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Prospect Personas - How to Get the Prospects you want with a budget you don\'t
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Prospect Personas - How to Get the Prospects you want with a budget you don\'t


Do you know your prospects KBI (Key Buying Insight)? If everyone on your team does not, then you are wasting effort, time, and money. See how to target sharper.

Do you know your prospects KBI (Key Buying Insight)? If everyone on your team does not, then you are wasting effort, time, and money. See how to target sharper.

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  • 1. How Can a Prospect Persona ™ Raise response rates Engage senior prospects Improve lead quality Build Your Business
  • 2. Why a Prospect Persona ?
    • Who is your prospect? Every time you engage with someone in your market, you do so with the prospect that they will make a decision in your favor. Thus we consider a “prospect” to be anyone you seek to influence – to visit your website, buy your product, or recommend your company.
    • Low response rates, lack of engagement by senior prospects, and lack of “quality” leads are all signs of not having and sharing a common, clear, actionable view of your prospect.
    • A  “persona” is a characterization of one of the individuals you seek to reach. It is a snapshot and a story about how your prospect and product meet and relate. The resulting “persona” brings to life the person who you have pursued but never met.
    In focusing on products , we have lost sight of the  people  who purchase them (or worse -- don’t)!
  • 3. What is a Prospect Persona ?
    • A Prospect Persona™ is a revealing individual portrait of who a prospect is, why they are a prospect, and what you need to know to engage them further.
    • There are five facets to the Prospect Persona™:
      • 1.    the person’s job and company context ,
      • 2.    their individual qualities,
      • 3.    their role in considering your company,
      • 4.    their view of the alternatives , and
      • 5.    the Key Buying Insight , or KBI.
    Key Buyer Insights Company Context Individual Qualities Decision Role View of Choices
  • 4. How do Prospect Personas Build Business?
    • Raise response rates
      • Do your marketing messages describe your products really well? If so, too bad! If they don’t tell customer stories, they’re more interesting to you than your prospects. Prospects respond to targeted tales about their problems.
    • Engage senior prospects
      • Does your sales force struggle to get meetings with C-suite execs? Do they recognize the strategic value of your offerings? Your sales force needs to know what’s on the CXO’s mind and how your product fits into their problems or strategic objectives.
    • Improve lead quality
      • Is your sales force satisfied with the quality of leads it receives? The assessment of lead “quality” depends on knowing the exact profile of those you seek and how to address them . Prospect Profiles provide a clear multi-dimensional target for prospecting and a sharp understanding of how to engage them.
  • 5. How are Prospect Personas Used?
    • Here are three diverse Prospect Persona examples to get a sense of what this looks like in practice:
      • Medical equipment manufacturer looking to understand the types of hospital decision-makers for a new product launch
      • Technology conglomerate looking to identify the information needs of visitor segments to their corporate website
      • Online 'virtual world' looking to profile and segment its teen users to enhance its recruitment marketing  
  • 6. Case Study #1: Vendor Decision-makers
    • Baxter was preparing to launch the next generation of “smart” IV pumps for hospitals. They needed to understand the roles played by various department leads who are involved in vendor selection. They needed to identify the key benefits sought by each in order to target communications and position the product.
    • We invested hundreds of hours into finding selected leaders from the most advanced hospitals in the country. In-depth exploratory interviews yielded insights about their roles in decisions and maps of the chain of benefits they sought. We were able to provide a 360 view of how each hospital department interacts with the product.
    • The client team rallied around the learning to hone their upcoming product launch. They were able to target relevant messages to each of their key target audiences, increasing their impact in a competitive market.
    Situation Response Results
  • 7. Hospital Nursing Informatician About me: I’m a ‘people person’, but I have a head to figure out systems to help others too. I want to make it easier for nurses to enjoy their profession! We work hard enough! About my job : I started in nursing because I want to help people, but then I found how much time is spent (wasted) on administration! I took this job because I want to help nurses do their jobs… better! My role in decisions: The nurse is the person who actually touches the patient at the point of care, so getting the input and buy-in from nursing is critical in any pump decision My view of smart pumps : At first, dealing with guardrails is really frustrating and time-consuming, but later nurses appreciate the added confidence they provide. I really like their ability to improve care thru quick-time CQI What I want from pump vendors : Pump makers don’t seem to appreciate the importance of letting nurses know which of their patients is having trouble at the pump! General alarms waste so much of our time running around to find the problem ! What I want from next gen pumps : Lots! Make them easier to learn. Include all the drugs we use – not just some! Give us smart alarms that tell us where the problem is and how acute it is. Help us locate pumps when we need them. Nancy, age 38 Huntington Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 8. Case Study #2: Website Visitors
    • A Fortune 50 global engineering firm needed to communicate corporate messages to customer groups in a wide variety of industries touched by technology. Messages need to be consistent and yet made relevant to individual stakeholders in each industry. They needed do identify when and why each would be accessing the company website.
    • Our Prospect Profiles were the perfect way to bring the target definition to life as a real person. Showing a dozen profiles highlighted their differences as well as their similarities in a tangible way. Prospect Profiles had the credibility to quickly demonstrate the value of the communications.
    • Communications were sharpened to address audience needs more clearly. Internal groups aligned around the new strategy. Energy was infused into the marketing group.
    Situation Response Results
  • 9. About Me… My name: Oliver Noventi My age: 58 My location: Lysekil, Sweden My living situation: married, no children, owns an apartment in small town My personality: friendly, but exacting, known to calculate restaurant tips to the nearest penny in his mind. Incurable traveler How I want to engage… For work: Desktop PCs in office are always on; connected to ABC Company extranet for product specifications and operating information Outside work: Wants to disconnect! …except for his passion for folk music and model building. Trolls web for events and groups with RSS; blogs about model building About my Job… My job: Senior Engineer, focused at present on power generation issues for LBT, an independent oil refinery. He was brought to the refinery three years ago to find ways to cut production costs. He is a “craftsman” with a passion for detail . My role in decisions: One of three team leads who jointly review and select vendors for power systems; exhaustively reviews product specifications before considering contracting with any product sup­plier ABC Co. and me… Why I connect: Older refinery is looking at additional ways to continue cutting costs as margins shrink. ABC Co. is competing to lead re-configuration of the facility’s power generation, electrical and instrumentation systems. How I feel about ABC Co.: ABC Co. is an integral partner in the evolution and management of the refinery; relationships are strong and personal Oil Refinery Engineer Oliver, age 58 LBT Refinery, Lysekil, Sweden
  • 10. Case Study #3: Customer Segments
    • As this startup approached the next stage in its growth cycle, the company needed a more precise definition of its target in order to stretch the impact of limited marketing dollars. Their board advised them to develop personas to create a sharp, tangible understanding of key audience segments for recruiting, positioning, and product development. Of course, this startup had a limited budget for marketing research as well.
    • Before we could create profiles of key segments, we needed first to identify who was in this virtual world. We put on our avatars and spent many hours observing behavior in this virtual world and combing over players’ online profiles for in-world clues. We positioned an in-world survey as an “honesty contest” offering game points. This yielded hundreds of in-depth, personal, articulate responses within hours! The mix of quantitative and qualitative response showed us how common each persona was, and most importantly, how they interacted with each other in this social environment. We identified “fashionistas” as one segment (see example).
    • The marketing group, CEO, and even board of directors were able to truly understand what set their offering apart from others and how to recruit based on that difference. Strategic product development decisions and recruitment plans were clarified and prioritized on their understanding of key audiences. Some sophisticated questioning allowed us to determine that there is not much difference between players’ online and real world personas.
    Situation Response Results
  • 11. Fashionistas Who I am “ Hotchix” My motto: Shop till you drop! OMG, You probably have seen me at Z’s parties dancing it up in my latest outfits! I’ve always luved shopping, but vSide lets me go crazee! What makes me special Just from my really cool avatar and outfits you can tell I stand out from others. I have like 300 girlfriends and cute guys who want to know what I’m gonna come up with next! My Girlicious music is stylin! What I like most about Virtual World The latest fashions and the coolest stores are what get me going… and coming back! I can wear anything I want on vSide! I can buy or create the best outfits that I couldn’t IRL. The new vSide stores are really cool – I always get there B4 they open when new stuff is coming out! What I want more from Virtual World It would be cool to run my own fashion shows and open a boutique where I could create my own label! My own fashion magazine or TV show! It would be cool to work with the game designers to create new clothing lines! I’d like to win a “shopping spree” contest! How about riding around on motorcycles or cars designed by the guys? Hotchix, age 18
  • 12. Companies Who Know Us
  • 13. InSighting Ideas: Your Prospect Persona Partner Want to start motivating your team by engaging your prospects? Call us at 925.270.9400 , or write us at [email_address]  
    • While personas have recently been discovered by the web and product development communities, we have been creating them for decades in the marketing arena.
          • Our work has contributed to our clients’ winning seven EFFIE awards for marketing effectiveness.
    • We combine the sensitivity of ethnographic researchers with the application orientation of seasoned marketing business people . Please write for recommendations from prior clients.