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October 31, 2016 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

4 Things to Take Away From Your B2B Buyer Persona Interviews

When you go through the process of building buyer personas, you’ll learn that it is a lot of work. After all, you’ll be interviewing multiple team members and 5-10 customers and lost prospects.

You’ll gather loads of information on what their technological problems are, where they look for answers, and challenges they face. You’ll see patterns start to form and personas start to emerge.

So what should you do after you have compiled a page full of notes?

Sometimes, it can be hard to find clarity in that bulk of information. Until now.

We have some suggestions to help you walk away from your buyer persona interviews with an action item.

First, Why Marketing Success Starts with Buyer Personas

Marketing is about turning leads into customers. We are all searching for the right customer. Building focused buyer personas help you identify who your ideal customer is and what they are looking for. Moreover, buyer personas can help save you from misguided marketing endeavors that are doomed to fail.

When you decide to create buyer personas, you decide it’s time to target your marketing. That’s a good thing. But be warned, building buyer personas are a good deal of work. They will force you to think hard about your business and your marketing.

4 Initial Takeaways From Your Persona Interviews

Clarify, Confirm, or Dispel Any Predispositions

While you don’t want to let your predispositions color your interview, it is natural for you to go in with some assumptions about your prospect. After the interview, ask yourself if your assumptions were true or false. Discuss with your marketing team what satisfied, disappointed, and surprised you. Perhaps there was an “aha” moment during the interview.

When you clarify, confirm, or dispel your predispositions, you help form a truer, clearer picture of your prospect.

Identify Key Phrases and Search Terms Customers Use

Quotes are what makes any interview. Buyer persona interviews are no different.

In your persona interviews, listen to the customer’s stories and be on the lookout for specific words or phrases that re-occur in their language. These phrases are how your prospect defines their problem.

After your interview, you can implement that same vocabulary into your content. Making a connection through common language will strengthen a budding relationship between you and the prospect.

Another way to gather specific language from prospects is to ask them, “What were some search terms did you type into Google when you were looking for an answer to your problem?”

This is free keyword research! Capture those search terms and add them to your keyword bank.

Potential Blog Post Ideas

Whenever we conduct a persona interview, our minds churn through different blog post ideas that can explore the problems our buyer personas are discussing.

The stories customers and prospect tell in persona interviews are great inspiration for your editorial calendar.

Try to translate your prospect’s problems into blog topics.

For example, imagine you are the VP of Marketing at a Managed Services firm conducting persona interviews. Your persona describes their problem below…

“We needed an IT company to help us because we were moving offices.”

With this simple problem, paired with your industry experience, you might translate this problem into 3 or more blog post ideas.

  1. Top 3 IT Considerations When You Are Relocating Your Office
  2. Office Upsizing - Scaling Your IT with Your Growing Office Space
  3. 5 Things To Know About IT Security & Multiple Offices

These posts appeal to 3 different concerns. But if your personas can confirm that these are concerns that they have faced before, they are all valid blog post ideas!

Testimonials from Current Customers

Persona interviews often have the added perk of hearing some nice things about your business from the customers you serve. Take advantage of this!

These testimonials can be placed front and center on your homepage and validate your commitments to customer satisfaction. Don’t go fishing for compliments. Allow these comments to form organically through your dialogue.

Buyer Personas set the stage for successful
marketing strategies

After you’ve gathered all of your notes and other findings from your interview, it’s time to start formulating personas and kick off your budding marketing strategy. Valuable concepts will bloom from those moments as you begin to create your personas.

Based off of their responses, you may start by adjusting or creating new offers that will entice your persona. Not familiar with their preferred social media sites? Embrace those platforms they enjoy using on an everyday basis to become better acclimated to their buying habits.

The practice of buyer personas interviews are to clarify the audience you want from the amount of information you gathered. Remember that personas are the backbone to any dynamic marketing campaign. So pick up the phone and start making some calls!

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