To get your marketing right and grow your business, you must know who might make or influence the buying decision.

Usually, there is a cast of characters who are involved or can influence the decision.

Think Ted Lasso now. I‘ll talk more about him and the his cast’s personas later.

These five questions will help you understand your buyer’s behavior and attitudes while using your or a competitor’s product or services.

  1. What is a buyer persona?  

buyer persona is your interpretation of your ideal customer. It can be based on SEO, market research and other real data about your customers. It also can be made up based on your experience in selling over the past year or months. Seriously, if you are out in the field, you know your customer better than most other sources. Check out this is a great Huble post

  1. Why do you need to create personas?

Personas offer powerful structure, insights and ideas for your company and brands. A comprehensive persona helps evaluate where to concentrate your time, energy and money. It guides product development, innovation and definitely marketing and communications.  Check out this HubSpot buyer persona tool. I like using its avatars.

When thinking about marketing and communications, the value of internal and external audience buyer personas is critical to determining the important things like:

  • Kind of content you need to create
  • Tone, style, and delivery strategies (and more) you need to develop
  • Topics and targets you should focus on to help continually grow your business
  • Who needs to be “in the know” on your projects (both now, and in the future)
  • What makes up a persona?

It should include customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. Experts like

  • Title
  • Time in the job
  • Works directly with
  • Daily tasks
  • Responsibilities
  • Likes/dislikes about job
  • Frustrations
  • Pressures
  • Concerns
  • Needs
  • Role in buying process
  • Buying stage
  • Drivers

To make your personas come alive, I suggest adding images and even naming your personas. Sometimes, I get silly. I use names like The Bossman, The Head Spinner, Chief No Goer, Top Optimist, TechRocker. The Technician, The Go Getter. etc. Or I pick people from a favorite sitcom.

Who doesn’t love Ted Lasso, the philosopher, soul and manager of the Richmond Greyhounds? So using his band of merry football/soccer men and women can work very effectively when imagining and creating your persona.  Connecting the persona with a picture helps me too — Bossman equals Rebecca the Richmond Greyhounds’ owner. Ted is clearly the Top Optimist. Keeley is the Chief Go Getter and Coach Beard is The Technician. Naming and picturing a persona helps you and your team see this buyer as a human being who is more than a business transaction.  

  1. How many personas do I need?

As you know, many decisions are made by committee, so you will benefit from developing a persona for every member of the decision- making process.  For many companies, products and services, there can be several specific personas:

  • Initiator
  • Influencer
  • Decision-maker
  • Buyer
  • User
  • Gatekeeper

Be mindful that if you sell a variety of products or services with various audiences, you’ll need personas for each of them.

  1. What’s the value of specific personas?

They are needed for each of these people because you will engage them differently as they enter the buying process at varying intervals, and they care about their own things ranging from features to benefits to costs to delivery times, etc.

  1. When do you create personas?

Obviously, it should be at the beginning of your communications effort.  And I would imagine that your team, especially sales, customer service and market research team are raring to help with this.

So how are you creating and benefitting from buyers personas?