Great marketing doesn’t just happen on it’s own. Winning campaigns, out-of-the-box solutions— these are things that take serious planning and process. To make your marketing work, you need to spend some time thinking about what direction you’re going to take and how you’ll execute on that vision.
One of the best ways to focus your efforts in a clear direction is to build a buyer persona (also called a customer profile or marketing persona).
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a profile put together by your marketing team that defines the ideal customer for your business. Or, to put it more formally:
Buyer personas are research-based archetypal (modeled) representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions.
By putting together your own buyer persona, you’ll have an idea of the kind of customer you’re trying to reach. As you come up with marketing strategies and campaigns, you can ask yourself at every turn, “is the kind of thing my ideal customer will respond to?” If the answer is no, you have some work to do.
How Can I Build One?
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what makes a great buyer persona. To help you navigate the murky waters of Google’s search results, I’ve compiled some of the best information and tools on the web. Use these links to build your own buyer personas and target your marketing efforts more effectively.
First things first: A Definition
What Is A Buyer Persona? Why The Original Definition Still Matters To B2B
If you’re new to the concept, start here. Here, you’ll learn what a buyer persona is, what it’s not, and what a great one looks like.
Learn by Example
Example Buyer Persona
This freely-downloadable PDF may be a little more than you need right now, but is an example of what a great buyer persona looks like.
Your Starter Toolkit
12 Tools & Resources to Help You Create Better Buyer Personas
Hubspot has a powerful tool to help you build buyer personas, but they’ve also got this awesome article with everything you need to get started.
Ready. Set. Build!
Marketing Personas: The Complete Beginner’s Guide
The only thing missing from the previous toolkit was a free template. Get one here along with a ridiculously thorough walkthrough for building your first persona.
The Power of Data
How To Create Customer Personas With Actual, Real Life Data
This is one of the best articles on the science of buyer personas— emphasizes data, gives you a few real-world examples, and gets pretty darn specific.
What to do With Your Personas
14 Ways to Get More Use Out of Your Buyer Personas
Now that you’ve built something awesome, here’s a quick-start guide to putting it into practice in 14 super creative ways.
Feel free to leave a comment if you feel I’ve missed anything important. But more than anything, remember to take action. If your marketing strategy still lacks a powerful buyer persona, it’s time to get started. Don’t get caught reading link after link, trapped in paralysis by analysis. Use the resources on this page to kickstart your buyer persona and make it a reality.