Attract the right customers with well-written personas

May 29, 2014


Attracting target market with personasPersonas, or customer profiles based on real data, have been around for a while. Although they may seem daunting to compile at first, once you have the information, you have a roadmap to the hearts and minds of your most valuable prospects. Depending on whom you ask, creating customer personas can be a fun exercise or drag on for days, with every answer only leading to more questions. HubSpot recommends this worksheet for painting the perfect customer picture. If you feel overwhelmed by the list of questions you need to answer, try focusing on the essentials:

  • A day in the life – this exercise can help you determine a myriad of useful information, from how they gather data and interact with peers to the pain points and roadblocks they encounter every day. Armed with this information, you’ll know which problems need solving, and where to promote your problem-solving skills.

  • Authority – unfortunately, many corporations employ a complex decision-making process where stakeholders from multiple divisions must agree on a common solution. Understanding the process and how to help your prospect move solutions through the corporate labyrinth is key (see note about pain points above).

  • Demographics – although less important than psychographic information, demographics allow you to create a real(ish) person you can relate to and communicate with on an emotional level instead of a profile on a page. Remember, b2h is the new b2b.

So how do you go about gathering this valuable information? Ask (or bribe) and you shall receive.

  • Interview current customers via online surveys

  • Take your top clients out to lunch and pick their brains (separately)

  • Ask your sales and customer service reps for common issues/complaints

  • Guess (that’s right). Fill in the blanks using what information you currently have as a stopgap while awaiting real input from real customers. You can’t afford to wait around for the perfect sampling of customer responses. You can (and should) always optimize later.

Once you have the input you need to put a face to your prospects, use that persona to drive all of your marketing efforts. It’s common to have more than one persona, but more than five may muddy your messages. Review your personas with your team quarterly to keep the information fresh and make any necessary improvements.

Want to learn more about drafting personas that lead to relationships? Contact me at



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  • About the Author
    Heather Kingry

    Heather Kingry is a versatile writer with nearly a decade of experience in writing across all media. Blogs, websites and tweets have become second nature. Whether it’s b2b or b2c, she’s strictly business when it comes to generating results for her clients.

    Read my full bio

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