Why are personas important?

Having a deeper understanding of decision-makers is driving marketers’ renewed focus on persona development across industries in 2022 and beyond. Done thoughtfully, personas serve as a common framework for multiple teams (marketing, product, sales), to build content and programs that truly speak to what matters most to buyers. And like most tools in the B2B marketing arsenal, personas have matured to reflect the new customer insights needed by CMOs and their teams.

How have personas have evolved?

Personas go deeper and have become more data driven. While they still include standard elements like attributes, pain points and responsibilities, modern personas need to be nuanced and account for differences in key verticals or geographic regions. Since most buying decisions are made as a group, personas should also address relationships with other key decision makers and influencers – particularly the C-suite. And finally, they should consider generational preferences and behaviors. Younger demographics, for example, place even greater value on relevance so personas should be refreshed every 1-2 years or less to stay current.

“Persona development is immature in many organizations — just 36% report their customer persona development has been in place for three years or more. Personas take time to develop, and improving, updating and enhancing them is an iterative process. It’s critical that personas convey key data points. Mobile behaviors, content preferences, purchase decision factors and drivers of satisfaction (and dissatisfaction) all increase the broader organization’s adoption and value of the personas.”  Gartner 2022

What are some of the challenges?

Buying centers have become complicated ecosystems of stakeholders and are difficult to reach. Decision journeys are not always successful; buyer processes can be lengthy and painful, often because buyers have difficulty reaching consensus.

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Access the full version of ComBlu’s latest strategic POV on buyer personas, what to consider today, how to get started along with some related reading.