From the Influencers

2 Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When Building Buyer Personas

September 27, 2017

Building effective buyer personas can significantly improve your marketing efforts.

An ideal persona allows you to focus on your brand messaging and content strategy to deliver what your customers want to receive at certain stages of their buyer’s journey.

Blogger, entrepreneur, and marketing CEO Priscilla McKinney recently joined the Magnificent Marketing Podcast to discuss the ins and outs of creating effective buyer personas – and suggested a few tactics you should avoid.

Buyer Persona Mistakes That Could Cost You

You’ve probably been told since you were young that there’s a right way and a wrong way to accomplish something. The same principle holds true with buyer personas. To be successful, Priscilla said you need to focus on asking your customers or the people who interact with your customers every day the right questions. At the same time, you should be asking yourself how your products and services can help solve your audience’s problems, both inside and outside of work.

There are several tactics that might work well in analyzing other aspects of your marketing campaigns, but should be avoided when you begin creating your buyer personas.

1. Focusing Too Heavily on Your Data

Consider temporarily ignoring your analytics, at least during buyer persona development. Priscilla revealed she finds this information unreliable at this stage because most of the people involved in the persona planning really don’t understand the data and have unrealistic assumptions about its meaning. She said it would indirectly get you the information you need, but it’s often not a helpful conversation.

2. Assuming Everyone Follows the Latest Trends

Facebook has more than 2 billion users but that doesn’t mean your customers are actively engaged on the social media site. Priscilla urged marketers to take a step back from the trends and focus first on the audience. The delivery method will come next, but only after you determine where and how your customers want to receive information.

Putting Your Buyer Personas to Work

It should be noted that neither of these tactics are bad practices for your marketing efforts. The big mistake comes when you implement these ideas too early. After you have your personas established, focus on the delivery method for your information based on what your customers want. Then you can test your new data against the statistics you already had to see if you’re on the right track.

Looking to learn more about taking your marketing efforts to the next level? Subscribe to the Magnificent Marketing Podcast and you’ll hear valuable insights from marketing experts and thought leaders across the country.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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