Crafting the Persona


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The "persona" is one of the most important exercises you need to create a relevant integrated marketing campaign. Many campaigns fail because the marketer doesn't know enough about what their audience cares about or how they make business decisions. The persona is a tool that helps marketers emphasize with their buyers. Personas create a connection between the marketer and the buyer like no other marketing tool can. This presentation give an overview of how to create, critique, and apply a persona to your own business. The material is covered in detail in my book, The Marketing High Ground. And check out my new online course: Create High Impact B2B Personas in 4 Easy Steps. The course is offered at

Whoever understands the customer best, wins!

How well do you know your target market? Can you paint a clear picture of their interests, desires, as well as the problems they are trying to solve? How about their buying process? Using job titles alone is not enough to focus your go-to-market strategy. Marketers must be able to empathize with their target audiences. Building a PERSONA is one of the most helpful steps you can take because without a 360 degree perspective, your lead generation programs are destined to failure. Your messaging will seem random and you won't capture the attention of your target audience.

Great marketing starts with a clean and focused understanding of your prospects and what makes them tick. The PERSONA exercise is the fastest way to capture this information and align your sales and marketing teams.

This presentation is from the mini-guidebook, The Marketing High Ground series: How to build a Persona. The mini-guidebook offers much more information on the technique, templates, and examples.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business
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  • You've seen the slides, now take the online course! Download the template and learn how to build, critique, and apply your own B2B personas.

    The course is now available on Type in 'Create High Impact Personas in 4 Easy Steps'. Enjoy!
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  • A detailed fictional representation of a targeted buyer Represented by demographics, psychographics, and behaviors Must feel like a real person we can empathize with
  • Crafting the Persona

    1. Crafting the Persona Because whoever understands the customer best, wins! Mike Gospe KickStart AllianceMay 28, 2012
    2. Question: who are we targeting? Common answer: Everyone! “We can’t say no to anyone” Everyone “Our product can address any market” “But there are so many ways our product can be used” “The sales team needs us to be everywhere” Unfortunately, selling to everyone is like selling to no one because: • The messaging will be watered down to the most generic level • Multiple messages will compete with each other • Confusion will result internally and externally • You won’t know where to prioritize your marketing investments 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    3. The right question  Where should we prioritize our proactive marketing investment? Don’t try to be all things to all people You will only confuse the market You’ll happily accept money from anyone who wants to buy your product. But where should you proactively invest your limited marketing resources? Answer: It depends. • Which market segments are easiest to win? • What segments are you most at risk of losing to competitors? • Which segments represent the future for your company? 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    4. Many marketing programs fail because . . .  Marketers don’t fully understand the persona they are selling to  Marketers fail to empathize with the target audience  Marketers struggle to establish relevance between the prospect and their products A clear and focused persona is required BEFORE . . . • a positioning statement can be created • effective messaging can be drafted (To do otherwise will just waste your time and money because your marketing programs won’t work and you won’t know why.) 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    5. Traditional Market Segmentation is not enough 1. Market segments don’t buy products. People do. 2. Who is in the bull’s eye? Marketers fail when they treat everyone the same. 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    6. We need to empathize with someone who lives in this space 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    7. Simple Bull’s Eye example 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    8. The Persona A persona is a personalized extension of the bull’s eye. The Sweet Spot 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    9. What is a Persona?  A Persona is a detailed fictional representation of an example user that represents the needs, desires, skills, and environment of one or more classes of real users.  While a Persona isn’t a real person, he or she must feel like a real person. 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    10. 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    11. This is a persona created for FlyRight NOTE: see the Positioning Statement & Message Box that resulted from this Persona 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    12. Empathizing with a persona produces insights A few executive types The Skeptical The Corporate The Globetrotter Futurist Radical These executives share responsibility but have different values and interests! 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    13. Why Personas are powerful By looking at the product from the Persona’s point of view, communications become more straightforward because: • Superfluous information and over-specifications can be eliminated • Features are prioritized according to the persona’s values • Product messaging can directed to the buyer persona Empathy with the Persona helps development teams: • Understand requirements with less detail • Make good, reasonable implementation decisions • Raise valid concerns and opportunities • Stay focused on the real requirements 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    14. For more information . . . For more details on how to work cross-functionally to build a persona using these techniques and templates, please refer to: Personas: a guidebook on how to build a persona * Techniques * Templates *Examples ( See other titles on positioning statements, messaging, and the role of the campaign manager at 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    15. Table of Contents  The Marketing High Ground  A Short-cut to Traditional Segmentation  Illustrating the Persona  Tips for Leading the Bull’s Eye Exercise  Tips for Leading the Persona Exercise 2011 © KickStart Alliance
    16. Thank you! Mike Gospe KickStart Alliance Positioning Lead Generation Sales Readiness Join me on LinkedIn: mikegospe Follow me on Twitter: mikegospe 2011 © KickStart Alliance