Buyer Persona FAQ: 16 Important Questions Answered

Q: What is a buyer persona?

A: A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It's a way to define and characterize your target market in order to make it easier to create marketing content that speaks to their needs and desires.


Q: What will a buyer persona do for my business?

A: Perhaps the most valuable benefit is that it helps you to focus your marketing efforts. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, you can hone in on the individuals who are most likely to buy from you. This allows you spend your time and money more efficiently, and ultimately increase sales.


Q: How to create a buyer persona?

A: The first step is to get as much information as possible. This includes demographic information (e.g., age, gender, education level), psychographic information (e.g., interests, attitudes, and behaviors), and behavioral data (e.g., what websites they visit, what they buy). Once you have this information, you can start to group it into different categories. For example, you might have a persona who is a young woman with a college degree who is interested in fashion and beauty. Then you can start to develop a profile for her, including her likes and dislikes, what she cares about most, and how she behaves online and offline.


Q: What information might be included in a buyer persona?

A: Information that might be included in a buyer persona could include:

  • Demographics (age, gender, income, location, etc.)
  • Lifestyle ( interests, activities, spending habits)
  • Needs and wants
  • Motivations for purchasing a product or service
  • What factors influence their purchasing decisions
  • Goals – What are your persona’s goals? What are they trying to achieve?
  • Challenges – What challenges does your persona face?
  • Objectives – What major objectives do they have that relate to your product or service offering?
  • Relationships – How do they feel about the people and organizations around them?
  • Actions – Given their goals, objectives, and challenges, what kind of action might they take?


Q: How to create a buyer persona template?

A: After you've identified the information points you want for your buyer persona, simply create a one-page dossier. Include a picture and a name to more easily differentiate between different buyer personas. Next, rearrange the information points from more general to more specific and voila, you've got your buyer persona template that you can start populating.


Q: What is the difference between B2B and B2C buyer persona?

A: B2B buyer persona tries to understand who the decision-makers for the related product/service are within an organization, what their KPI's are, and how the product/service related to their job. B2C buyer persona takes into account a broader picture of the ideal customer in flesh and their physical and emotional needs as well as their behavioral traits and habits.


Q: Is it OK to change your buyer persona over time?

A: Yes! In fact, you will most certainly do this very often. As you start doing research and gathering information, questions you haven't considered at first will start popping up. Don't be afraid to modify your current buyer persona or create an adjacent one if the new insights warrant a different buyer persona altogether.


Q: What are the best tools to gather the necessary information for your buyer persona?

A: There are a few different ways to go about gathering information for your buyer persona. Here are a few of the best methods:

  • Surveys: You can use surveys to collect quantifiable data that can be used to help build out your persona. This method is great for learning things like demographics, needs, and wants.
  • Interviews: Face-to-face or over the phone interviews can help you gather qualitative data that paint a more complete picture of your persona. Things like motivations, challenges, and goals can be uncovered through interviews.
  • Social Media: Social media can be a great way to get to know your target audience. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn offer a wealth of data that can be used to help build out your persona.
  • Secondary Research: Sometimes it's helpful to supplement your primary research with secondary research. This could involve things like looking at industry reports, analyzing demographic data, reading competitor content, etc.


Q: How many buyer persona interviews should you aim to complete?

A: One good strategy is to do buyer persona interviews in batches of 5. After you've done 5, analyze the data and revisit your information points. When you're satisfied, do another 5. Rinse and repeat this prices 4-6 times until you've done 20-30 interviews. Generally, 20-30 interviews will allow you to come to informed conclusions. This way, you won't end up in a situation where you do all the research only to discover you've had huge gaps in your process from the beginning.


Q: How long should buyer persona interviews take?

A: 15-20 minutes is enough time to cram in a good number of important information points. Anything longer than that will result in a loss of interest and rushed and not thought out answers to your questions. Anything shorter than that and you won't have a chance to bring up too many important information points.


Q: How many buyer personas should you create?

A: For small to medium size businesses, start small and concentrate on your most ideal customer first. This is a customer you want the most interactions with and know the most about anyway. Plus, it's much easier and more enjoyable to work with your ideal customers because there's a lot less friction and it'll give you most bang for your buck. For larger businesses, it's still a good idea to start small but instead of one or two, it's justifiable to create three to five buyer personas. Always iron out the one buyer persona before moving on to the next.


Q: How to run effective buyer persona meetings?

A: When deciding on your buyer persona strategy in meetings, it's a good idea to approach it in bite size bits. When you finalize a buyer persona strategy, quickly implement it on a small batch of real customers. When you collect feedback information, have another meeting where you'll analyze the info and readjust the strategy accordingly. Repeat this process until you iron out your buyer persona to perfection. There's no point in having endless meetings at start when you're not even sure your strategy is working whatsoever.


Q: How can you tell if your buyer persona is working?

A: There are a few telltale signs that can indicate whether your buyer persona is working. One is the number of leads you're generating. If you're seeing an uptick in leads, it's likely that your persona is resonating with people. Another sign is engagement. Are people interacting with your content? Are they clicking through to learn more about your products or services? If so, it's likely that you've crafted a persona that appeals to them. Finally, take a look at your conversion rate. If you're seeing more people becoming customers, it's likely that your buyer persona is having an impact on their decision-making process.


Q: Should small local businesses bother creating a buyer persona?

A: Yes! Even if your business is specialized to the point where you're servicing one type of customer only, you still want to know as many real-life information about your customers as possible. This will still help you a lot to target your ideal customer more easily and effectively.


Q: What is a negative buyer persona?

A: A negative buyer persona is someone who is unlikely to purchase your product or service. They may have a lack of need for what you're offering, or they may simply not be interested in what you're selling. Either way, it's important to identify and understand your negative buyer personas so that you can avoid wasting time and resources trying to sell to them. One type of customer might seem like a great fit for your product/service at a glance, but upon more thorough research, you might discover that they actually aren't because of one or more important factors.


Q: Do you need a negative buyer persona?
 A: You don’t necessarily need a negative buyer persona but creating one can be looked at as an optional tool in your toolbox. A negative buyer persona can further maximize your efficiency in targeting ideal customers and avoid spending time and effort on fruitless marketing efforts.

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