How to create precise buyer personas

July 25, 2016

Having an accurate buyer persona – a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer – is essential for creating an effective B2B content marketing strategy.

According to Business 2 Community, however, most B2B buyer personas are “terrible”.

That might be going a little overboard, but there’s certainly some truth in its suggestion that marketers are not using all the resources available to them to build better B2B buyer personas.

Here are the nine resources it recommends to use to help sketch that image of your perfect customer:

1. Current customer surveys

Target those email subscribers who are most engaged with your newsletter, ask them how they came to be a customer, why they chose to become a customer, and what would ensure that they remain.

2. Former customer surveys

We all know how difficult it can be to get former customers to speak, but some invaluable insight will be winging its way to you if you manage it. Be sure to cover all the things you might not want to hear, such as why they took their custom elsewhere, if they’re happy with their new supplier, and what would make them switch back.

3. Lost customer interviews

Interviews are more time consuming, but you might only have to conduct a handful with those lost customers to get what you need – some really great qualitative insights.

4. Advocate interviews

It goes without saying that you’ll also need to find out what makes your best customers tick, for the purpose of creating a buyer persona. After all, they are the ones who responded well to your sales and marketing efforts.

5. Sales manager interviews

Sitting down with your sales manager will likely prove an illuminating experience, for they know what motivates your buyer as well as you do (maybe even better than you do).

6. Customer support interview

Your customer support staff, meanwhile, will be able to disclose any customer pain points relating to your business or industry – crucial information for understanding the buyer’s wider world.

7. Leadership team interviews

Those at the top of the hierarchy need to know your buyer incredibly well, which is why it’s vital to spend some time with them as you go about re-evaluating your buyer personas.

8. Mining CRM data

Your customer relationship management (CRM) platform will be harbouring a ton of information regarding both your best buyers and lost customers – use it to its full potential.

9. Mining social media data

Similarly, social media is a gold mine for discovering insights about your buyers, with plenty of social listening and monitoring tools available to do the job for you.

Buyer personas are essential building blocks for any marketing strategy – are yours as accurate as they could be?#

Dan Vivian - Business Development & Marketing Director