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What to Do When You Get Your Buyer Persona Wrong

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 11:30:00 AM by Amber Callan

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what-to-do-when-you-get-your-buyer-persona-wrongA buyer persona is a fictional representation of an ideal customer type or group that captures key aspects such as: demographics, motivations, pain points, behavior patterns, alternatives, obstacles and goals. It’s usually necessary (and wise) for a business to develop more than one buyer persona, even if it only has a single product or offering.

Understanding Buyer Personas for Your Marketing

Buyer personas are tools – not templates. And that means it may be necessary to refresh or even re-invent them. After all, a buyer persona that isn’t useful isn’t merely useless, it’s detrimental, since it will guide marketing campaigns and sales professionals down the wrong path.

Instead of aligning with motivations and overcoming obstacles, they’ll find themselves running into brick walls (or at least, feel as if they’re trying to talk to brick walls!). So, all of this begs the question:

What If You're Using the Wrong Buyer Persona?

Celebrate Broken Buyer Personas

The first thing to do – and perhaps the last thing you’d expect – is to celebrate.

No, this isn’t reverse psychology. It’s down to earth, pragmatic reality. Many businesses that have invested money and time in developing their buyer personas struggle to acknowledge that they need to head back to the proverbial drawing board (or rather, the proverbial white board or mind map).

So if you’re stuck with a buyer persona – or a few – that aren’t working for you, don’t despair. You’re already headed in the right direction!

Fill Buyer Persona Gaps

Next, of course, comes the process of either filling in the gaps, or creating new buyer personas from scratch. Don’t let the latter option shock you.

Creating new buyer personas is not an admission that the initial exercise was a waste of time. On the contrary, it may have been (and likely was) a required phase that helped you identify, for example, that you don’t just have one buyer persona to target: you have two, three or more. Again, this is a reason to be enthusiastic, because you’re getting a clearer picture of your marketplace.

Ask the Right Questions

So how exactly do you fill the gaps or create new buyer personas? At Leap Clixx, we’ve cultivated a set of questions that we resolve for each of our clients’ buyer personas. 

Questions to Help Create Your Buyer Persona

  1. What is their job title and role?
  2. What are their demographics? (age, gender, etc.)
  3. In what industry do they work?
  4. What is the size of their industry?
  5. What are their personal interests, and what do they do in their free time?
  6. What are their job responsibilities?
  7. What are they in charge of or expected to manage?
  8. Where do they go to gain new information?
  9. What publications or blogs do they read?
  10. What social networks do they belong to?
  11. What do they want to achieve?
  12. How do they measure success?
  13. How are they evaluated?
  14. What strategies, tools and initiatives are in place to help them achieve their objectives?
  15. What external challenges or trends inhibit them from reaching their objectives?
  16. What organizational challenges prevent them from achieving their objectives?
  17. How do they help solve these challenges?
  18. What are their most common objections and reservations?
  19. What are the top questions they’re asking?
  20. What are the industry expert responses to these questions? 

Answer the Questions 

When it comes to fixing or building robust and useful buyer personas, asking the right questions is important – but obviously it’s only part of the story. The other part, and frankly the tougher one, is answering them clearly and effectively. Fortunately, that’s what we specialize in here at Leap Clixx!

As such, if you’re discovering that your buyer personas aren’t leading your marketing and sales in the right direction, then after celebrating (as per above), contact us for your free inbound marketing consultation.

We’ll work with you to identify your distinct buyer personas, and then both ask AND answer all of the necessary questions to ensure that you’re heading in the right direction, which of course is: more leads, engagements, sales and profit. Learn more about turning your website into a lead factory with this free eBook:

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Topics: Inbound Marketing