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Buyer Personas Explained – Steps to Create Effective B2B & B2C Buyer Personas

A high-quality buyer persona can allow a marketing or sales professional to craft their efforts to increase brand visibility carefully. Despite how essential these personas can be to advertising campaigns, there are quite a significant number of professionals who aren’t aware of them.

Alongside there are a certain amount of advertising and sales professionals who might skip this step when rolling out their strategies. Doing so could mean that they’re missing out on quite a significant amount of short- and long-term sales.

As such, creating a buyer persona should be something that every marketing professional will have to look at when developing a campaign. However, quite a considerable number of them mightn’t know where to begin with this.

While crafting these personas might seem overwhelming, there are a few things you’ll need to know to do so. Alongside this, there are a variety of steps that you can take to ensure that your buyer persona is as accurate as possible. By doing so, you should be able to ensure that your marketing efforts are as successful as possible.

What Are Buyer Personas?

This is the first question that many people will have about buyer personas, especially when they’re relatively new to sales or marketing. A buyer persona is a model that helps you describe your target customer and is typically based on detailed research of your current and potential consumers.

The logic behind creating this kind of persona is that you can create a profile of your ideal customer and customize your marketing strategy to their needs. The campaigns that you put in place should typically be highly targeted to ensure that they will attract your ideal customer and encourage them to buy.

Why Are Buyer Personas Important?

Buyer personas are important as they allow you to create more targeted marketing and sales activities for the customers that you’re looking to acquire. Much of this will focus on building trust among your potential consumers, which can be vital to a company’s success.

The majority of customers gravitate to brands that they know and trust, with this being based on the businesses that they believe will address their needs and desires. This could be at odds with how many companies market themselves, where they simply state what they do.

In contrast, firms with buyer personas address their customers concerns and highlight how the company will be able to solve them. By doing so, they should see an increase in leads and eventual conversions.

Creating a buyer persona will be the first step in doing so, as you’ll need to understand your ideal customer’s needs before you can start to address them.

How Do Buyer Personas Fit Into Your Marketing Strategy?

How a buyer persona fits into a marketing strategy is something that many confuse many advertising and sales professionals, although it shouldn’t. Typically, your buyer persona will be a useful tool in helping to craft your overall campaign in a variety of ways.

The majority of this will be seen in how you craft the company’s marketing message. As mentioned, having a well-crafted persona will allow you to determine what your ideal customer’s needs and desires are.

By utilizing these as the starting point, you’ll be able to begin crafting your brand’s messaging based on these needs. As a result, the firm should then see an improvement in brand visibility and, when done correctly, sales.

Alongside this, you should be able to determine what messaging will be more likely to encourage them to buy. Typically, you should also be able to figure out which marketing channels you’ll be able to utilize to have your brand seen, which is one of the more vital aspects of a marketing campaign.

In this way, you could see a buyer persona as a valuable tool in helping to create your brand’s marketing strategy.

B2B vs B2C Buyer Personas – What’s The Difference?

There are quite a significant number of differences between business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C) marketing, with this also extending to buyer personas. Many advertising and sales professionals mightn’t realize this and may often take the same approach to both niches.

This could be a large mistake, as there are a few notable differences between the two. With B2C marketing, a buyer persona will focus on a prospect’s traits and characteristics. This could include buying habits, gender, age, income, and much more.

In contrast to this, B2B buyer personas will focus on a prospect’s role in a company rather than the person. As such, much of the information that you may utilize in B2C buyer personas mightn’t be relevant to B2B buyer personas.

10 Steps To Create Effective Buyer Personas For Your Business

With how vital buyer personas can be to a marketing campaign, the majority of advertising professionals and business owners will want to take advantage of it. However, quite a considerable number of them may not know how to do so, with this being driven by the belief that the process is quite overwhelming.

In contrast, there are a few simple steps that you’ll be able to take to craft a high-quality buyer persona. While it may take a certain amount of time to do so, it can reap dividends once the marketing strategy has been rolled out. As such, you should spend a significant amount of time on each step before unveiling your campaign.

Get The Right People

The natural first step to creating a buyer persona is to bring together the right people from across the business. These should include each of the key stakeholders, such as department heads, product team managers, your core marketing team, and much more.

Each of these key decision-makers should be able to provide valuable insight into what motivates customers to buy your products. At this stage in the process, the goal should be to facilitate interaction and communication between each of these groups.

You should also avoid anonymous surveys during this period, as active participation can often yield much better results, especially in the latter stages of the process.

Have Brainstorming Sessions

Next, you should have a variety of brainstorming sessions to generate ideas about who your ideal customer is and what their needs and desires are. During this period, it’s vital to ensure that there’s a structure in place to make sure that everybody is heard.

During this time, you should also look at what your customer goals are, what their common activities are, and what perceived problems are with the product. When doing so, you should highlight every stakeholder’s responses and get feedback on each.

By doing so, you should be able to remove any proposed customer needs that the group feels are invalid or irrelevant.

Review Your Assumptions About Customer Attributes

You’ll next need to have brainstorming sessions focused on your target customer’s psychological makeup and their demographic. These can play a pivotal role in shaping your overall buyer persona. When conducting this stage, there are a few factors you should look at, including:

  • Customer Psychographics: There are a potential customer’s opinions, interests, and overall attitudes, especially when it comes to purchasing specific products.
  • Where They Live: While this may seem obvious, you should look to get as specific as possible during this stage.
  • Age & Gender: While these may not seem important, they can often be vital in a variety of areas, especially for spending habits and what will attract a customer’s attention.
  • Economic & Family Factors: Income levels, spending power, and much more will play a significant impact on whether someone will purchase a product. As such, this can make play a large role in a variety of areas.

When brainstorming these areas, getting structured feedback should be vital, and should be done in the same way as your previous sessions.

Use Data To Verify Assumptions

While the above steps will be essential to your buyer persona, you’ll need to verify the assumptions that your company has made about its customers. As such, you’ll need to bring in quite a significant amount of data about these consumers.

There are a variety of ways that this can be done, with the majority of this being done by the marketing team. These could include customer satisfaction studies, internal sales reports, and much more.

Use Social Media For Feedback

Getting information about your existing customers can often be a challenging undertaking. However, it doesn’t need to be, as you’ll be able to leverage your social media channels to do so. When doing so, you’ll be able to interact with customers to see what problems they have with your product, as well as figuring out much more about them.

For example, you should be able to determine much of your customer’s demographics and more through your social media analytics.

Organize Groups Into Personas

Once you’ve undertaken each of the above, you should be able to see a variety of patterns emerging, with much of these being focused on customer needs and attributes. These patterns should then be broken into groups that correspond to information that you’ve already verified. These groups should then be used to represent buyer archetypes.

With this, you should have between three and ten unique archetypes, which you can then use to represent various customer profiles.

Do Quantitative Research

Now that you’ve created your customer profiles, you’ll need to determine approximately how many people fall into each category. This will involve a significant amount of quantitative research, which can be done in a variety of ways, including multiple-choice surveys and much more.

When doing so, however, it’s recommended that you avoid open-ended questions. Instead, you should have specific answers for a customer to choose between.

Use Personas In The Marketing Funnel

Once you’ve gone through the quantitative research step, you should be able to begin determining where these buyer profiles fit into your marketing funnel. With this, you should then be ready to start creating content and marketing materials that should then encourage them to move along to the next step in the funnel.

Reach Personas At Any Funnel Stage

With the above in mind, you should now begin planning to capture a customer’s attention at every stage of the funnel while moving them down the sales process. This should be done at every step of the process, from advertising to sales, and much more.

As such, you should think about what actions customers take at each stage of your marketing funnel and devise a plan to help move them along this process.

Test Your Outreach Strategies

Once you’ve done all of the above, you should now be in the position to start rolling out your marketing strategies. However, there’s still one lingering question that many people may have: Will the campaign work?

To answer this, you’ll need to test your marketing campaigns and measure the return on investment (ROI) that you see with them. Should they not be at an appropriate level, then you’ll be able to adjust your buyer personas and marketing strategy accordingly.

20 Questions To Ask In Persona Interviews

When creating buying personas, many companies will conduct interviews with target buyers so that they can more accurately create them. However, many firms mightn’t know where to start with this.

There are a variety of common questions that you should ask during these interviews, which can apply to B2B and B2C buyer personas. These include:

  1. Where do they live and who do they live with?
  2. What education do they have?
  3. What’s their career path to date?
  4. What industry does your company work in?
  5. How big is your company? This should apply to number of employees and possibly revenues.
  6. What’s your job role/title?
  7. Who reports to you and who do you report to?
  8. How is your job measured?
  9. What’s your typical working day like?
  10. What skills are needed for your job?
  11. Which tools do you use in your position?
  12. What are your biggest challenges?
  13. What are you responsible for?
  14. What does ‘success’ mean in your role?
  15. How do you find out new information for your job?
  16. Do you read specific publications or blogs? Which ones?
  17. What social networks or associations are you involved in?
  18. How do you usually interact with venders? How would you prefer to?
  19. Do you research venders before working with them? How do you do so?
  20. Describe a recent purchase.

When asking each of the above, it can be vital to receive answers that are as detailed as possible so that you can create an in-depth and accurate buyer persona that addresses everything about your ideal customer.

FAQs About Buyer Personas

Marketing and sales professionals will have a variety of questions about creating a buyer persona. While some may seem obvious and relatively simple, they can be much more common than you may think.

Where Do I Get The Data To Create A Buyer Persona?

This is perhaps one of the largest questions that marketing and sales professionals will have, as it can be vital for the overall process. There are a few notable ways that you can collect this data, with the most common being from your customers themselves.

To do so, you can engage with them on social media, as well as them to fill out a variety of surveys over time. These should prove to be essential in the long-term.

What Information Might Be Included In A Buyer Persona Report?

There are quite a significant number of things that you should include in your buyer persona. Some of the most notable of these include their age range, average income, location, and relationship status.

Alongside this, you should include their goals and motivations, educational background, and more. The more in-depth you can be, the better.

What Is The Difference Between Buyer Personas & User Personas?

While a user persona and buyer persona will have a variety of similarities, there are also several key differences. Perhaps the largest of these is that a buyer isn’t necessarily a user, but they could be. As such, a buyer persona could feed into a user persona.

What Is The Difference Between Buyer Personas & A Target Market?

The largest difference between the two of these is that a target market typically comprises individual decision-makers and are normally used by B2C companies. In contrast, buyer personas take much more information into account, such as company information and much more. This should mean that they can be used by B2C and B2B businesses.

What Is The Difference Between Buyer Personas & An Ideal Buyer Profile?

While these may seem similar, there are a few notable differences, with a buyer persona typically being a subset of an ideal buyer profile. As such, an ideal buyer profile could comprise much more information than a persona.

How Many Buyer Personas Should You Create?

This can vary from company to company, although it’s recommended that you have between three and ten buyer personas. Having too few may mean that you don’t have enough information, while too many could prove to be overwhelming.

Which Factors Should Determine Who Your Primary Buyer Persona Is?

There are quite a considerable number of factors that will play a role in determining your buyer persona, with much of these comprising demographics. As such, you’ll need to look at age, location, income, educational background, job position, and much more.

What Team Members Should Be Included In Creating Buyer Personas?

There are a variety of team members that you’ll need to include when creating a buyer persona. Some of the more prominent of these will consist of your marketing team, department heads, product development head, and the head of your sales team. You may also want to include others in this as you see fit.

Thanks for reading "Buyer Personas Explained – Steps to Create Effective B2B & B2C Buyer Personas", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.

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