Most buyer personas are useless. They’re fictional depictions and/or have irrelevant information.
Who cares if an IT buyer has tattoos and rides a Harley?
On a recent podcast, Chris Walker said he hasn’t used a buyer persona since 2017.
Let’s not completely dismiss buyer personas. Instead, let’s embrace a better approach.
For one, buyer personas need information that’s in-depth, insightful, relevant and reflects what customers think, feel, and do.
As important, they should be created by talking to lots of customers and prospects. Buyer personas need to reflect their problems, jobs to be done, aspirations, questions, and feedback.
Buyer personas have to be continually updated as customers’ needs and market conditions change.
But don’t stop there. Here are two must-do steps:
– Share buyer personas throughout the organization: marketing, sales, customer success, product development, etc.
– Make customer interviews available to anyone so they can hear first-hand what people are saying.
The questions to ask customers include:
– How did you discover our product?
– How do you research purchases?
– Why did you decide to buy it?
– What other products did you consider?
– What problems were you looking to solve?
– How does our product fit into your jobs to be done?
– Before using our product, what tools or products were used?
– What are the most useful features of our product?
– How would you like to see it improved?
Buyer personas have value but they need to be in-depth dossiers rather than high-level, info-lite characterizations.