MaRS Library Buyer and user personas: Use in product development, sales and marketing
Buyer and user personas are typical profiles of your customers. Strategic use of these two personas can strengthen your product development as well as your sales and marketing.
The key to using personas in your business effectively is to share them across the organization so that everyone thinks of these personas in their everyday jobs.
Who benefits from using user and buyer personas?
- Your product development team will understand who they are building for.
- Your marketing team will understand how to position your product.
- Your sales representatives will understand who to target and what their buying criteria are.
- Your customer support team will understand the perspectives of users who may call in for help.
How user and buyer personas impact your product
Stronger product development
When people in your organization (from the business owner to product developers and testers) understand the personas involved, they become more adept at building better products. This includes using the personas to identify problems in the product roadmap and releasing new product features.
Personas help engineers and usability experts to design products that function for different types of users.
Personas help engineers to think like their users. This means engineers are more likely to understand the challenges faced by their users, and solve problems in better ways.
Personas help testers of your product develop a better understanding of your typical buyer/user profile and define more effective testing scenarios.
How personas complement sales and marketing efforts
Personas help the marketing team to position and deliver marketing materials that speak to specific buyers in your market.
Personas help sales teams to identify perfect targets for your products. Once a typical persona is defined, the sales team can scour their leads for matching profiles.
Better prospect understanding
Along with knowing which buyers to target, personas enable the sales team to understand a typical buyer’s challenges. This means the sales team can explicitly target and address specific pain points during the sales process.
How personas assist customer support efforts
Personas enable the customer support team to build tools to support the different types of product users. Some users will require very basic assistance, while others will have more advanced needs.
Rind, Bonnie. (2010). The Power of the Persona.Pragmatic Marketing. Retrieved July 13, 2010, from http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/5/4/the-power-of-the-persona
Stull, C., Myers, P. & Scott D.M. (2008). Tuned In: Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities that Lead to Business Breakthroughs. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.
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