Chapter 4: Step 1 - Persona Building
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
The first step to anything is persona building.
To define it, persona building is just a fancy way to say who your customers are. Ask yourself, what do they look like? I tend to focus on traits that ultimately impact a purchase decision. If you’re selling consumer goods, think sneakers, apparel, or beauty products, the traits affecting purchases will likely be things like gender, income-bracket, and ethnicity even. You will have multiple customer types that are different from one another, but the goal here is to define them enough so that there is a clear delineation between the multiple groups. Ultimately, out of all your groups, which group consists of your die-hard consumer base and which group is the most likely to purchase your product the most?
If you are in the B2B (business to business) space, then the traits you’re looking for will focus on job title, industry, size of the company (revenue or headcount), and department.
*Growth Hack: You can go through the different filters from LinkedIn as a way to define the different personas for B2B. On LinkedIn, you can run search filters on the platform and use it as a channel for outreach and engagement.
Once you have your different personas built out, think of the demographic information you have been gathering in the earlier chapters, you’ll want to identify the pain points and value-add of your product to each different group. Each persona will have a uniquely different pain point and will resonate with a different set of value props. Your job is to hypothesize this to the best of your ability. Here is an example of a persona matrix and column headers to get started:
What factors should be considered while building personas? Demographic, Engagement, Revenue?
Different personas will convert differently at the various stages of your funnel.
Your funnels are:
1) Impressions- The people who “see” you
2) Clicks- Those who are curious about you
3) Signup or Fill out a Form- The people who have a warm interest
4) Seeing a Demo/ Presentation of Product/ Service- Hot interest in your product
5) Paying for Product/ Service and Becoming a Customer- Your end goal
You’re ultimate goal is getting everyone to reach funnel 5, however, not everyone is going to get there. Persona building plays a role in this by telling you which group out of how many you have is the most likely to reach funnel 5. That way, you can focus your resources on that one group as well as figuring out how to expand that group to reach a bigger audience.
For example, let’s say you have two personas, Group A and Group B. You have an ad posted on Facebook and want to find out which persona is most likely going to convert to customers. In the numbers you got back you can see that:
-1000 people clicked on the ad
-70% (700) are from group A
-30% (300) are from group B
-From the ad, 200 of the original 1000 saw a demo
-20% (40) is from group A
-60% (120) are from group B
-20 of the 200 who saw the ad turned into customers
-5% (1) are from group A
-80% (16) are from group B
Although initially, more people from group A watched your ad, ultimately as you went deeper into the funnels, more people from group B converted into customers. Based on whatever demographic info group B consists of, you have an idea of what this group looks like and who to focus on marketing to. Now you need to figure out how you can expand your group B so that it could potentially include those in group A and more.
As mentioned earlier, websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have filters and audience segmentation to help you build up those personas to understand who your groups are. Also, don't be afraid to go in and interview your audience to understand what it is about their group that is so drawn to your product or service. Remember the golden rule, ask don't guess.
An example of a B2B
-You start off with 100 companies in a funnel
-10 turn into customers
Within these 10 companies:
-2 customers could pay $5k/yr
-5 customer could pay $50k/yr
-3 customer could pay $100k/yr
You want to target the customers willing to pay $100k/yr because those are the ones you are generating the most revenue from. So by building up the personas of these three companies, i.e. figuring out their industry, company size, and other factors, you can get a basis of an idea of which companies are willing to pay this amount as well as who to target.
Remember, not all customers are created equal and you're trying to find the best ones.