(Re-posted from my LinkedIn page) Buyer Personas continue to be a hot topic for marketing professionals and Adele Revella’s new book on Buyer Personas sheds a light for those of us looking for clarity. While discussions with your sales reps and internet searches are a good start, a truly effective buyer persona hinges on one key action: getting in front of your customer and interviewing them.
Having just finished reading Adele’s Buyer Personas book, it breaks down this crucial and insightful marketing research into four very digestible sections for the busy professional.
- Buyer Persona project launch- Getting organizational buy-in and recruiting individuals who have considered and/or purchased products and services in your area of interest for interviews. Who to recruit and why to recruit them is also covered.
- Buyer Person interviews- The hands-on qualitative interviews that are key to developing buying insights. The goal is to have an unscripted conversation that allows customers to tell their buying journey with no judgement or bias.
- Buyer Persona interview mining- This key phase is all about recording the words and buyer focal points into categories and developing the key insights that your organization will act on. You will also identify how many buyer personas you will support.
- Execution on Buyer Persona Insights- This final phase is all about prioritizing key buying insights, getting buy-in and acceptance through your organization on these insights and injecting them into your sales and marketing operations.
End goal? Develop 5 Rings of Buying Insight for your potential customers. These insights revolve around: Priority Initiatives, Success Factors, Perceived Barriers, the Buyers Journey and Decision Criteria. To summarize these 5 rings, we are talking about what motivates an organization to start looking for a solution, the personal or organizational benefits of the solution, why they may not consider your solution, how and who was involved in the purchase of a solution and finally, what specific attributes moved them to that decision.
Adele also covers developing Buyer Personas for global organizations, new product launches and supporting product development. All of the guidance in this Buyer Persona book has enough flexibility to accommodate the reality of your marketing organization.
Over the course of reading Adele’s book and re-reading it, several key themes come through clearly. The need for product marketers to listen carefully, providing valuable information and assets to customers on their buying journeys and developing trusted relationships. In the end, it’s all about a shift for marketers to truly represent their customers at your organization’s table and in the conference room.It all just reminds me of a quote from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: ‘If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right.’ And that customer focus is key throughout all phases of your customer interactions, from product to marketing to sales.
If you’re interested in taking a serious dive into Buyer Personas, you’d be remiss not to check out the book written by the woman who developed buyer persona curriculum for Pragmatic Marketing. Read, learn and enjoy this new take on modern marketing for the 21st century…