How to Research Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside of your contact database who might align with your target audience.

Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas:

★ Interview customers. Interview customers -- and potential customers -- either in person or over the phone, to discover what they like about your product or service.

Ask questions about their job role and title, what a typical day-in-the-life looks like (both at work and outside of work), what tools they use in their job, what their challenges are, how they learn new information or acquire new skills, where they're from, how they search for information on the internet, and so on.

★ Look for behavioral trends. Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.

★ Optimize forms for your persona. When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.

★ Talk to your sales team. Consider your sales team's feedback on the leads they are interacting with most. What types of sales cycles does your sales team work with? What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?

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