Start with Research
While you might think you know who your customers are, it pays to start with a thorough analysis.
Customer Data – Sort your customer list by contact title to determine which titles are the most common and if there are natural categories or groupings they fall into. This may be helpful in determining how many personas you should develop. If your company’s products or services are complex or require a significant capital investment, the number of decision makers and influencers involved is likely broader, thus a need to develop more personas. The same is true If you offer multiple product categories for several customers and prospects.
Surveys – Review any existing surveys your company has done to uncover information that helps describe your customer demographics, purchasing habits, opinions, motivations, pain points and hot buttons. Or, if you don’t have any survey data, embark on a short survey of customers or website visitors. A deep dive into your Google Analytics can also be useful here.
Industry Associations & Media Outlets – Check to see if industry associations that serve your vertical market have created personas. Trade media outlets can also provide helpful clues. Their media kits often include reader demographics that are useful for persona descriptions. Consider inquiring with your media sales representative to see whether they have any additional reader research.