Generate More Accurate Buyer Personas by Applying These 8 Strategies

In order to create marketing content that gets results, you really need to know your target audience. Mastering the art of creating insanely accurate buyer personas helps you tune in to who your customers are on a deep, intimate level.

Generate More Accurate Buyer Personas by Applying These Strategies

In a day and age that finds consumers increasingly unreceptive to traditional advertising methods, it’s no longer enough to simply create catch-all ads aimed at everyone and hope for the best. 

Modern marketers know the key to digital-age success is incredible content that not only offers a consumer value but feels as if it was created especially for them.

In order to do this well, you need to really know your target audience, and a set of well-crafted buyer personas can help. 

But to be genuinely effective and keep you ahead of the curve, yours need to be spot on. 

Here’s a closer look at how you can create eerily accurate buyer personas to help you nail your marketing goals and fatten up your bottom line.

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    1. Do thorough research on your audience

    Smart marketers never make assumptions about their target audience when developing marketing content. 

    Accurate buyer personas are based on solid research and plenty of it, so make sure you do yours. 

    Do this even if you’re sure you already know who your customers are and how they think. Remember, just as the marketing industry changes, so do people and their preferences.

    Start by taking a close look at your own collected customer data on those who’ve already purchased your products and services. 

    What demographics do they occupy, and what do various customer groups have in common? 

    Supplement this data with new information collected via surveys and interviews with both existing and potential customers. 

    What do your efforts tell you about the people your products were created for?

    2. Plan your input forms with buyer personas in mind

    One of the better ways to create scarily accurate buyer personas on an ongoing basis is to plan your data gathering methods with those personas in mind. 

    For instance, give some consideration to the fields you include when creating forms for your website and landing pages.

    Don’t go overboard and ask for too much information at one time, but do consider what information would be most helpful when creating or updating your buyer personas. 

    Think basic demographic information like age, gender, and profession. Many marketers also consider it beneficial to ask about a consumer’s social media use.

    Another great way to collect valuable data for accurate buyer personas is to create and distribute fun interactive content options like personality quizzes

    Quizzes give you opportunities to ask questions that are a bit more unusual, as well as to collect more data than people might have the patience to enter when filling out a standard form.

    3. Don’t forget to talk to your sales and customer care teams

    Yet another way to gain terrific insight into the minds of your customers is to sit down with members of your sales and customer service teams. 

    They spend the majority of their time interacting directly with your target audience and are in a unique position to clue you in as to what they care about.

    Have these team members noticed any common threads that connect all or most of your customers to one another? 

    What issues, pain points, wants, and needs do your customers have that might be going unaddressed? 

    Use what you find out to add nuance and detail to your buyer personas for better results in future campaigns.

    4. Ask the right questions when creating new personas

    Creating accurate buyer personas is all about getting the essential details right, so make sure you ask the right buyer persona questions when brainstorming yours. 

    Here’s a closer look at the essential categories to include and some sample questions to get your thought process started in the right direction.

    Personal Basics

    This is broad information about which demographics the represented consumer occupies. 

    How old are they? Are they married, and do they have children? How many? Where do they live? Are they educated and to what extent?

    Professional Life

    Although people are more than just their jobs, what they do for a living is nevertheless a huge influence on their thinking and decision-making methods. 

    What are the consumer’s job title and role? How big is their company, and what industry is it in? What skills are required, and what does a typical day on the job look like?

    Goals and Challenges

    Everyone has both personal and professional aspirations, challenges, dreams, and goals. 

    What do those look like for the consumer behind each persona? What solutions has the person already explored to help them get where they’d like to be in life? What (if anything) has prevented them from resolving key pain points and challenges in their life?

    Buyer Behavior

    It’s impossible to create accurate buyer personas without including information about shopping preferences and consumer behavior

    How does the person go about researching products and services to buy? How do they prefer to interact with sales reps and vendors when necessary (phone, email, etc.)? What factors influence a decision to buy a product or not?

    5. Focus on finetuning primary personas

    Some companies use many different primary and secondary buyer personas when brainstorming their marketing campaigns, especially when those companies are very large or maintain extensive, varied product catalogs. 

    And you may decide you want to do something similar with your own collection of buyer personas at some point down the line, but focus on perfecting three or four primary personas first.

    Secondary personas generally represent people you’re less likely to come in contact with during the process of nurturing a sales prospect. 

    On the other hand, primary personas represent vital players you’ll work closely with. 

    These are people responsible for initiating, advocating for, and perhaps even finalizing the end purchase, so they’re the most important people to understand.

    • What might these people be like in regards to your clientele base? 
    • What do you know about how each persona evaluates product options and finalizes purchase decisions? 
    • How can you better tailor your content to meet the needs of these people at every point in their buyer’s journey?

    6. Understand who not to target

    Creating accurate buyer personas to represent the customers you most want to target is only part of the process of building a great collection of personas to fuel your marketing efforts. 

    It’s just as crucial to know who you don’t want to market to because they’re a bad fit for your product or maybe even your company, in general.

    Tap into the minds of these consumers, as well, by creating negative buyer personas

    Consumers represented by negative buyer personas are individuals who likely engage with your content but don’t convert. 

    Or sometimes they do convert but yield low returns on your original marketing investment or otherwise turn out to be problematic customers.

    Detailed negative personas can help you better distribute your marketing funds and plan your future campaigns so that you reach an audience that’s genuinely right for your products and services.

    7. Update all of your buyer personas regularly

    As any experienced marketer can tell you, nothing about marketing stays the same forever. 

    Technologies, social media platforms, and go-to strategies rise in popularity and fall out of fashion again.

    Consumer tastes change and evolve alongside economic shifts, political occurrences, and various social trends.

    That said, creating accurate buyer personas isn’t something you do just once.

    It’s an ongoing process that needs to evolve as your company, customers, and marketing goals change over time. 

    Never stop gathering data and using what it teaches you to learn more about what makes your customers tick.

    So how often should your buyer personas be updated to maintain accuracy? For best results, compare your go-to personas to current data and make minor tweaks if needed about once a quarter. 

    However, you should also take a more detailed look at each persona every 1-4 years and determine whether they’re due for more complete overhauls.

    8. Visualize the audience represented by your personas

    Not every marketer agrees on just how thoroughly you should personalize your buyer personas. 

    Some like to go as far as to develop each persona into an entire virtual personality, complete with a name, profile picture, and all the trimmings.

    Others warn against taking things that far, as it could encourage marketing bias that might find strategists stereotyping customers unnecessarily.

    Which approach you and your team decide to adopt is ultimately up to you. But generally speaking, it’s a good idea to practice visualizing the customers behind your personas to help them seem like real people.

    Think about them and consider what they might want when brainstorming product improvements. 

    Encourage your content developers to do the same and imagine they’re speaking directly to these imagined people as they create. 

    It’s the best way to remember that, at the end of the day, you’re marketing and creating to reach, help, and assist real human beings.


    The better you and your team become at creating stunningly accurate buyer personas that do a great job of representing your actual customers, the more successful your marketing strategies will ultimately be. 

    But know that you can apply the general philosophy behind buyer persona creation to other aspects of your marketing campaign, as well.

    Take the next step and check out our comprehensive write-up on social media personas for yet another look at how developing a deep understanding of your customers can help you reach your business goals. 

    You’ll learn what differentiates social media personas from buyer personas, gain insight into why they’re important, discover how to create good ones, and more!

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    Shannon Hilson Rock author vector
    Rock Content Writer

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