Adaptive Persona Development

A successful buyer persona shouldn’t sit on a shelf in a powerpoint deck collecting dust.

“I met this wonderful girl at Macy’s. She was buying clothes and I was putting Slinkies on the escalator.”

— Steven Wright —

As Needs Change, So Should Your Personas

We’ve been asked a number of times why Adaptive Personas are such an important part of our strategic marketing process. We get it—you’ve probably seen a million personas pitched to you by three or four different agencies—and if you can just get in front of them, your leads and sales will go through the roof.

The process probably looked something like this:
  • Your team and agency brainstormed some buyer persona demographics
  • You identified some important professional info like education level, career trajectory, etc
  • You identified ideal job title/role, company size and type, revenue (sales people love this part)
  • There was a focus on purchase influencers
  • You discussed typical day in the life
  • You identified pain points, challenges, and goals
  • You researched sources of industry information, shopping preferences, and more

We have two challenges with these types of personas. Part of the problem is that often times, personas are treated as static “caught in a moment” snapshots of an ideal buyer. But, times change. Context changes. You’re often dealing with markets that are comprised of only a handful of buyers—and the photo with a few bullets of demographic information just isn’t cutting it. So personas are often discounted, or disregarded entirely, rendering them—and their associated marketing strategies, programs, and tactics—all but useless. The second problem is that we don’t actually have the most important piece of data we need to capture the persona when they need us.

This is where our personas are a little bit different.

Adaptive Personas in Play

You can’t just say your process is different. It takes more than just a different process—that difference needs to drive results, and that’s where we’re unique. We were satisfied with delivering the same, dry personas that every inbound marketing agency has been focused on the last few years.

Given this, our adaptive personas include the following:
  • Job to be Done research and analysis
  • Unstructured interviews (open-ended to facilitate voice-of-the-customer and vernacular development)
  • Interactive surveys and wireframing
  • Personality and buyer archetype development
  • Content attributes
  • Funnel stage questions, trigger phrases, objections (useful for content AND sales teams)
  • Barriers, deal makers, and deal breakers

Our process has driven interactive content and digital marketing engagements for SAAS startups, mature B2B and B2C tech companies, and global brands. It works because we focus like a laser on the specific task (or job) your customer is hiring your company or product to do for them.

Lastly, we can couple the process with your sales team, so that you have a rolling feedback loop on what strategies and messaging work, and what needs to be refined.

The results?

More actionable and adaptive personas that begin working right out of the gate, and are constantly improving as you and your team learn and discover more. If you are looking to build a smarter, more effective strategy, you need to start with the right questions—and we can help you with that—and more.

Learn how you can discover and leverage adaptive personas today

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