Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business

Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business

by Adele Revella
Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business

Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business

by Adele Revella



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Named one of Fortune Magazine’s “5 Best Business Books” in 2015

See your offering through the buyer's eyes for more effective marketing

Buyer Personas is the marketer's actionable guide to learning what your buyer wants and how they make decisions. Written by the world's leading authority on buyer personas, this book provides comprehensive coverage of a compelling new way to conduct buyer studies, plus practical advice on adopting the buyer persona approach to measurably improve marketing outcomes. Readers will learn how to segment their customer base, investigate each customer type, and apply a radically more relevant process of message selection, content creation, and distribution through the channels that earn the buyers' trust. Rather than relying on generic data or guesswork to determine what the buyer wants, the buyer persona approach allows companies to ask the buyer directly and obtain more precise and actionable guidance.

Buyer personas are composite pictures of the people who buy solutions, services or products, crafted through a unique type of interview with the people the marketer wants to influence. This book provides step-by-step guidance toward implementing the buyer persona approach, with the advice of an internationally-respected expert.

  • Learn who buys what, and why
  • Understand your buyer's goals and how you can address them
  • Tailor your marketing activities to your buyer's expectations
  • See the purchase through the customer's eyes

A recent services industry survey reports that 52 percent of their marketers have buyer personas, and another 28 percent expect to add them within the next two years – but only 14.6 percent know how to use them. To avoid letting such a valuable tool go to waste, access the expert perspective in Buyer Personas, and craft a more relevant marketing strategy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118961667
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Format: eBook
Pages: 240
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

ADELE REVELLA is the CEO and Founder of Buyer Persona Institute and a leading authority on buyer personas. Through her company's research and workshops, Adele's buyer persona methodology has become the gold standard for thousands of marketers in hundreds of global companies. She is widely recognized as a marketing and business leadership speaker, consultant, blogger, and workshop facilitator. In her decades-long marketing career, Adele has seen the discipline from all sides: executive, consultant, trainer, and entrepreneur.

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Table of Contents

Foreword David Meerman Scott xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: Listen First, Then Speak xix

Why Is Everyone Talking about Buyer Personas? xx

Will This Approach Work for You? xxii

Part I Understanding the Art and Science of Buyer Personas 1

Chapter 1  Understand Buying Decisions and the People Who Make Them 3

Why the “Know Your Customer” Rule Has Been Redefined 5

A Clothes Dryer’s Extra Setting Made All the Difference 6

Will You Understand Your Buyers’ Decisions? 7

Relying on Buyer Demographics and Psychographics 10

How Marketers Benefit from Buyer Profiles 11

Buying Insights Complete Your Persona 12

High-Consideration Decisions Reveal the Best Insights 13

Buying Insights from a Quick Trip to London 15

Chapter 2 Focus on the Insights That Guide Marketing Decisions 19

Listening to Kathy 20

Frustrated, A Newly Minted Consultant Invents Personas 22

Buyers Have Distinct Expectations 23

The 5 Rings of Buying Insight 25

Give Your Buyer a Seat at the Table 27

Buying Insight Opens Doors to C-Level Executives 31

Chapter 3 Decide How You Will Discover Buyer Persona Insights 35

The Most Important Nine Months of My Career 36

How Interviews Reveal Insight 38

Is This Another Kind of Qualitative Research? 39

Crafting The Low-Consideration Buyer’s Story 41

Using B2B Salespeople to Build Buyer Personas 42

The Pros and Cons of Buyer Surveys 43

When to Use Focus Groups 44

Will Big Data Deliver Insights? 45

How Social Media Contributes to Buyer Personas 48

SAP Gains High-Value Insights through Web Analytics 49

Part II Interviewing for Buying Insights 51

Chapter 4 Gain Permission and Schedule Buyer Interviews 55

Persuade Stakeholders That You Need Buying Insights 56

Overcome the “We Know Our Buyers” Objection 57

When You Don’t Have Time for Buyer Persona Interviews 59

Use Your Sales Database to Find Buyers to Interview 60

Sometimes You Want to Avoid Your Internal Database 61

Using Professional Recruiters to Set Interview Appointments 62

Which Buyer Should You Interview? 64

Interview Buyers Who Chose You as Well as Those Who Did Not 66

Contacting Buyers to Request an Interview 68

Chapter 5 Conduct Probing Buyer Interviews 73

Who Should Conduct the Interview? 74

Prepare for Your Buyer Interview 75

Getting It on the Record 77

“Take Me Back to the Day . . .” 78

Use Your Buyer’s Words to Probe for Insight 80

Go Slowly to Capture the Whole Story 81

Questions That Keep the Conversation Flowing 82

An Example Interview with Tim 84

Look for Insight When Buyers Use Jargon 86

Make Your Questions about Your Impact Count 88

Probing on Who Influences This Decision 90

Asking about the Perceived Value of Your Differentiators 91

When Features Affect Decisions, Look for Insight 92

First and Foremost, Be a Respectful Listener 94

Chapter 6 Mine Your Interviews for Buying Insights 97

You Need Fewer Interviews Than You Expect 98

Step 1: Mark Up Your Interview Transcript 99

Step 2: Organize the Story Based on Buying Insights 103

Step 3: Write a Headline for Each Key Insight 106

Chapter 7 Determine How Many Buyer Personas You Need 111

Segment Buyers Based on Insights, Not Profiles 112

Conduct More Interviews to Test Segmentation Options 114

Analyze Insights to Decide How Many Personas 117

Will Two Buyer Personas Help You Win More Business? 118

Presenting Your Buyer Persona 123

Copywriting Your Buying Insights 127

Building the Buyer Profile 128

How to Find Buyer Profile Information 129

Part III Aligning Your Strategies to Win More Business 131

Chapter 8 Decide What to Say to Buyers 135

Will Your Current Approach Work? 136

Set the Agenda, and Invite the Right People 138

Ask for Premeeting Contributions 139

Develop a Complete List of Capabilities That Matter 140

The Moderator Is a Proxy for the Buyer 142

Apply Two Filters for Short Messaging 143

Evaluate Your Competitive Ranking 144

Assess Relative Value to Buyers 145

Bring in the Copywriters and Creative Teams 150

Chapter 9 Design Marketing Activities to Enable Your Buyer’s Journey 151

Understand the Buyer’s Journey 153

Patrick’s Journey for an Employee Benefits Decision 154

Prioritize Assets That Align with the Buyer’s Journey 156

Prepare to Be Surprised 157

How Buyer Personas Affect Industry or Solution Marketing 158

A Global Perspective on Buyer Personas and Campaigns 160

Can You Be Useful to People Who Aren’t Buying? 162

Educate Buyers That Success Is within Reach 163

Autodesk Helps Buyers Achieve Their Top Priorities 164

Chapter 10 Align Sales and Marketing to Help Buyers Decide 171

Changing the Conversation with Salespeople 173

Share Insights, Not Buyer Personas 174

Deliver Buying Insights through Sales Playbooks 175

Enabling the Challenger Sale 176

Helping Salespeople Break into the C-Suite 177

Insight into the Nurse’s Emotions Halts Sales Losses 179

Sales and Marketing: Vive La Différence! 183

Chapter 11 Start Small, with an Eye to the Future 185

Where to Begin Your Buyer Persona Initiative 186

How to Earn Your Stripes as a Strategic Resource 188

How Buyer Personas Benefit Product Strategy 190

Building Buyer Personas for New Products 192

Communicating Insights That Affect Other Teams 193

Using Buyer Personas to Guide Strategic Planning 194

Start Small and Make a Big Difference 198

Bibliography 199

Index 203

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