Can you outline the best structure and format for user personas that are useful across the org?
Once you’ve interviewed and/ or surveyed your customers, prospects, and churned customers - it’s time to put the personas into a digestible format. I recommend Google slides (or PPT, if that’s your jam) and hosting them on a central resource so all teams can use them. For example, at last night’s PMM meetup, Shyna Zhang, Director of Enterprise Strategy at Marketo, talked about how they whiteboarded the personas in a common space for product and engineering to always be able to reference, making it part of their daily decision making process.
The personas should include:
A brief synopsis of who they are - i.e. “Marketing leader of 5-10 person teams, usually in the B2B space. Checks analytics every day and is obsessed with getting the maximum ROI” (B2B - make sure to use firmagraphic information. B2C demo information is more relevant)
What motivates them to buy your product or a product like yours
What their decision making power usually is (i.e. do they have the final call? Are they part of a team that decides?)
Quotes from actual interviews
Their real challenges and frustrations
Optional: What they love / hate about your product
Important: A catchy name to define each persona segment that people will remember (i.e. “Jack of all trades” or “Silver spoon” were ones we used for a prior project)
The last bullet might seem random, but it’s critical to getting the personas used throughout your organization. If you do good work, and the personas have value, it won’t be long until you hear your CEO referring to one of the personas during an all hands meeting (true story!)
This is a great question. A couple of tips -
The #1 way of making sure that personas will be adopted and used as a resource across functions is to make sure you're including variables that these particular functions care about. So Finance for example, will care about something like Average Revenue or Average Ticket Size. Brand will care about "Key attitudes and motivators". Customer Success will care about "How do they ask for help". Sales will care about "How do they make decisions". Align your descriptions with what they care about.
2/ Use actual customer examples as a way to bring them to life. It's great to have Attitudes and Demographic data (if relevant), Business-graphics (if you're in B2B), but really what will bring it home is 2 - 3 examples of real customers that fit this persona.
The best structure and format may not, in fact, be a "persona" at all. You have to ask the question: What should each internal stakeholder be using the persona to accomplish, and what does that look like?
Not everyone across the organization knows what to do when handed a buyer persona profile (regardless of format) and that needs to be taken into account. Rather, consider what a "next step" might look like that would be readily understood, and immediately useful to, each constituency.
If we're talking about economic buyer personas being distributed to sales teams, I find that a business case, or series of business cases, is often the way to go, but that's just one example.
Buyer Personas should be formatted to be easily digestable and convey key insights that help teams in your org operate more effectively. The ideal format can vary by situation, organization, insights communicated, and even business model. For example, demographic info about age and gender might be helpful in B2C but is probably counterproductive noice for B2B selling. I personally use a single summary slide with 5 supporting slides. Then I linked these slide to a google doc with categorized customer quotes that equip our team with deeper insights when appropriate. I've also contemplated designing a poster of the summary to hang on our wall for a continual reminder. However, this is less useful if you operate with a distributed team. Consult Adelle Revella's book Buyer Persona's and the Buyer Persona Institute for a helpful framework when conducting and analyzing your research.