Buyer personas — Are they useful?

buyer personas

“Buyer Persona” research may be an important tool in your marketing arsenal because the insights you acquire as you research your ideal client (or the near-misses) may reshape how you prioritize and communicate your marketing messages.

Adelle Revella writes:

Built from the real words of real buyers, a buyer persona tells you what prospective customers are thinking and doing as they weigh their options to address a problem that your company resolves. Much more than a one-dimensional profile of the people you need to influence, or a map of their journey, actionable buyer personas reveal insights about your buyers? decisions ? the specific attitudes, concerns and criteria that drive prospective customers to choose you, your competitor or the status quo.

A buyer persona is not merely a description of your buyer. As hundreds of our partners and customers can tell you, simply profiling your buyer results in too many personas and not nearly enough marketing guidance.

But when you have insights into what your buyers think about doing business with you, including verbatim quotes from people who have recently made the decision to solve a similar problem, you have the knowledge you need to align your marketing decisions ? from positioning and messaging through content marketing and sales enablement ? with your buyer?s expectations.

The challenge in building these personas is the effort in researching/interviewing individuals, requiring either external consultants or some specialized training/research. Reviews of Revella’s book:?Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business, are generally quite positive, pointing out the importance of asking the right questions and defining the key elements that really count in assessing personas.

One marketer, somewhat critical of her book, observed that the concept works well for marketers representing “high consideration” purchases. ?In the architectural, engineering and construction marketplace, this suggests the concept may be of special relevance and utility — considering that very few people make the investment in design and construction services without plenty of consideration.

I welcome comments from readers who have applied the persona model — and how it has changed/improved results. You also email

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