Contact Us

Building Your Digital Utopia

Book - Building Your Digital Utopia
How to Create Digital Brand Experiences That Systematically Accelerate Growth

Building Your Digital Utopia

Book - Building Your Digital Utopia
How to Create Digital Brand Experiences That Systematically Accelerate Growth

Case Studies

Explore our past work and see how we help accelerate long-term, sustainable growth.
Read Case Studies »

Testimonials

Don't take our word for it, see what our clients have to say about their experiences working with Digitopia.
Read Testimonials »

HubSpot Diamond Partner Banner

 

I have worked with Frank and the Digitopia team for many years and have seen firsthand the great work they do for their clients.

Dan Tyre, Director at HubSpot

Events & Workshops

The Digital Utopia Podcast Nav Banner

Weekly Episodes - Listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon, & Google.

The Digital Utopia Podcast Episode #8

How to build Buyer Personas your company will actually use

Listen to the episode

 

 

About the podcast

The Digital Utopia Podcast is for SMB Marketers and Business Leaders looking to align their Marketing, Sales, and Service departments so they’re part of one powerhouse growth team.

Each episode will dive into the strategies, philosophies, and tools that will change your approach to organizational growth, give you renewed focus and clarity, and allow you to build a brand that not only helps you stand out—but win.

The Digital Utopia Podcast is produced by Digitopia and hosted by Frank Cowell and Joseph Freeman.

Episode transcription

Frank
Buyer personas are not a marketing document. This is a strategic business document. And so for everyone who thinks that this is a marketing thing, I want you to eliminate that from your mind right now this strategic business document, and he's been elevated all the way to the executive team.

Frank
You were listening to the digital utopia podcast, a resource dedicated to helping b2b leadership and executives gain clarity and focus in a chaotic marketplace.

Frank
Hey, gang, welcome to the digital utopia podcast episode eight. I'm your host, Frank Cowell. And I'm joined by my co host,

Joe
Joseph Freeman,

Frank
Joey, Joey.

Joe
Frankie Frankie.

Frank
Yes, sir. We're talking about some good stuff today. From what I understand, I haven't looked at the show notes. Because that's not something I do

Joe
Classic Frank.

Frank
And and I get complaints about my ways. I was just told that everyone's here to accommodate me. Now, we won't go into that here on this show. But like, we've got a little bit of that, like energy coming into this. I disagree with that wholeheartedly. Let's just go on the record.

Joe
All right. Well, on that note, we're going to transition into president Pete, marketing, Mary, and sales Sam,

Frank
Presidente Peter

Joe
Yes. So for our listeners, who are these people to you, President Pete marketing, Mary sales, Sam, these alliterations are, you know, names that have been thrown around. Especially if you do anything in marketing sales, you've probably heard these types of alliterations before, you've likely seen versions of these referenced in your emails felt they're ghosts, like almost omnipresence in your sales and marketing meetings. the very least, they've been documented, stashed away in some folder, put in a drawer, you know, labeled strategy and planning and they get dusted off once a year, maybe, maybe if somebody thinks about it, but more likely than not, the only time they get pulled out again, is when you hire an agency. And they ask you if you have created the

Frank
best kind of marketing, right, the kind you throw in the drawer, that's all said and done waste a bunch of time and money. I love that, right?

Joe
Don't see it again till somebody asked if you have buyer personas created. So that's what we're talking about. We're talking about buyer personas today. And we're going to be talking about how to get aligned around creating them and actually using them. Right. So while personas may seem like the most basic is boring, of topics, which I don't know, I think that depends on whether or not you like playing video games, right? You play video games, you create an avatar, you kind of get to pick the hair, you get to pick the I like

Frank
DND, right

Joe
to move the eyes in and out just a little bit to kind of match your own. Yeah, you put some clothes on them and give them a sword. Right? So that's what we're talking about today. You know, nothing else really matters when it comes to marketing, if you don't know who you're talking to, what you are saying to them, and how you're saying it, right?

Frank
Yeah, I would expand that and saying nothing really matters in your business. If you're not hyper focused in on somebody.

Joe
Yeah,

Frank
you know, and what they care about, and what their emotions are and what they struggle with, you know, even even thinking back, like, deep into that person's journey, about the catalyst. You know, back when I was doing a lot of brand development work, I would have my clients go through what I call the catalyst analysis, that basically meant, like, we want to go back in time, not to the point at which they decided to pick up the phone and call you. But go back even further. What was the point that caused all the need in the first place? What was going on? What was the environment? Like? Who was around them? What was the situation? What were their feelings? Because if you can get back to that point, you can start to get get down to truth, you can start to really tap into the emotion of what that person's about.

Joe
Yeah. So if these are that important, why do they get tossed aside? I mean, here's what we should. I think we should aim today to figure out what are the common mistakes people make when developing these? You know, how to get your sales and marketing teams aligned around these personas, and then how to make them useful, how to avoid putting them in a drawer and forgetting about them. So if we can solve those today, I feel like we've done our job.

Frank
Good. Let's see if we can do that.

Joe
Alright, so first things common mistakes. Maybe we should start with 20 seconds. What is a buyer persona for anybody who is not familiar with this?

Frank
a buyer pertona buyer pertona, a buyer pertona? No, a buyer persona is a document that you create within your organization that defines very specific types of buyers that your organization serves. In the space. The specificity is the key part. It's not just yeah, you know, b2b companies, and they happen to be CEOs. Like that's not specific enough. What you do with your buyer persona, and you get so specific to understand what type of CEO what type of company, what size, what age range is this person where they live. You bring this person to live so that way you can understand them at a very deep emotional level. And what you're trying to get to, is you're trying to understand not only their emotions, but you want to understand what or who influences them, trying to understand what are their biggest challenges and pain points, what are they ultimately want to achieve more than anything else. And where we like to take people is then defining their most important pain point, the one that they want to solve more than anything else, and the one that your brand is really great at solving. The reason this is important is because, you know, I can't tell you how many companies I've talked to where now they have 37, different product offerings, and, you know, dozens of different verticals that they sell into, and they claim that they're the best at all of them, right. And they claim that they're the best at solving all these problems. But the reality is, is maybe they're the best at like a couple of things, like two things, if they're lucky, they're the best at. And so it's really important with your buyer personas to really hone in on the thing that you're great at. Because if you want to have any chance, in today's crowded, noisy world, you have to go all in on the things that you're great at, okay, and then you can expand the relationship from there. But that's why that focus pain point is so important. And then additionally, what pairs up with that focus pain point is defining what we call like a statement of value or statement of transformation. And what you're saying there is based on what this person wants, and who this person is, and what their pain point is that's standing in their way. This is the kind of transformation that we create in this person's life. And so it's important to document this so that way anybody doing "marketing" or selling for your brand, they understand what they're truly selling. You know, you're not selling the widget, you're selling the effect of the widget. But the only way you can understand the effect and properly communicate the effect is if you can resonate with the pain, that that person is experiencing the thing that's standing in their way.

Joe
So you're talking about a very specific person here. And I think one common mistake I see often as we start working with companies is what they think a persona is many, in many cases is really what I think we would call an ICP like an ideal client profile or an ideal customer profile. So let's kind of unpack the difference between naming an ICP, as opposed to defining buyer personas,

Frank
while an ICP is going to contain a set of criteria such that these parameters if you will become the the ideal parameters for who you should and should not be doing business with. I think there's a bit of semantics there, I realized that in many cases, people who develop buyer personas don't include the information that you would include in an ICP, but I kind of see it as one thing to be honest, I know people have two different documents to do that. But to me, I don't see any reason why you couldn't in your buyer persona, include the parameters such as, and they work at a company that is this size, with these types of needs, that has this kind of maturity with this many employees like that, that is part of understanding the buyer persona.

Joe
Well here, here's why I might challenge that. Because when you work with a company, especially in b2b, you're working with a cohort, in many cases, you're selling to a cohort, and whether or not it's a cohort that signs on the dotted line, you got to get buy in from everybody, right? Sure. But they all represent, in my experience, the ICP, they all represent somebody who works at let's say, you're selling medical devices at a hospital that has some sort of buying authority, or at least weigh in, you know, and you can create an ICP around that. And it could include three or four different people with very different jobs and maybe very different interests. Sure.

Frank
And that's where I would say it's worth the effort to then develop out those additional buyer personas. And they're connected by the fact that, you know, they share similarities in the type of business and the size of the business and the stage of growth of the business and those other things that you might include in an ICP. But yeah, to that point, it is important because, you know, not every buddy who fits the buyer persona maybe fits the ICP criteria. But again, if it's, if it's part of your criteria to be an ideal prospect, then you know, have it on page two as your ICP, or just included in your buyer persona. Either way, I do agree, you have to have that in there.

Joe
So one thing that we have done to make this a little bit more tangible is actually kind of assigned a taxonomical hierarchy to it. So if ICP is at the top is the biggest group, the most generic way you can describe your buyer. Then one level down from that are the different buyer personas that create the cohort. And then what we'll get into a little bit here in a bit is once you start creating your buyer persona, actually the buyer persona might have several different pain points, that one or more of your products can solve. And so you actually have another subset under persona that can break out in its persona by pain point. And that's it. We'll get into in the later episodes where we start creating content from

Frank
Yeah. And so the reason I recommend people start with just one pain point and start with one buyer persona is because what you're describing is the ideal way to do it. Right? You have your ICP hierarchically under that you have your buyer personas under that you have then this, the variations on those buyer personas by their pain points. That's the ideal way to do it. In fact, when you do marketing, nurturing and sales nurturing, you ideally do it that way. And you end up with potentially, you know, like a dozen, two dozen different nurturing tracks. The problem is, I've yet to come across an organization, even the biggest organizations with the biggest budgets that have been able to successfully execute on all of those variations. It's overwhelming, even for the biggest of organizations. So that's why I always recommend start narrow, start with one. And yes, you have 37 other combinations, you could be dressing but start with one, the key thing is just to get success, get that momentum that we've talked about many times, and then you can work on the second, if you try to tackle you know, more than one at a time. I have yet to come across company that does that. Well, in fact, the companies that attempt to do that, that are big, it's usually a convoluted mess, there's so much spaghetti going on, within how they market and how they sell. It's just a giant cluster, you know what? And and so, you're best off being very narrow and deep in your execution.

Joe
Right. And, you know, one really helpful approach that we've used, because this is a problem when we start talking with companies who may be or are starting to really unpack this for the first time. You know, we asked, okay, who do you sell to? What we sell to everyone? No, you don't sell to everyone you sell to a subset of everyone. Okay, great. We sell to this guy, this guy, this guy, this girl, and they sell

Frank
to the men's guy, right?

Joe
To the men or the women. That's right. And so

Frank
not everybody, just men and women.

Joe
Yeah, so that's the subset No. So we get to a point where they actually want to speak to everyone. So a good thing that we have done in the past is helped them map out who everyone is at the highest level, but not filled out all the buyer personas, just kind of named them and given them, maybe a pain point to kind of align around, and then map that out. And we all know now what our roadmap is, in terms of who to create, and how long it's going to take us to create all of them and speak to them. But we really do what you say we say, Okay, we've got five or six different personas, maybe in a in a really complicated buying situation. But we're only going to focus on one and sometimes that one takes a full year to really not to create, but to really understand how you're talking to them and to get some traction in terms of you know, whether or not that message is resonating.

Frank
Yeah, I think that's that's a good thing, right? Because you want the executives to see that there is a roadmap, right? It's a way to put some of that anxiety at bay. And so you know, if you're, you're trying to engage with an executive team, and show them your, your plan for these buyer personas, that's a great idea, get it on a roadmap, that all of this stuff, get it on a roadmap and show when it's going to happen. Really resist the urging, and the temptation to start tackling, you know, multiple at once in and this desire to fast track. You know, I can't tell you how many organizations, they think like, why can't we speed this up. And it just they don't, they're just not getting it. You know, these are the same organizations that have been in business for 15 2030 years. And it took half of that time to really like, hit their stride. Yet they want to see, you know, marketing and sales success, as they build on something that they've neglected, you know, in 90 days, it just makes no sense.

Joe
Right? Right. So as we talk about common mistakes, another mistake that I think we see often is not going deep enough into finding who that buyer is, you know, I know, on our buyer persona sheets, we have questions, like what influences them, right? What what are they reading? does this matter? I mean, does that level of detail actually matter? Because at the end of the day, we don't really ever say, in our messaging, we know the books you read, we know what college you went to? Why do we get that specific.

Frank
So it matters because you want to look at those influencing sources as inspiration for how to connect with this person. So for example, if they're consuming information from a particular author, or a particular media personality, you can consume that information. And look at the vernacular, look at the words look at the the buzzwords and the messaging. And that'll clue you in as to what's hooking this person. And so it becomes a bit of a shortcut for you a bit of a hack, if you will, and that's why it's important to understand, you know, who's influencing them that will do a lot of you Your homework for you, huh? Yeah.

Joe
Okay. And so I think, you know, one of the one of the biggest mistakes we also see when people are starting to create buyer personas is they think of their favorite customer, or maybe their highest, you know, revenue generating customer,

Frank
right?

Joe
And they kind of just plug that person in. Why is that a bad idea?

Frank
It's a bad idea. Because that best customer is often or that highest revenue customer is often not indicative of the marketplace at large average, the average. Right? And so that's not to say that you should aim for something way under your ICP, your ideal client profile, right? But it's just a bit dangerous to go all in on, you know, your highest paying customer. Oftentimes, if you look inside of a business, the highest paying customers oftentimes aren't necessarily the best customers. I think that's a fallacy. Right? You think that out? Because they're paying us the most revenue is our biggest revenue client,

Joe
especially in professional services? Oh, especially maybe not. So for actual material goods?

Frank
Well, it depends. Yeah, it depends. I would challenge you on that. Because let's say you're in a materials goods business. And you're you're, you've got a customer who is 30% of your business. So one, not only is that risky, that you have so much business tied up with one customer, but two, they often ask you to do things that go outside your normal way of doing things. So what does that create in terms of flow interruption? What does that create in terms of not being able to be efficient, was that created in terms of impacting the quality of what other clients receive? And so I think in, in almost every b2b business, the biggest revenue customer isn't necessarily the best customer. Ideally, what you want is something that's, you know, maybe not in the middle, but somewhere in between those two, where it's the client that values what you do, they are penetration into several of your offerings. And their value is more so on the expertise and the support, it's more of a total solution for them. And so I think you have to be careful with that highest revenue, customer thing.

Joe
Yeah. Okay, so let's talk a little bit about sales and marketing teams and their alignment in general, and how buyer personas kind of play into that. So I, I think

Frank
we can't forget the service team either, right, like marketing, sales and service. And I think that's another place where organizations go wrong, is they have end up having these siloed conversations, you know, marketing kind of talks to sales and sales kind of talks to service, but no one's connecting the three.

Joe
Right? Well, that's a good point. Because that persona doesn't just disappear once they buy from you right now.

Frank
It's an entire journey. Right?

Joe
Right, right. So when we talk about these different departments and their alignment, I mean, we often see that marketing scrambles to meet quotas in generating leads. And so they might not always get the best leads, but they deliver on the number sales looks at those and says, I'm spending my time wasting my time rather, you know, calling leads that are not that good. So it makes my close rate. Bad, right? And so they end up but nobody wants a bad clothes, right? They end up blaming each other. And then, you know, tying service into it. Sales does end up over promising sometimes to a persona, that's not the right fit just to get the sale. Sale comes in. And the service team is scrambling to deliver on promises that were made, or, you know, sometimes, especially in professional services, just kind of a bad relationship in general, which could have been vetted out better in the sales process. If the sales team wasn't just scrambling to close any business they could, right. So how does a buyer persona start to align all three of those?

Frank
I think most organizations go in the wrong direction. When it comes to buyer persona development and target audience definitions and marketplace targeting, they go in the wrong direction, meaning they start with strangers. They start with the marketplace at large, they figure out how can we get all these strangers to know who we are, and that is the lead driver of growth. Instead, what should be happening is marketing shouldn't be looking to the anonymous marketplace. Marketing should be having conversations with the existing clients. I once said on stage at a talk. And this just came out because it came up for me about this idea. I said, marketers who don't talk to clients piss me off. Because most marketers are obsessed with the new leads in the database. Instead of talking to existing clients, documenting their stories, asking lots of questions. If you do that. What that does is not only does it inform your service team so they can be better. Not only does it do that, and give you referrals potentially not only does it Do that and help grow the relationship with those clients. Not only does it do that, but it feeds stories and case studies to the sales team and to them into the marketing department. So you can then go get more people, like your best customers. And so organizations are going about in the wrong direction. You know, we're running around like attics obsessed with the new leads in the database. Instead of starting at the top, the top being our fans that people already love us and spend money with us. And asking them questions, taking them to coffee, getting to know them. And this is not just like, you know, account management, glad handing, that's not what I'm talking about, talking about really digging in. So you can continue to service them the best way possible and elevate them into the best version of themselves they can be. And through that, you're going to get valuable content, you're going to get valuable information, you're going to get things that will feed the absolute rest of your funnel of your journey. But that doesn't happen when you know, the marketing team is out there chasing the new leads and the sales teams out there chasing the new opportunities.

Joe
Yeah.

Frank
And so we end up with this vicious cycle. And so you, your buyer, personas will get better over time, if you continue to invest in the people that have already paid you money. And oh, by the way, that creates a snowball effect. Because again, it's gonna build upon itself.

Joe
So how do we take this, you know, philosophical statement of get all three of your departments aligned marketing, sales and service around, you know, a single buyer person, how do we take that mandate? And actually bring it to life? What are the steps to make this happened?

Frank
Okay, first thing, get together those three teams and agree that you no longer are going to be siloed, marketing, sales and service teams, but you're going to agree to be a growth team,

Joe
literally put a meeting on the books and have this conversation,

Frank
and you should be meeting monthly. Okay, so first thing to do is agree that together, the three teams are going to be a growth team. And you're gonna have representation from each team. In your monthly growth team,

Joe
what 2,3,4 or five people

Frank
depends on the size of the company, at minimum, one from each, depending on the size company might have two from each. And it just depends. So agree that you're going to be a growth team, that growth team should have executive level involvement, so that they're committed, and understand where the organization is trying to go and who they're trying to make inroads with. And then you're going to agree on who the priority buyer personas are. So that's step two, one of the things that you're going to do right away, when you get together, you're talking about, hey, here are our growth goals. Who are the best buyer personas for helping us make that happen? And you prioritize those. And together, you define those and build them out. And you don't need to get real fancy? They don't need to be perfect. You just need to take a start at it.

Joe
Do you need to spend 1000s of dollars on more no research?

Frank
No, you do not.

Joe
So that should not be a blocker to getting this may

Frank
not let hiring a market research firm be the thing that pushes out action, which is another pet peeve of mine, we do this in the business world so much. We put all kinds of excuses in front of action in front of just taking the steps and making shit happen. It's so unnerving. In fact, it's one of probably one of the most unnerving things that I deal with in the business world when I come across companies who have all the reasons why, you know, well, we got to wait on this and we got to wait on that like, No, you don't, you know, while you're waiting on this, and that your competitors are out, moving you.

Joe
Right,

Frank
right. And so you're going to agree on the priority of the buyer persona is just going to make it happen, you're going to develop them. And then what you're going to do is you're going to agree that your existing customers are more important than all the anonymous leads out there. And you're going to agree that those customers need to be hugged, and loved, cared for better than anyone else in the marketplace.

Joe
So this harkens back to one of our core philosophies, right, which is to it's top down optimization, so it's the top and start making that better,

Frank
right? Yeah, top being the fans, the customers. And so marketing then has to get on board with the fact and sales has to get on board with fact they're gonna start placing a lot more of their attention doesn't need to be 100%. But they're going to start placing a lot more of their attention on the existing customers. Right? Because if marketing is going to go out and do a great job at telling stories that generate new leads. Well, the stories have to come from somewhere in marketing can't sit around and wait for the service team to hand them stories. The service team is busy doing what servicing the clients. No shit, right? So if marketing once those stories marketing's got to go talk to the customer And get the stories. And then that's how marketing can be a value add to the service team by continually giving the marketplace feedback, because I'll tell you what the service team gets the feedback often because they're dealing with the clients. But they also have blinders on. Right? Because big part of what the service team trying to do is just get the service delivered, right? But marketing could come in with a fresh set of eyes and say, Oh, did you guys do you guys pick up on that? Did you guys pick up on those three things that the clients were talking about, and that those fresh set of eyes and ears can improve the service teams understanding of their own clients. So again, those stories, not only going to improve the service, but they're going to then be the basis of your case studies and your social proof that then can help you go get the new leads. The best way to go get new leads, is to have amazing frickin proof of what you're doing. That's the hands down easiest way to go get new leads. Right? have proof that's so inspiring, that people say I want that too. I gotta tell you, it's the easiest sales pitch. The easiest sales presentation you'll ever make. is when you show inspiring proof, inspiring stories of transformation of people just like them all you have to do to make your big sales closes say would you like that too? Well, but but you're not going to get there. If you don't start focusing on the existing customers first build your buyer personas from there and continue to improve from there and make that a priority.

Joe
Right and that's why you walk into a county fair. And you see awesome demonstrations and walk out with $750 in three easy installments. You know of knives or something like that. Right?

Frank
I love those things. By the way. I'm a sucker look side note. If you want to like demonstrate knives or like a salsa maker or some like pancake batter whiz Magoo machine thing, like I am down you do those demonstrations. I'm a sucker

Joe
you buy that?

Frank
Oh, I love it. I love it. Ronco you ever Bronco Showtime rotisserie grill. Things amazing. set it and forget it.

Joe
Yeah. You and every other late night television watcher has the Ronco

Frank
That's amazing,

Joe
right? So we're you know, we're talking about sales and marketing and service getting a little bit aligned around creating buyer personas. So getting in a room actually hashing through it together. Let's talk about what goes into an actual buyer persona document. So I think it's obvious the demographics, right? We're talking about their name, or I guess an alliteration, their age, their income, maybe where they went to school, those types of things. There's some psychographics that got to go in there, right. Kind of some of their decision making influences. Yep. Maybe unpack a couple of those for us?

Frank
Well, so some of the things I like to include is, you know, like their watering holes, where do they go to get their information? Where out online? What kind of media do they consume? We talked about influencers before. So influencers are not what people today refer to as an influencer, you know, that person who like, all they do is post pictures on Instagram all day. That's not the kind of influencer, we're talking about. What we're talking about is for the people they look up to in their space. And when you define those people, you want to make sure you're defining a person that the general audience has never heard of. I give you an example. If your target person was a golf enthusiast, and you listed out golfing influences, you would not put Tiger Woods on that list. Why? Because I Frank, and not a golf enthusiast. I know very little about the game. But I know who Tiger Woods is one of the most famous golfers of all time. So you wouldn't put that there. You would go find the names that are big names, that only they would know. And I can't even tell you who that is because I'm not a golf enthusiast. Right. So that demonstrates the point. And so the influencers are the people that, you know, are in their industry that they look up to that they know. But the general audience doesn't know. Right? You want to talk about their objections, objections that they give when they're having conversations with the sales team.

Joe
So this is why sales, it's important to have the sales representation in the room.

Frank
Absolutely. The next one is like what are their top questions that they asked what are they always asked? Because those things start to clue you into their mindset. Right? And so you know, we can go on forever about some of these things. But those are the types of things that you want to understand,

Joe
get. So those are the psychographics. And then I think there's one other piece that I don't see a lot in buyer personas. I know obviously, we included in ours if you were to use our template to create one of these. And that's some of the what we refer to as business math, but it's really the kind of revenue and expenses that are related to acquiring and keeping these customers right.

Frank
So I would venture to say our template is probably the only template on the planet that I've ever Ever seen where the business math is included as part of the buyer persona definition, that it's it's part and parcel to having a proper buyer persona. So what business math is, is it's the calculation of the value of that customer to your brand. And based on your close rates from stranger to customer at the major milestones, what kind of acquisition costs are you able to afford at each of those stages. And the reason acquisition cost is important to understand about the buyer persona, is because anybody doing any sort of marketing or selling to acquire this buyer persona, they have to know the budget in which they have to work with. And I can't tell you how many times I've come across these quote unquote, marketing agencies, they start running these quote unquote, creative campaigns to generate leads for a company. And they've never once bothered to figure out the basic business math of what the acquisition cost needs to be to ensure that that client is going to be profitable, once acquired. And so business math is critical, because you're trying to get to that cost of acquisition threshold. And I think an important mindset, once you know, the threshold, is that the willingness to spend up to and in the early stages beyond that threshold, in order to win and outpace your competitors in the marketplace. But if you don't know that number, you can't benchmark against it.

Joe
Yeah. We now have our buyer personas, right, we've, we've hashed him out, we've all agreed across all services. Now we have an actual document that we can distribute to the company. So everybody knows what we're talking about, there is one more component here. And that is how we are going to speak to them. And that involves a messaging matrix. And it's beyond the scope of this particular conversation, although we should touch on that on a later episode. But assuming that's done as well, now, what do we do with this? How do we avoid getting this thrown into a drawer?

Frank
Well, just a note on that message messaging matrix, if you look at the template we use, we have a statement of transformation. That is the culmination of going through a messaging exercise, right, by the way, I think the one that you're referring to, if you do that, right, it will culminate in this statement of transformation, which is to say, how your brand takes them from their undesirable state to their desirable state,

Joe
which is the transformation we talked about on a Cronus. Correct?

Frank
Absolutely. So that there's a spot in our template for the statement of transformation, the exercise you would go through to develop that. Yes, that's another exercise. We definitely should dive into that into in another episode.

Joe
Yeah. So assuming that's now done, and you have these all packaged up? Again, what do you do with them? How do you make sure they don't just collect us,

Frank
one of the my favorite things that I like to do, and it's something that we require our clients to do is to start to segment their database based on these buyer personas. Hmm, so actually identify as a field on the contact record,

Joe
in the CRM

Frank
in the CRM, thank you identify a field and where you can identify the persona, right, so create that field, most serums, you can create custom fields on the contact record. So create a custom field and identify what personas they are. And then what I want you to do with that is two things, one, run an analysis on your existing database, say, okay, based on these leads, that come from these sources, how did they end up in terms of buyer personas, right? Like, what kind of leads did Facebook generate? What kind of leads did Google generate for us? and start to get a picture of that? You can then say, oh, okay, well, based on our customers, how are they broken out in terms of buyer personas, what's the distribution? and just start asking questions, you know, pin them up on the wall, Stand back, look at them, look at that data. The next thing I want you to do, is I want you to take your intake forms on your website. And I want you to find clever ways to define the buyer persona. And you can do that in a couple of different ways. One, you can make the content so specific that you can be assumptive, about who the buyer persona is that's requesting that piece of information. So for example, if we had a piece of information that was called the SAS, the b2b SaaS CEOs guide to digital strategy. Well, we could probably in that form, infer and put in a hidden field that oh, this is our CEO, b2b buyer persona,

Joe
right? Because who's going to download a CEOs guide if they are not a CEO, right,

Frank
especially if it's called the b2b SaaS CEOs guide to right, but so by focusing your content, you can understand who the buyer persona

Joe
so they'll self segment If you do that,

Frank
that's a that's a form of self segmentation. The other way you can do that is you can ask characteristic, like questions on your form. So you might say, Hey, where should we send this guide to? And just please tell us a little bit about yourself very, just a couple of questions. By the way, we're not talking about loading up your form with a ton of questions. But you could say something like, Hey, tell us a little bit about yourself, you say, what's your role, you can literally ask him what their role is, you can even ask them like a follow up thing, like, you know, size of company or industry or something like that, that can help you start to get closer to identifying your buyer personas. The next thing you can do, if you don't get enough information there is you can follow up with a segmentation series in your email platform. Okay, so what a segmentation series would do would be to try to see if you can hook on the types of things that they're interested in. And you can even ask questions, one of my favorite things to do is, you know, just literally ask a handful of questions and make each of the options clickable. And then you can have your automation platform, update their persona based on what they clicked on. So you can through nurturing, you can then further get the information that helps you segment who they are,

Joe
yeah, smart. You know, so maybe as a final piece here, instead of putting them in the drawer and letting them sit, you know, we want to pull them out and use them. But above and beyond that, I think we want to mature them, right? We already made the recommendation that hey, just get a room, just do it just get started, don't get held up if you don't have the actual official market research. But because of that, you know, because of that hastiness you might make some assumptions that are just incorrect, and which is totally fine, totally fine. But as you continue to segment, and as you continue to create content that these people are consuming, and having conversations with them, and simply the fact that you are thinking of your customers as personas, you will start to pick up on corrections to the assumptions you made. Right. So these are living breathing documents, these are documents that need to be updated regularly. And probably even officially audited and revised, maybe on some sort of regular cadence, right?

Frank
Yeah, I would suggest that these buyer personas need to become part of your strategic documentation. So if you're running your company properly, you have a set of strategic documents that are define, you know, business model and define, you know, how you what governs product expansion and offering expansion in some of these other things, right? The buyer personas should be part of that strategic documentation.

Joe
Alright, so on that note, we've talked about, you know, some of the common mistakes that are being made every single day, when people are trying to create buyer personas, we've talked a bit about how to align your sales, your marketing and your services teams around reading and actually using buyer personas. And then we just talked about how to keep them alive, you know, making sure that you're actually putting them into your official documentation, using them as part of your onboarding for new employees. So that everybody knows who you're speaking to what you're speaking about how you're speaking to them. Yeah,

Frank
yeah, hey, look, buyer persona is often live in the world of marketing. But for those that are listening today, buyer personas are not a marketing document. This is a strategic business document. And so for everyone who thinks that this is a marketing thing, I want you to eliminate that from your mind right now in this strategic business document. And he's been elevated all the way to the executive team.

Joe
Yeah. So we've referenced several times and actual template that we have, right to get people started here. Where can people find

Frank
Yeah, that's part of our digital utopia blueprint, which not only has the buyer persona, but it allows you to architect the experience that you're going to create for that buyer persona, along with the various engagement activities that will bring them into your experience. That blueprint is available at buildingyourdigitalutopia.com, as well as the book that that I wrote called Building your digital utopia. So go there, get a free copy of that, learn more about the book, we have some other really cool freebies there. Also have other podcast episodes, buildingyourdigitalutopia.com. And if you have any questions, we also include some contact information, just even if you have follow up questions about the document and whatnot. I think we're out of time, Joe.

Joe
That's right.

Frank
I think we're out of time. So thank you for joining us today, folks. Give our podcast a thumbs up give it a like, subscribe. I hope to see you on another episode soon. Take care and have an amazing day.

Topics:Podcast

Subscribe to Updates