You have just gone through the process of developing buyer personas. The reaction you get is not what you expected. What your colleagues are saying is – So what? This can happen when personas are created using inaccurate or incomplete research. They may be stale or vague descriptions based on intuition. They may be wishful thinking. They may be management guesswork.
That is not a true persona.
To gain actionable insights from the process of buyer persona development, building takes place on the foundation of qualitative buyer research. The optimal form of qualitative buyer research is third party in nature to remove the mental barriers for candidness as well as deep insights.
Another pitfall is that buyer persona itself is the end of the research. Keep in mind that there is a full story for buyers to tell you, not just a snapshot. What is the story?
- Who they are
- Who and what they care about
- What they are trying to accomplish
- What they believe?
- What are their worries, their pains? What keeps them up at night?
- How they think
- How they behave
- How and why they buy
- What influences them online? What do they read?
- What choices they make
These questions, carefully analyzed, become elements of your buyer’s story. This story can be told artfully through insightful buying scenarios. Without such a story or buying scenario, you cannot know how or why a buyer persona will decide to engage with your organization.
If you lack knowledge to tell your buyer’s story, you will have a very low probability of success with tactical efforts that contribute to an overall customer strategy. Demand will be less, conversion will be less, leads will be less, content engagement will be less, and sales will be less. Now who wants that to happen?
Next time your colleagues say “so what” to your buyer personas; ask yourself if you have the research, insights, and understanding to tell a compelling story about your buyer.