What Are Personas and How to Create Them?

 

Zapis je na voljo tudi v slovenščini

Personas are one of the five pillars of inbound marketing. They are representations of our ideal customers based on research, internal analysis, and experience with existing customers. They are a kind of link between the content we create and the audience we address with that content.

Persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some speculation about the customer’s demographics, behaviours, motivations and goals.

 

Personas help everyone in the company to think about the ideal customer we want to find. We can also create an anti-persona – a profile of the customers we don’t want. In any case, we can think of our personas as a compass that guides us in our efforts to approach our (potential) customers and provide them with high-quality content at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Once we’ve created our personas, we need to make sure that our coworkers are familiar with them – not just the marketing team, but also the salespeople, product developers and customer service representatives. All employees are promoters of our brand, and in one way or another they help to attract and retain customers.

How Many Personas Should You Create?

The number of personas and the type of information we need depends mostly on the industry in which our company operates – who we sell to and what information about these people would be useful to us in order to tailor our marketing, sales and customer service to their needs.

We can quickly get trapped in discussions about how many personas we actually need. When it comes to quantity, we should stay reasonable. Of course, it’s practically impossible to fit a lot of different people into a single persona, but that doesn’t mean we should create a whole classroom of them. In our experience, B2B companies have an average of 2 to 5 personas.

Questions to Ask When Creating Your Personas

When creating personas, we invite employees who are in contact with existing customers to reflect and talk about our customers’ most common pain points and challenges. Then we can create content that helps our personas solve these challenges. This help will grow into good relationships and turn prospects into customers, and customers will recommend us to their network.

Not all of the points listed below may be important for your ideal customer (your persona). Use those that are relevant to you.

  • Name: Is your persona a man or a woman? What will you call him/her? Will it be Purchaser Mike or Sales Manager Christina? Consider adding a job title or the person’s expertise to the name.
    Tip: Don’t call your persona by the name of a real customer you have. Remember – personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers.
    Find a suitable photo that will make it easier for you to imagine your persona.
  • Demographic information: Gender, age, education, place of residence. Demographic data helps you get a mental picture of your persona and to better understand her/his needs.
  • Career: What industry does your persona work in? What is the size of her/his company? What is her/his job title? How is her/his performance measured? To whom does she/he report.
  • Job description: What are her/his goals, challenges, responsibilities?
  • Communication: What kind of communication does she/he prefer? By phone, e-mail, social media, by regular mail?
  • Information sources: Where does she/he find work-related information? Online, trade associations, magazines, conferences, etc.?
  • On which social media channels can you find her/him?
  • How can you help your persona overcome her/his challenges and reach her/his goals?
  • What would your persona say in a conversation with you? Write down possible statements.
  • What are the common objections to your offer? What kind of objections would a salesperson hear when talking to your persona?
  • In the end, craft an elevator pitch to present your product/service to your persona.

 

Do you need help with creating personas?

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Alič Čretnik Katarina

After more than 10 years working in marketing and online journalism, Katarina joined the Actuado team. Since 2018, she has been deepening her knowledge in inbound marketing and HubSpot. She leads HubSpot onboarding and training for many Actuado clients. She regularly monitors the innovations in HubSpot and helps clients to take full advantage of all HubSpot functionalities and tools in their work. In addition to family, good relationships, walks in nature and enjoying good music, her values include a constant desire to explore and learn.