The Buyer's Persona.

The first step on the inbound-marketing journey.

Created with โค by Michael for Praelexis, as an experiment in narrative knowledge sharing.

Scroll to start! ๐Ÿ‘‡

It all starts with a Buyer's Persona ๐ŸŽญ

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

Leave no stone unturned โ›ฐ๏ธ

Consider things like...

  • Demographics ๐Ÿ‘ถ ๐Ÿ‘ด โ™€ โ™‚
  • Behaviour patterns ๐Ÿ“ˆ ๐Ÿ“Š
  • Motivations ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚
  • Goals ๐ŸŽฏ

We want to focus on customers that we consider "qualified", and to guide our product development and marketing approach to appeal to these idealized customers.

We use these personas to plan and create content and messaging that appeals to our idealized audience. We then personalize marketing to each persona.

With personas, it's all about the detail. ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ

๐Ÿ“š Do more than Googling

We must include not only market research, but insights from our actual customers as well.

This means we must go through our list of contacts and customers for trends, use forms on our website that capture persona information, interview our current customers and reach out to our prospects. โ˜Ž๏ธ

We need to do everything we can to gather information on who our ideal customer is.

We need to deeply understand them.

How do they think? ๐Ÿค”

What keeps them up at night? ๐Ÿ˜ด

What does a home-run look like to them? ๐ŸŒญ

And, most importantly...

What do they need to do? ๐Ÿ’ช

Customers tend to buy products and services to get a job done, not just for the sake of the product or service.

This concept helps us to dig deep into the motivation of our ideal customers, and gets to the root of what their concerns are.

We call this Jobs-be-done๐Ÿ”ฅ

and it helps us describe demand*.

* Note, it doesn't telling us anything about what we should do. Just what the customer's desireable outcome is and what's stopping them from achieving it.

In other words...

A. There is a current ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ way of doing work.
B. There is a desired ๐Ÿ˜„ way of doing work.

Constraints block you from going from A --> B.

These constraints are the Jobs-to-be-done.

"What do I need to achieve in order to reach my desired state?"

(I was tempted to make a Kubernetes joke here)

We define these "Jobs-to-be-done" in the form of a Job Story.

A Job Story is a process a customer goes through when they attempt to change thier existing life-situation into a better one.

Anatomy of a Job Story โค ๐Ÿง 

When _____, (situation)
I want to _____, (motivation)
so I can _____. (expected outcome)

๐Ÿค“ Fill in the blank.

Dรฉjร  vu? ๐Ÿค”

"Ah-hah!" I hear you cry, "I've written User Stories before! This is the same thing, right?"

"... Right?" ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well... not quite. ๐Ÿคฏ

You see, "User Stories" set out to describe tasks that a persona needs to be completable, but they don't explicitly describe the underlying motivation for progression to a more desirable state.

Instead, Job Stories give us a much tighter coupling between context and causality.

๐Ÿคจ It's a subtle difference, and worthwhile stopping for a moment and pondering the difference in intention between a Job Story and a User Story if you're used to writing the latter (like me!).

Here's a link to a blog post if you want to learn more.

La La Land?

If this is too "artsy-fartsy" ๐ŸŽจ for you, don't ponder too much ๐Ÿ™ƒ. All we want to understand are the customer's motivations for altering their current state to their desired state, and what is stopping them from doing so.

Back to Buyer Personas ๐ŸŽญ

So, Buyer Personas humanize our customers and describe the emotional experience of having the needs and wants of an individual, by taking into account their demographics, social and physical environment, pain points, challenges, dreams, nightmares, thought process, quirks, mood swings, eccentricities, etc.

And we couple these personas with Jobs-to-be-done, that deal with the customer's current and desired state, and the obstacles blocking their way.

All together now! ๐Ÿค

Without a persona, Jobs-to-be-done lack all of the context of who the customer is and what appeals to them.

Without a Job-to-be-done, a persona doesn't tell us anything about the customer's desired outcomes or their motivation.

I'm convinced -- what now?

How do I create these Buyer Personas anyway?

Glad you asked ๐Ÿ˜‡.

The best place to start is at the start โœจ

Hubspot recommends following this process:

  • Look through our database of contacts ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ป for trends about how our customers find and consume our content
  • Use form fields on our website ๐ŸŒ to capture persona information when users sign up or give us their email.
  • Get feedback from Sales (Business, in our case) ๐Ÿ‘” on the leads they interact with the most. Can we make generalizations about our happiest customers?
  • Interview ๐ŸŽค our existing customers!

Hubspot has these great templates for Buyer Personas. I've uploaded them to our Drive for us to use.

Step by step ๐Ÿฐ

With our Buyer Personas ๐ŸŽญ defined, the next step is to define each persona's Jobs-to-be-done.

But we've covered that already ๐Ÿ˜‰, so let's not get into it again here.

When _____, (situation)
I want to _____, (motivation)
So I can _____. (expected outcome)

Et voilร โ€ฏ! ๐Ÿฅ‚

That's it for this whirlwind tour of Buyer Personas and Jobs-to-be-done!

Of course...

This journey will still continue... ๐Ÿค 

At some point we're going to need define a Buyer's Journey too...

But not today. ๐Ÿ˜ด

But hopefully soon. ๐Ÿ˜‡

Thanks for scrolling with me today, and I'll see you next time.