The One Crucial Factor You

Developing buyer personas is one of the most important steps in laying the foundation of a strong marketing strategy. By mapping out in some detail the types of customers that you’re marketing to, you’re able to frame every aspect of your marketing efforts around your specific audience segments.

In other words, creating buyer personas allows you to make your marketing more personal, and therefore more effective.

If your marketing efforts are already under way and you haven’t developed personas yet, it’s not too late! Set aside some time to take a step back and think about your target audience and how to segment them into a few main personas that you’ll use going forward.

Creating buyer personas for your marketing allows you to be more effective in your copywriting, segmentation, audience targeting, value proposition development, and so much more. Having personas mapped out will influence almost every piece of your marketing, from email to social media to paid ads to content marketing.

The Standard Persona Development Process

If you already have created some personas for your business, you’re off to a great start!

Most marketers start out by outlining the following features for each of their personas.

A B2B persona description might include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Job role
  • Reports to
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Company revenue

A B2C persona description might include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Job role
  • Education
  • Income
  • Marital status / # of kids
  • Interests & Hobbies

Whether you’re selling B2B or B2C, you’ll also want to map out the answers to the following questions for each of your personas:

Goals/Challenges

  • What are their personal goals?
  • What defines professional success for them?
  • What are their biggest challenges?

Buying Process

  • How do they make decisions?
  • Who are their influencers?
  • How do they do research?
  • What publications and blogs do they read?
  • What social networks do they belong to?
  • How do they prefer to interact with vendors? (i.e. email, phone, in person)
  • What factors do they consider in their evaluation process?
  • What factors would cause them to decide against purchasing a given product/service?

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re most of the way there. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of marketers stop. They think they’ve outlined enough details about their personas to start incorporating their personas into their marketing efforts.

But there is one crucial element that’s still missing.

The Single Most Important Question To Answer In Persona Development

Have you guessed what it is by now?

Let’s think about it – what is your primary focus when marketing a product or service to your audience? Well, the ultimate goal is to get them to purchase. But in order to that, your focus should be on framing your product to be as relevant as possible to the person you’re pitching it to.

The more effectively your product fills a need or solves a problem that your target audience has, the more likely they are to purchase it.

As a marketer, it’s your job to figure out:

  1. What needs and challenges your prospective customers have; and
  2. How to market your product to them based on those needs and challenges

Therefore, the #1 most important question for you to answer when building out each of your personas is:

How does my product/service solve a need or challenge for this persona?

By understanding which need your product fulfills and how it fulfills that need, for each of your personas, you’re effectively outlining the value proposition that you’ll use to make your product most relevant to each person you’re marketing to.

Once you’ve answered this question and have a full characterization mapped out for each of your personas, start putting this information to good use in your marketing campaigns. With greater relevance come higher engagement and conversion rates, so don’t wait to implement your new insights!