The quick guide to easy persona development

Written by Becky Armstrong

Oct 10 2014

How to make persona development work for you

Persona development has a direct impact on sales, cost, and lead generation. Smart businesses know this, which is why they take the time to research and develop semi-fictional versions of their ideal customers. However, the time constraints of busy professionals can see this task fall by the wayside.

Putting off buyer persona creation is a mistake. Seen as a time consuming, detailed process, keeping up with this task can be become overwhelming. But persona development can be made to fit into your schedule in a way that works for you:

1. Make Developing Personas a Routine Marketing Task

If persona development were a one-time task, things would be simple; you’d be able to select a time slot, check it off and forget about it. But as business evolves, especially for B2Bs, refined buyer personas should be regularly reviewed and updated to remain accurate and relevant.

It is important that companies update their buyer personas regularly to match the reality of ever-evolving and shifting audience trends. Developing and updating personas also enables you to account for any adjustments that you have made in your overall business goals and strategies.

Think of this as a routine marketing task and set aside regular small sections of time for persona adjustment. This is more productive than devoting solid days or long blocks of time to development.

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2. Integrate Persona Development into Every Aspect of Business

Many marketers make the mistake of only referring to personas at certain marketing stages or failing to use them effectively. But persona profiles should be used, and remain relevant when integrated into every aspect of business.

Mapping audience profiles at different stages of the sales cycle is useful, and incorporating persona development into everyday practice means dedicating time to the activity becomes less of a burden. Whatever business goal you are trying to achieve, think: does this appeal to XYZ persona? Having a buyer persona representative can help you to visualise if your activity is persona matched or not.

3. Prioritise Regular Contact with Individual Buyer Persona Representatives

As you continue to develop personas for your business, you will identify members of your audience who seem to represent specific types of buyers. These individuals will best reflect the needs of the targeted group as a whole, so it’s a good idea to schedule time to check-in with them occasionally – say, every few months.

There are numerous methods you can use to quiz these buyer persona representatives, dependant on your relationship with them. Email, calls, meetings, even surveys and community comments are perfect to interview and check pain points, goals, and gain insights into what your persona rep is thinking. The process shouldn’t take longer than thirty minutes, so it’s not a huge investment of time. Remember however that one individual is not representative of a whole - you should have a ‘second opinion’ buyer representative of that persona if possible, and form your final personals as an amalgamation of multiple reference points.

4. Connect with Your Audience

Persona development doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It’s an activity that helps you get to know your audience, and enables you to connect with them. When you connect with your prospects, they are more inclined to do business with you, resulting in more leads, conversions, and sales.

Contact us if you're interested in learning more about making persona development work for your business.

Featured image: Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures