6. Be Collaborative and Evolve Over Time
To that point, to be truly collaborative tools, personas should allow for the feedback of those interacting with buyers on a day-to-day basis. Your sales and service teams are an excellent source of insights, as they are constantly engaged in the world of real buyers. Allow them to give feedback easily, and be willing to change and update your personas accordingly. Position these personas not as a marketing mandate, but as a way of getting on the same page about the target audience so they — and everyone else in the business — can be more effective.
7. Include External Insights to Keep You in Tune With Changing Markets
When was the last time you updated your buyer personas? Did you know that nearly half of the folks researching B-to-B purchase decisions are Millennials? This emerging market segment has different research behaviors, expectations and preferences. If you’re not leveraging personas as the conduit for continual market research, you’re setting them up to become irrelevant. You may be missing out on key changes in your audience, such as new regulations or laws that are top-of-mind for your buyers. Great personas are current representations of the external trends and issues happening in their world, and the new and emerging buying habits within it.
8. Encompass the Full Buying Committee
For personas to be effective, they should represent all the individuals involved in making the purchase decision, and in B-to-B environments, that is almost always more than one person. Each has different priorities, different roles in the decision process, and call for different messaging. Understanding the influencers, users, advocates or detractors of a purchase will give you ammo for content marketing decisions across each unique journey.