The creation of actionable buyer personas allows you to identify and speak directly to your client’s target audience through valuable web content. A strict focus on the pain points and ideal solutions for the identified personas not only attracts traffic to each website but also increases brand awareness.

You must master the right approach in the creation of the personas to avoid common pitfalls that could reduce the efficiency of your advertising campaigns. Putting the bulk of your effort into creating the right type and number of personas will make the content creation process much more effective in the long run.

As you begin this process, make sure to avoid the five following mistakes to accurately direct your content to the target demographic for the company’s products or services. Otherwise, you run the risk of your marketing campaigns falling flat and failing to produce the intended results as promised to your clients.  

Acquisition of Incorrect or Incomplete Data

The accuracy and strength of your buyer personas directly depend on the data you collect. If your data offers an incomplete or incorrect picture of the buyers and their journey, your personas will not accurately target the correct client base. Your marketing content will fail to engage and interact with the readership of the website, resulting in a noticeable decrease in sales, repeat customers and word of mouth advertising.  

To avoid this situation, you must push past simple demographics information to find actionable data that links back to the company’s product or service offerings. Tap into the channels that the client base already utilizes, such as social media and networking platforms, to gather information about the buyer’s journey. Analyze the data from the specified pain points to the finalized purchases to gain insight about the target audience. Utilize graphs and other visual aids to gain insights from the data that would otherwise remain unnoticed or buried beneath the outstanding figures.  

Failure to Tap into the Insights of Each Department

The employees who directly interact with the company’s client base have a wealth of information to share that will help round out your buyer persona picture. Talk to members of the sales team, customer service department and online community management squad to acquire the data you need. Each team may offer a piece of the puzzle that combines to create realistic and actionable buyer personas.

Examine every aspect of the services offered by the team in question to acquire a complete set of data. When talking to the sales team, for example, ask for campaign data that helps to define the journey from the identification of the customer’s dilemma to a solution provided by the company. Upon approaching members of the customer service department, inquire about the various ways the company may fall short in solving the clients’ pain points. Upon creating the finalized personas, share this important resource with the departments that helped you out to increase their marketing success as well.

Absence of Direct Customer Communications

No one is better at showing you the direct insights needed for the precise creation of buyer personas than buyers themselves – Yet many marketing professionals completely skip the process of communicating with the company’s customers directly. Without the information gathered during customer interviews, personas lack a multi-dimensional understanding of the exact purchase goals and journey of the buyer. Furthermore, insightful information derived directly from the customer base can help verify the accuracy and depth of the data sets obtained through internal and web-based research.

To achieve this feat, work with your clients to set up mutually beneficial interviews with their leading repeat clients. Many clients who are invested in the success of the company will welcome the chance to improve operations by offering astute observations about the purchase journey. Before wrapping up the conversation, ask to keep the door open for additional interviews in case any areas of your created personas feel incomplete.

Creation of Too Many Personas

Although it seems wise to create a buyer persona for every product or service the company offers, that approach can spread your efforts far too thin and exhaust your marketing resources. Buyer personas should reflect the overarching customer demographic, not every single entity who purchases a particular product or service.

The customer pain points are an excellent place to begin when determining exactly how many personas to create. Look at the reasons behind each customer’s visit to the website or storefront to identify the number of personas associated with the company. Analyze the proposed personas to determine if the content would overlap for those entities. If so, consider cutting one of those descriptions out of the picture.

Lack of Updates to Buyer Persona Profiles

As products and services offered by the company evolve through the years, so do the buyers who frequent that establishment. Yet, a lack of updates to buyer personas prevails in the business to business marketing environment. Unfortunately, without readdressing the buyer persona creation process, the reach and scope of your marketing materials may start to drift the wrong direction.

In some cases, the existing buyer personas can offer direction on the process, though oftentimes, starting fresh offers the best chance at true marketing alignment. The creation process must begin again at the data collection stage to open the doors for the analyzation of the existing persona. If anything seems awry, the persona will likely need a full update to realign with the actual customer demographics for that organization.

When you work hard to avoid these five mistakes during the buyer persona creation process, you give your future marketing campaigns the best chance at success. Your marketing efforts will attract the right audience and convert visits to sales as a result of your direct efforts in the production of accurate and actionable personas.