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What is your preferred framework for defining the persona, the buyer pain points and elaborating on use cases?

3 Answers
Bonnie Chiurazzi
Bonnie Chiurazzi
Glassdoor Director of Market InsightsSeptember 27
  1. Persona frameworks are unique to the organizations and teams who use them. But there are a few core elements that will add some structural integrity to your personas.
    1. Context and Market - How do you define the market that this persona is pulled from? Do you need to be able to size the perona’s incidence in the marketplace?
    2. Name - Choose a name that is memorable and conveys whatever it is that makes this persona unique and/or valuable. Some folks like to give their persona a name like “Steve” or maybe “Steller Steve.” This is more of a stylistic thing, but I prefer more descriptive names to help stakeholders remember the most important traits of the segment. Also, make sure you pick a name you’re comfortable saying over and over in meetings!
    3. Value - Identify how you will assign value to each persona. Is it an attitude they have? A behavior they exhibit? An action they take?
    4. Who - Who are they (demographics, job title, hobbies, home life, etc.)?
    5. What - What are they trying to accomplish in your marketplace and why?
    6. Where - Where do they currently go to meet their needs? How does your brand show up compared to competitors?
    7. When - What triggers them to action within your marketplace?
    8. Why - Why do they have these specific needs in the marketplace? What is it that makes them unique? Presumably, this a big part of the reason you decided to create the persona, so dedicate extra time to this.
    9. Pain points - What isn’t working for them? What could be better?
    10. Their journey - Put it all together. What triggers them to action? What’s their desired outcome? What actually happens?
  2. Sophia’s Pro Tip: Do the work to align on semantics early on. Align on a definition of a “persona” and what will be included in the profile. Make sure to revisit how your organization has used personas in the past and leverage existing frameworks and information. If you deviate from the existing frameworks or if you’re adding a new persona while others are still being leverage, make sure you’re ready to speak to the value your new methodology will add.
  3. Bonnie’s pro tip: Map out your persona profile before you conduct your research. Then map your questionnaire or discussion to the profile to ensure you’re asking all the right questions to completely fill out the profile.
  4. Patti’s pro tip: Check your personas for unconscious bias and make sure to include a diverse set of voice in the research that leads up to persona development.
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Sharon Markowitz
Sharon Markowitz
Zoom Head of Product Marketing, App MarketplaceMarch 28

I am a huge advocate of Pragmatic Institute’s work on professional training and certifications for product marketers and product managers, oftentimes embraced at the organizational level across divisions at enterprise companies.  Also, as a former employee and customer, perhaps I have an understandable bias!  There are other resources as well through reputable firms such as Product School, and PMA. 

Buyer personas are one of the most important efforts a marketing team can embark on as it is used to understand who the target customer is across sales, product, and marketing.

Buyer personas start with:

  1. Understanding your current customer base and relevant segmentation

  2. Conducting research interviews with the target customer (decision maker) to inform relevant information, specifically:

    • Demographic and/or firmographic data

    • Key customer challenges or pain points

    • Identification of any barriers to using a new product

    • Ways to reach the decision maker and/or influencer in the buyer process (think of funnel stages and relevant GTM tactics)

Oftentimes there is more than one buyer persona, and it may be relevant to include information about the influencer as part of understanding the buyer process for developing relevant GTM campaigns and sales efforts. Partnering with sales and product for input and alignment is critical.

536 Views
Alissa Lydon
Alissa Lydon
Dovetail Head of Product MarketingMay 10

Out of all of the frameworks I've tried, I think "jobs to be done" is my favorite. But in reality, I often end up riffing on it to build out a framework that is structured like the following:

  • Use case name (aka primary job to be done)

  • Persona(s) concerned with this JTBD

  • Pain points in trying to accomplish this job

  • Business impact of not getting this job done

  • The value prop of our solution in solving this pain

  • The differentiated features and services the solution provides to support the value prop

  • Customer proof

I like this framework because it helps me compartmentalize the different building blocks for storytelling. But another downstream benefit is that it gives me a good roadmap for how I might organize my research roadmap. For example, perhaps when I first built out this framework I realized that I didn't have enough insight into how our solution is differentiated. That is a clear indication that I should focus on competitive research to help flesh that out a bit more.

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