The Latest from the ABM Experts
May 13, 2020
No Bullsh*t Approach to Creating a Buyer Persona
Written by Sangram Vajre
Casey Cheshire is a marine, author, adventurer, and marketing automation strategist.
He is also the Founder of Cheshire Impact and the host of The Hard Corps Marketing Show and today he is bringing his Oohrah to Flip My Funnel, as our very special guest host!
Casey sat down with author and industry expert, Adele Revella about her No BS approach to Buyer Personas.
By throwing out many of things we thought we knew about how to develop a Buyer Persona, Adele outlines her methods for getting the answers you actually need to market to your buyer effectively.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Re-thinking the Buyer Persona
- How to get the best information possible
- Implementing that knowledge
You have created a Buyer Persona, but is it the right Buyer Persona?
It’s the thing that everyone talks about. You HAVE to have a Buyer Persona!
A quick internet search brings up an endless array of how-to-guides, templates, and articles claiming that sending out XYZ survey will reveal all of the answers to your marketing challenges.
You get the surveys back and everyone sits in a room to discusses all of the answers.
You come up with a name for your buyer.
You find a picture that looks like who you think they are.
Then you market to that Person(a).
Is it effective?
Well, Adele Revella says that’s bullsh*t.
She considers that a buyer profile, not a buyer persona.
A traditional Buyer Persona tells you who they may be, but does it tell you what they are thinking?
How can you break down the buyer decision-making process?
While developing a buyer profile has value, it doesn’t really reveal what the buyer is actually thinking about. It doesn’t tell you what their decision-making process
It doesn’t show any insight into what questions they need to be answered before they can commit to buying from you.
You have to know who you’re talking to. You have to really know your buyer.
Most often we just go ahead and do some marketing activity.
We develop an email campaign, post content on social, and create entire strategies based on what we think. What WE think.
As marketers, we are pretty tuned in to a lot of stuff, but to be truly effective we must understand the thinking of who is on the receiving end, and tailor our approach accordingly.
Understanding the buyer journey has nothing to do with knowing how many cats and dogs they have.
It’s about knowing how you are going to be helpful to your buyer.
It’s anticipating the questions and needs that develop throughout their journey and having the answers for them.
It’s about knowing how to reduce friction in their buying experience.
How can we gather more valuable information?
“So you’re killing surveys, you’re killing focus groups. Love it. Shots fired.”
Fear not, surveys and focus groups are still an integral part of gathering information, but
not when it comes to the buyer journey according to Revella.
If a Buyer Persona is going to be of use, we have to understand how they get to their buying decision.
Buyers are different than customers.
Buyers today have such easy access to information!
What questions are going on in their mind as they consider buying.
How can you deliver that information better than anyone else to secure that buyer’s business?
Asking the right questions, and then having a dialogue about, says Revella.
She flips things around and interviews Casey about his marketing automation buying journey by asking him this question.
“Casey, tell me what happened when you first decided that you needed a marketing automation solution? Take me back to that day.”
From this one question, they spontaneously build the framework of Casey’s mindset as he was starting out his buyer journey, and develop a clear roadmap from idea to purchase.
Ask the right questions. Get the right answers.
Dig in and build the Buyer’s mental model.
As Adele dissects Casey’s decision-making process, we learn details that no one-dimensional survey or scripted focus group would reveal.
With a conversational, strategic dialogue, the mental model of his Buyer Persona is born.
When you take the time and personal approach with six, eight, or ten people, Adele found that patterns began emerging around what drove those decisions.
So, digging in and asking the questions is where the sweet spot is.
A buyer wants ease of use. Great!
A marketer creates a whole campaign around how easy their product is to use!
But do they understand what about the product should be easy?
Which approach is more impactful?
Proclaiming CLICK HERE FOR EASY XYZ PRODUCT?
Identifying the specific things that your buyer is looking for and then delivering that solution?
When it comes to No Bullsh*t Buyer Personas, Adele Revella, Casey Cheshire and the Marine Corps can agree I one thing: “Improvise, adapt, and overcome.”
Join the discussion on Instagram.