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45 Questions to Ask When Creating Buyer Personas

By April 26, 2016May 13th, 2019

Have you ever looked at an ad and said, “I don’t get it, why would I want that?” On the other hand, have you ever seen an ad that felt like it was made just for you? In the first case, either you weren’t part of that product’s target market, or worse, they didn’t understand how to market to you. In the second case, they understood you and had developed their message to speak directly to you and others like you.

A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. It is an in-depth composite of the characteristics, behaviors, and motivations of your ideal customer, and vital to your marketing success. Your buyer persona’s will influence the content you create, the segment of your database your market certain offers to, the webinars you’ll run, the emails you’ll send, the tweets you’ll send, and the language and tone you use.

In short, if you want your marketing efforts to prosper, you’ll develop your buyer personas. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of 45 questions to ask when creating buyer personas. However, before diving in to the questions, let’s go over 3 principles to follow when creating these buyer personas.

  1. Don’t make it up

You may think you know why someone did or did not buy from you, but unless you’ve asked them, you can’t really know. You know what they say happens when you assume right? These buyer personas are going to work for you for years to come. Get them done right the first time.

  1. Conduct interviews

I’ll be honest, creating your buyer personas will not be an overnight task, that is if you want to gather all the information necessary for a great persona. Interviews are the way to gain real information to use when creating your buyer personas. Look to interview prospects who didn’t buy, current customers, past customers, your marketing team, and your sales team. All these different groups will give you the information and varying perspectives to build your buyer personas.

  1. Focus on the pain

Demographic information is widely available and won’t provide you with unique insight. Sure, they are important pieces of information to have, but your focus should lie in your persona’s behavior, challenges, motivations, and pain. What’s going to convince them to buy from you? What pain of theirs can you fix?

Now, let’s take a look at the 45 questions to ask when creating buyer personas.

Personal Info

  1. What’s their name?
  2. What’s their age?
  3. What’s their gender?
  4. What’s their martial status?
  5. What’s their salary?
  6. Where were they born?
  7. Did they have siblings?
  8. Where do they fall in the birth order?
  9. What are some of their personal interests and hobbies?
  10. What are their favorite brands?
  11. What are their favorite websites?
  12. What are their personal goals?
  13. What are their favorite family goals?
  14. Introverted or extroverted?
  15. What would it take for them to deem their life a success?

Business Info

  1. What’s their industry?
  2. What is the company’s annual revenue?
  3. Number of employees?
  4. Years in business?
  5. What is their job title/role?
  6. How long have they been in their current position?
  7. What are their job responsibilities?
  8. How do they measure their job success?
  9. How do their supervisor’s measure their success?
  10. What are their concerns/challenges?
  11. What’s the annual budget for their department?
  12. What is the goal of their business?
  13. What are they responsible for?
  14. What skills are required to do their job?

A Day in the Life

  1. How do they spend a typical day at work?
  2. What tools do they use?
  3. Where do they get their industry news from?
  4. What blogs or newsletters do they read?
  5. What social networks are they often active on?

Purchasing

  1. How do they prefer to interact with vendors?
  2. How do they research products they’re interested in buying?
  3. What do they like/dislike about your product/service?
  4. What are their objections to buying?
  5. How can you help solve their unique challenges?
  6. How does your product help them reach their business goals?
  7. What factors may influence him to consider a competitor over your own product?
  8. What problems/challenges are they having that makes them an ideal customer for your business?
  9. What happens if they cannot solve that problem/challenge?
  10. What happens if they do solve that problem/challenge?
  11. What would their perfect solution look like?

When complete, your buyer personas will help you understand the motivating beliefs, fears and secret desires that influence your customer’s buying decisions. Focus on behavior, motivation and challenges. This gives you insight into your persona’s purchasing process and allows you to tailor your marketing messages to their needs.

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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.