The Essential Steps of Developing B2B Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is a detailed summary of one kind of buyer for your products or services. The buyer persona represents a single-use case. In other words, it summarizes one type of buyer who has clear, specific goals in mind when choosing your product.

Buyer personas are valuable for many reasons:

  • They make content marketing more effective by illuminating audience preferences
  • They allow you to refine your key assumptions about your target market over time
  • They clarify unmet market needs and opportunities to win competitor market share

A remarkable 71% of companies who exceed revenue goals use buyer personas. The sooner you implement buyer personas, the faster your company can become one of them.

Here’s how:

1.Understand What Information You Need

A B2B buyer persona should address these areas:

Demographic Questions

  • The buyer’s gender and age
  • The buyer’s income or budget
  • The buyer’s geographic location
  • Psychological Questions
  • What are the buyer’s key problems or pain points?
  • What sources does the buyer use for purchase advice?
  • What does the buyer do for fun?

Career Questions

  • What industry does the buyer work in?
  • What’s the size of the buyer’s company?
  • What does “a day in the life” look like?

2.Fill Out Initial Assumptions

In the beginning, your buyer personas may be largely based on an anecdotal understanding of your customers. That’s okay! Working together in a cross-functional group – with marketing, sales, product development, and customer service – fill out as much information as you have.

It’s vital to have many perspectives at the table. Each team brings with it a different viewpoint on what the “average” customer interaction looks like. By blending feedback from all sources, you will get a more complete picture. You’ll also uncover cases that warrant separate personas.

3.Validate Assumptions Over Time

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To fully validate the assumptions in your buyer persona, you’ll need to check them against real data. The three most efficient ways to do this are with client questionnaires, one-on-one interviews, and website analytics data.

Of these, analytics data changes the quickest. It should be viewed on a weekly basis, and emerging trends should be plotted from month to month. This way, buyer personas can be updated to reflect changing buyer needs and preferences that may be essential to success.

Wondering how buyer personas work in practice? Read about our client Genesis Systems and how buyer personas improved their overall marketing strategy and performance.