July 21, 2020

5 Common Persona Marketing Mistakes Your Brand Should Avoid

Building buyer personas can be an incredibly easy and rewarding investment for most brands. However, for B2B businesses and SaaS companies, persona marketing requires fine-tuning and paying attention to detail. 

If you want to improve lead generation and increase customer acquisition, be sure to avoid these five persona marketing mistakes.

Using Basic Demographics to Create Your Buyer Personas

Age, gender, and location were probably the first three things that came to mind when developing your buyer persona. While this basic information certainly plays a part in the persona creation process, don’t let these “rookie-level” demographics be the only statistics you use. 

If you want to reap serious benefits from persona marketing you’ll need to get deep into the psyche of your buyer. Your target customer is more than their age or gender. Understand their behaviors, their feelings, what social media platforms they use, and what professional problems they may need a solution for. Maybe you’re looking to target that go-getter who never leaves a project overdue. Or maybe you want to get in front of the working moms. Regardless, before you complete your buyer persona, ask, “what drove them to my product in the first place?”. Persona targeting isn’t just about business-to-business marketing, it’s about human-to-human connection as a business. 

Depending on Your Sales Team to Shape Buyer Personas

You probably hear a lot of anecdotes about buyers from your sales reps. At first glance, you’d think your sales team would be ideal for creating target personas. On the other hand, your sales team probably spends the majority of their time engaging with already-active prospects. Those folks are almost always on the other side of the conversion funnel. 

So, what happens to the not-so-active prospects who haven’t been approached, who are longing to find the answer right in front of them? If you fully rely on sales department anecdotes to build your personas, those not-so-active prospects will eventually turn into lost prospects. As a digital marketer, you have a wealth of marketing tools, data analytics, and resources. Use them. The foundation of your buyer personas should be built around hard, cold data and merely decorated with anecdotal details. 

Persona graph

Borrowing Personas from the Competition

Borrowing personas from your competitors may be the most fatal mistake you make when developing your buyer personas. No matter how similar your products are, no matter how comparable your services seem, every brand has slightly different variables that make them unique to different buyers

Your potential buyers each see something different in your company. Compare and contrast your brand against the competition and build your buyer personas around your brand’s unique characteristics. If your company’s brand hasn’t been established, you may want to learn how to build a brand with digital marketing.

Creating Personas of Executives, Not Employees 

Often times, when marketers begin building buyer personas, we tend to get caught up in selling to the executives or the final decision-makers. In theory, this seems like a great strategy. However, when it comes to B2B products and services, this is the wrong way to go. Sure, someone in the C-suite probably signs-off on the buying decision, but the executive likely will not use the product. 

On average, about seven different people are involved in the decision-making process. These people will be using your product or service. Rather than chasing after the executives, develop your personas around the people who will be using your product or service. Ask yourself the question, “how will my product make them better at their jobs?”

That is unless your service is designed for executives, which, in that case, we were wrong.  

If your team is looking to add buyer personas to your current marketing strategy or you simply want to avoid these common mistakes, contact our digital marketing experts to get started. 

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