Mary (Shirley) Sheehan
Group Manager, Engagement & Retention Campaigns at Adobe

Firstly, know that there are ranges of budgets to create buyer personas depedning on if you go with an agency or do them in-house. I’ve worked for a company where we paid $100K to an agency to make buyer personas, and another one where I had to figure it out on a shoestring budget (< $1000). I honestly had so much more fun and learned so much more doing it the scrappy way! What did I use my scrappy budget for? I used budget for incentives to get clients, prospects, and churned customers to talk to me. I developed an interview script and trained others on HOW to interview so we quickly got 30+ customer conversations (recorded, too!). I used a little more budget to run an email raffle for customers that would take a survey. The chance of a $250 Amazon gift card gets people to answer your questions!


But to answer your question directly, if you do not clearly know who your customers are - there is no way you’re being effective with your product development or marketing budget. One thing you might try is to ask 5-10 people internally in different orgs who they think your customers are. Chances are - the answers will be all over the place. Package this up and send it to your boss, or your exec team, wherever you have the best influence - and I bet you can make the case to get the budget and time resources you need.


Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing at Twilio
Personas are the way you bring segmentation and targeting to life by understanding what ‘motivates’ the buyer. If you don't have a good sense of the motivators, needs, and wants of your buyer, then i’d make a bet that your marketing spend isn't optimized and your deal cycle times are longer than ...more
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI at Cisco
In the Enterprise B2B space, my experience has been the scrappy way. Mostly because I prefer to do it myself, by collaborating with product management and saless. I might spend $$ (if I have) to either buy some strategic research say for example from Forrester, that I did one time. Or to run a cu...more
Jameelah Calhoun
Global Head of Product Marketing at Eventbrite | Formerly Amazon, Ex-Amex
Your leadership will be focused on the ROI of the budget and time spent developing personas. The most salient metric for these exercises will be customer acquisition costs. I would look at trends in customer acquisition costs over time, across segments, and across channels. This helps illuminate ...more
Feng Hong
Global Product Marketing Manager at TikTok
There's a lot of reluctance around investing in buyer persona research that comes from a "so what" sort of experience in the past. You're going to have to establish what you want to accomplish with the buyer persona research as well as how to operationalize the research so that it isn't just a de...more
Daniel Palay
Head Of Product Marketing at 3Gtms
First off, full disclosure, this is what I do for a living, so it is difficult to answer this in a way that is neither biased nor self-serving.  With that out of the way... Step one, start by being a product marketer. Product marketers spend all day every day answering each buyer's "What's ...more
Zachary Fox
Director of Product + Customer Marketing at Resultados Digitais
We just finished our company’s first true Personas project and took clear steps to convince many teams that have never worked with personas before. The most important of which was to call a meeting, present the idea and ask a selection of people from each of the 4 teams that would most use them t...more
Greg Hollander
VP of GTM & Strategy at Novi
As they say, the proof’s in the pudding. If you work with folks who don’t see the value, it’s only once you get people using them and benefitting from them that they’ll be asking for more.  In general I think Product Marketing is about using your customer expertise to place smart bets on the plac...more