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Mistakes to Avoid When Developing Buyer Personas

Buyer Personas

Have you created buyer personas for your business? No matter what industry you are in, buyer personas can help you understand your target audience on a deeper level. Buyer personas are generalized, approximate models of who your buyers or customers are and what characteristics or attributes influenced their buying decisions.


It is common for organizations to not have buyer personas or make mistakes in their development. If you are interested in creating personas and would like to avoid common pitfalls, here are some common mistakes you should avoid.


Making Assumptions Based on “Gut”

The first mistake marketers make when creating a buyer persona is making assumptions based on anecdotal evidence or intuition. Basing your personas on gut instinct can lead to failure of your marketing initiatives and poor development of your marketing message. Its best to rely on sound business data and qualitative input such as analytics, in-depth customer surveys and research rather than your best guess. You may find that you were initially mistaken, and gain some valuable insights along the way.


Stating the Obvious

If you aren’t going to take the time to create a well thought out buyer persona, it won’t prove very useful. Slapping together obvious demographic data and putting a picture next to it won’t do you much good. What is critical is to get down to why your ideal customer makes the decision to make a purchase. What is the buyer’s journey?


Not Updating Your Personas

People change with the times. If you are using a ten year old buyer persona for your brand, you are doing your company and your marketing a disservice. Your buyers’ needs evolve, and your company should evolve with them.


Not Sharing Them

Contrary to popular belief, buyer personas do not only assist in marketing decisions. These personas can help anyone from the sales team to product development. Don’t hoard your insights! Share them with other teams and even suggest how they might be able to use them to improve their processes moving forward.


Not Asking Your Customer the Right Questions

Information from your sales team and managers is great, but what better information is there than straight from the horse’s mouth? Schedule in depth interviews with your best customers and be sure to ask them questions like the following:


  • What was your role was in the decision making process?
  • Did anyone else influence your decision?
  • What were any pain points along the way of your purchase?
  • What was their decision making criteria?
  • Lastly, the standard demographic information


Including Extraneous Details

It can be fun and easier to digest when a customer is personified. But, don’t get carried away with details that don’t help in the decision making process. For example, is it really relevant that Retirey Robert likes to watch Game of Thrones?

Often times business leaders are too involved in their business to be able to objectively look at their company from an outside perspective. Looking for more guidance on marketing and branding strategies? BMGcreative are experts in brand development and can help guide you along the way. Contact us at