How to create one amazing buyer persona

When you make a buyer persona, you’re imagining and creating the perfect customer for yourself.

When you make a buyer persona, you’re imagining and creating the perfect customer for yourself.

Last week, I blogged how buyer personas have reemerged—like the tip of an iceberg in an ever-turbulent marketing sea. Poetics aside, I think buyer personas really work. And today, I’ll show you how to craft one yourself. It’s almost guaranteed to make your marketing more compelling, focused and engaging to your buyers. And it’s a great way to help set up your ad agency on your next project.

Follow this template, answer the questions and you’ll be on your way…

SAMPLE BUYER PERSONA

Here’s a buyer persona I completely made up for a digital marketing company. Their ideal customer is a midsized company that isn’t doing a lot of digital, but needs to. Here’s how their buyer persona could look.

STEP 1: Who is this person? Get the basics down on your ideal customer. The key is to make the description sound like a real person. Add photos, quotes, facts and more to really paint a picture and create a life!

Woman and young girl in kitchen with laptop and paperwork smilin

This is Anna, a marketing director of a midsized medical device manufacturer in the Northeast. She’s 43, married, has two kids, and really tries to get to the gym a few days a week.

EDUCATION: Anna went to a good state school, graduating in the top 10% of her class with a degree in marketing. Later, even though she was working and had a family, she managed to get her MBA. That diploma holds a proud place on her office wall.

RESPONSIBILITIES: She oversees a small marketing team of two—a public relations writer and a coordinator. This busy triad…

  • Handles all marketing and PR for the company
  • Oversees the website and social media
  • Manages and travels to three industry tradeshows a year
  • Works with an advertising agency to get dozens of projects done every year—mostly print and tradeshow materials

She’s been in this job for eight years now, and she’ll likely stay. This is her second major job in marketing since college… Anna likes loyalty and stability.

ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: She’s a LinkedIn fanatic (checks it every day on her phone), posts on Facebook a few times a week (mostly about her kids), and relaxes by watching popular TV shows like Modern Family and Once Upon a Time. She’s heavily involved in her kid’s lives and activities, and she has a great sense of humor.

WHAT’S HER WORKING STYLE? Organized. Smart. Respected. Likes being adventurous in the work she produces with her team and ad agency. She’s into “out of the box” stuff.

HOW IMPORTANT IS SHE TO THE BUYING PROCESS? Critical! She answers to a VP who trusts Anna’s judgment completely, so Anna ultimately makes the decision.

STEP 2: What problem is she trying to solve? Be specific here! Again, make it personal and real. You want to show what’s happening in her world, and how that’s affecting her emotionally.

WHAT CAUSES HER PAIN? Anna is a big user of digital—she’s practically Krazy Glued to her smartphone—but when it comes to digitally marketing her company, she’s behind the times, and that worries her. Anna’s larger, deeper-pocketed competitors are well into digital, and in an industry that prides itself on being cutting edge, her company is starting to look like a dinosaur. Ultimately, it could affect sales and her job.

STEP 3: What does she need to solve her problem? Here, you share what would take the buyer’s pain away.

HOW CAN WE HELP? Show our company as a digital partner who gets it and has a killer track record with companies that are behind in the digital marketing arena. To Anna, it doesn’t matter if we’ve worked in her industry or not. Good thinking and reliable execution matter to her most. Anna would LOVE daily contact with a smart digital team. She’s looking for a consultant, confidant and coach to bring her and her company into the 21st century, and keep them there.

HOW DOES SHE LIKE TO RECEIVE INFO? She loves online videos, downloadable white papers and case studies, LinkedIn posts and blogs—all things she can look at on her own time. She’ll only meet with us AFTER she’s done her homework.

There’s no one formula to creating a buyer persona, but if you hit certain marks, it can really catapult your messaging and response. You can have just one, or many—even segment them by industry, vertical or job title. Just make it personal.

– Andy Badalamenti is the creative director for CI-Group

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