideal, you can create more clarity around prospects who might not be the best fit because of budgets, needs, etc.
- Communication: Successful buyer personas will help create effective communication across teams. If your leadership, sales, and marketing departments can all agree on your personas, then they become a standard definition that can be used company-wide.
- Efficiency: Personas can create efficiencies with marketing messages, sales communication, and internal dialogue.
So, What’s the One Dangerous Mistake?
It’s going to seem simple, but don’t be fooled. The one dangerous mistake I’ve seen numerous companies make is creating too many buyer personas. If you miss the mark on this, you might as well not create personas at all. You can’t have a target audience if the target is all of the rings on the bulls eye.
I know your next question is going to be, “How many is too many?” And that answer is not black and white. Most companies who have really successful personas limit themselves to 3-5, but there are some key ways that you can identify if you’ve crossed the threshold.
- Titles Only: If your buyer personas have morphed to just include every single potential job title that your visitor might have, then it’s no longer helpful. Remember, these are meant to be representations that help you categorize your visitors. Job titles might not be the best way to represent the different groups of people that visit your website. Instead, think about their motivations, locations or compelling events as possible options for grouping different personas.
- They Don’t Help Solve Business Problems: In persona development discussions, it’s tempting to focus on unimportant details, but that misses the goal.
Every business is different, so those essential details will vary from company to company. But beware of getting caught up in the definitions of your personas. Most likely, their hair color and the type of dog they have won’t affect how you interact with them, yet those minute Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community