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4 Common Mistakes When Creating Buyer Personas

By December 29, 2015May 13th, 2019

Mistakes-Precious_Life_Lessons.jpgThe buyer persona is a crucial foundation to your marketing strategy. What should your new ebook be about? What about your new blog post? Or your new lead nurturing emails? Buyer personas help you better understand your current and potential customers, what their pain-points are, what information they need, and how you can position your offering to meet their needs.

However, because buyer personas are specific to you, your industry, your market, there really is no correct way to create them. There are, however, a few simple mistakes you can avoid making during the process. Below are 4 mistakes people make when creating buyer personas, and how to avoid them.

1) Not doing the research

Not knowing how or where to find information on your new buyers personas can easily create a challenge for many marketers. It is simple to start off with what you think your (and/or your team) buyer personas should be, and using that as your buyer persona.

This method provides a very one-sided view and will struggle to give you the results you’re looking for. When creating buyer personas you should:

  • Talk to your sales team
  • Talk to your current customers
  • Talk to contacts you may have in that field

Be aware that your personas don’t necessarily have to stay the same forever. They aren’t set in stone, so you should be looking to develop your persona as time goes on.

2) You set them and forget them

Creating personas may seem like a one-off exercise, but it is not. The key is not creating your buyer personas, but actually using them. You should implement your new personas not only across your marketing department, but to your colleagues in sales as well. It’s a good idea to dive into using personas as soon as you develop them. Have everyone on the team study them, and use them to create content, so that you can build them into your strategy, not as an extra unnecessary piece of the puzzle.

3) There are too many personas

Creating too many personas can be an easy trap to fall into. It might look like the separation brought by using a bunch of different personas would make it easier to engage them all in the right way, when in fact it’s usually a case of spreading yourself too thin.

Start with one persona and build up from there. There should be clear differentiators between each persona, so you can create an experience that resonates with each of them. Be ruthless when creating your personas, if you don’t have enough information for your new persona, remove it. A clear delineation between your personas will make it easier for you to attract, convert, and delight them.

4) Not thinking about negative personas

There are people you don’t want to target. They might be too expensive to acquire as a customer, they may target a different market than you work in (B2C vs. B2B), or the reason may be geographical. The point is, to identify and understand these kinds of people you need to create a negative buyer persona.

Sure, it sounds like a giant waste of time on the surface, however these negative buyer personas can help you in a variety of ways. It will help not only you, but also your sales team identify red flags in your leads to help get them out of the way as early as possible and save you time and resources.

A good buyer persona(s) will help you build a great foundation for your marketing strategy, but there is a lot more to it! Check out our free Sample Gameplan where you get an inside look at our strategy, and learn what it takes to develop a strategy of your own.

*Image Courtesy of Jd5466 via Wikimedia

 

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.