Has your organization ever created buyer personas? If so, were they ever used? Was creating personas a valuable exercise that improved the effectiveness of your marketing? Or did it feel perfunctory, like something you did simply to check off a box on your best-practices list before getting back to your normal routine?
Considering the time and effort it takes to create buyer personas, the idea that you would not use them once you have them seems foolish. Nevertheless, that is the case in many organizations for one big reason: People don’t know how to create truly useful personas in the first place.
To get more insight on how to do just that, I invited Ardath Albee, author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, to Marketing Smarts. Ardath has spent a lot of time helping her B2B clients successfully develop and deploy personas, and in the course of our conversation (which you can hear using the player above) she laid out the key elements that go into creating personas that you can really use.
(Note: Ardath will be speaking on “Creating Conversations in the Content Marketing Continuum” at our upcoming B2B Forum. Use the promo code: SMARTB2B when registering and get $200 off!)
Personas vs. Profiles
Ardath told me that when beginning a client engagement she is often told that she can skip the persona step because “they already have them.” On closer inspection, she said, what you find is that they have are profiles, not personas.
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Ardath Albee, who helps B2B companies with complex sales create e-marketing strategies that apply personas to contagious content platforms that turn prospects into buyers. She authored the book eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, published by McGraw-Hill. The Sales Lead Management Association selected Ardath as one of 2011′s “50 Most Influential People in Sales and Lead Management.”