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9 Questions to Ask When Creating Marketing Personas

By April 21, 2015May 13th, 2019

9 Questions to Ask When Creating Marketing Personas, Alaniz MarketingMarketing personas are a crucial part of inbound marketing. Having clearly defined marketing personas provides alignment between marketing and sales, and helps you get the right type of traffic, leads, & customers.

But once you sit down to craft your personas, you may find yourself staring blankly at a white screen for some time, wondering where on earth you’re supposed to begin.

Personas are archetypes that describe the various goals and observed behavior patterns among your potential users, customers, and referral partners.

To get started developing your marketing personas, ask yourself these questions about your target audience(s).

9 Questions for Creating Marketing Personas

1.) What is their demographic information?

Collecting demographic information about your personas will help you perform more targeted offline and online marketing, but it also helps paint a picture of who your personas are. Are they married? What’s their annual household income? Where do they live? Are they male or female? How old are they? Do they have children? This type of demographic information starts to paint a clearer, more personal picture of your customer.

2.) What is their job and level of seniority?

Your persona’s job and seniority level is another way to better understand nuances of your persona’s life. You may uncover some interesting information, too, like large portions of your target audience skewing toward certain industries or seniority levels.

Marketers that take the time to understand their persona’s career aspirations will likely enjoy a better understanding of their audience and more effective communications with them.

3.) What does a day in their life look like?

Now that you have an idea of some of your persona’s personal characteristics, try to piece together how a typical day in their life runs. Are they spending more time at work, or at home? Where would they rather be? What do they like to do for fun? Who are the people in their life that matter most? What kind of car do they drive? What TV shows do they watch? Heck, what outfit are they wearing?

Once you’ve gone through this exercise and worked out any lingering questions about what makes your persona tick, browse through some stock imagery and find an actual picture to associate with your persona. Going through this exercise forces you to clarify an image of your target audience in your entire organization’s mind that will help keep your messaging consistent.

4.) What are their pain points?

You’re in business because you’re solving a problem for your target audience. How does that problem affect their day to day life? Go into detail, and focus on the nuances that illustrate how that problem makes them feel. Once you have that identified, you can cater your service to help them that much more!

5.) What do they value most? What are their goals?

Now that you know their pain points, it’s a little easier to understand what they value (and just as important, what they don’t care about). Ask yourself what would make your persona get really, really excited about your service.

6.) Where do they go for information?

If you’re going to market and sell to these personas, you need to understand how they consume information. Do they go online, or do they prefer to learn in-person or by reading newspapers and magazines? If they’re online learners, do they visit social networks? To Google? Which sources do they trust the most; friends, family, coworkers, or industry experts? If you know how they prefer to gather information, you can make yourself present in those spots and work on establishing credibility in those areas.

7.) What experience are they looking for when first connecting with you?

What kind of services and opportunities do they expect you to have? What should their “buying” experience feel like? Is it consultative? How much time do they expect to spend with your sales person? Do they anticipate an in-person meeting, or would they rather conduct the sales process online or over the phone? The nature of your business and the personality and needs of your persona will dictate their experience in connecting with you.

8.) What are their most common objections to your services?

If you can anticipate the objections your persona will have, you can be prepared for them in the sales process and perhaps even educate them in your marketing collateral to help allay fears right away. What might make them reticent to connect with you or any other provider in your industry?

9.) How do I identify this persona?

Now that you have a great understanding of what makes your persona tick, you have to be able to identify them so you can tailor your communications. How will you know when you’re talking to this persona? Is it their job title? Something about the way they talk or carry a conversation? Their pain points? How they found your company? Once you’ve established not only who your persona is, but also how you can identify them when you encounter one or another, your employees will be able to maintain a consistent voice that is still customized to each person they talk to.

Have you developed personas for your company yet? What helpful questions did you ask yourself in the process that weren’t included on this list?

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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.