What to Avoid When Creating Buyer Personas

To build a successful marketing strategy, you have to know who you’re marketing to. Learn more about your customers’ goals, challenges and the kind of information that’s important to them. You can use this research to create buyer personas, which are semi-fictional characters representing your customers. Even though they are made-up characters, their descriptions are based on facts. Don’t skip doing the research because you need real information, not assumptions.

Click the link to read more about how to gather the right information for your personas and why they are important for your PR and marketing plans: What Are Buyer Personas? One of the Keys to Targeted PR and Marketing

Buyer personas provide a better understanding of your target audience so you can tailor content to fit their needs. Get your personas right by avoiding these common mistakes:

1. You have one persona too many.

Each persona will vary, so they may require different strategies. Too many can be overwhelming and can stretch your resources. While there isn’t a magic number, focus on the ones that make the most sense. Which personas will bring in the best business results? Are you trying to break into a new market? Ask yourself these important questions to get to the bottom of who you want to target.

2. Your persona’s story is "TMI."

If you know what they’re favorite pizza toppings are or how many times they’ve been married, it might be time to take a step back. Irrelevant details can muddy what’s actually important like basic business information including job roles, company size, business priorities and challenges.

Related: Incorporating a Company Blog Into Your Business Strategy

3. The persona isn’t accurate.

Give your persona real characteristics. It may help to interview existing customers and prospects to get the real story behind their business and buying decisions. Your personas will evolve as you get to know your customers and leads better.

Remember, personas are not supposed to represent a particular person. They depict a section of your audience. You might give them names like Self-Made Stan or Specialist Sam and attach cute photos to them, but multiple job roles may fit within that one persona.

4. No one else at the organization knows about the personas.

Don’t keep your personas under wraps! Introduce them to your coworkers so everyone is informed. Buyer personas are typically used in crafting marketing strategies, but other departments can benefit as well. Your sales and new business teams can be armed with a stronger understanding of who they’re reaching out to and provide them with more relevant information.

Not sure where to start? Click here to download HubSpot’s buyer-persona templates.