« Business-to-business ebooks: Spreading your ideas for free | Main | Why "do you use social media?" is the wrong question for marketers to ask »

July 22, 2008


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How well do you know your buyer personas?:

» MySpace's Reinvention Strategy: Focus On Its Core Buyer Persona from Social Media ReInvention Blog
In Social Media ReInvention Blog, I try to describe how individuals, companies, or entire industries can use social media and/or inbound marketing strategy to reinvent themselves. This post has a slight twist because it talks about a current social med... [Read More]


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Adele Revella

Hi David:

Thanks for the acknowledgement, and for all of the work you do to reinforce that the fundamentals of marketing are critical to succeeding with the New Rules. A marketer recently told me that his boss thought that anything about "traditional" marketing is irrelevant. My response, this boss is still thinking that marketing is about tactics. While marketing tactics may be divided between the old rules and the new rules, effective targeting, messaging and segmentation strategies still need to be based on deep insight into the company's target buyers. Buyer personas just happen to be the best way to convey that insight throughout the company. Thanks for giving us a great example of a company that's making this work.

Scott Sehlhorst

What a great article.

I think the personas' goal sections are great at highlighting their perceptions of what features/capabilities are important to solving their problems. Well done Kadient.

Do you (David and his readers!) normally differentiate between buyer personas and user personas? Or do you normally deal with situations like Kadient's where they are the same people?

TIA for all responses. Also, if anyone is interested, I just wrote an article targeted at product managers, to help them differentiate buyer personas and user personas (http://tynerblain.com/blog/2008/07/22/buyers-and-users/ ) I'd love it if any of you could contribute more/better/different ideas to it. This is a distinction we definitely struggle with as product managers, with our (default) focus on user personas.

Lisa Kelley McGrath

It's vbeen ages since I worked with you while I was at RoweCom & you were at NewsEdge ... but found your Blog today and have a new daily Bible!

John Flynn

I was a little troubled about the "persona" of the sales people.
It seems that they had two personas. When I work even with small companies I like to come up with five.

I think this is another backhand against Sales Reps.

Sure you have the type "A" sales person without a life making her quarterly numbers.

Then you have the type "Z" sales rep how is complaining about how the company is not getting him enough sales leads.

Well I make my numbers and I have a life and a family.

Are most Sales people jerks? The answer is yes. 20 years in sales and I have to say that most of the sales rep (even the ones that make thier numbers) are not what I would call great sales reps.

A good sales rep uses your and Mr. Godin's methods to reach out to the customer and builds relationships with them. Finds out what thier needs are. Helps them idenify thier buyers. It is surprising how many business don't know thier buyer personas.

Sales Reps are on the ground floor and no the lay of the land.
They have the information that marketing could use to make an informed program to rise above the clutter of interruption marketing.

So yes some sales reps may fit into the two very narrow personas.
But there are many of us out here that are asking questions (of customers and of our own marketing, communication and promotion departments) to help the company get on the path of the "New Rules".

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for your comment John. I generally agree with what you've said. Please be aware (as I said) that Kadient has more than just two buyer personas. I just talked about two of them.

Take care, David


I've been in technology sales for over 10 years and your idea of personas is a fantastic idea, although not a new one. We would call it target market or sweet spot. What is the make up of the buyer most likely to buy our product. We would seek these people out and they are who we would spend most of our time with. You would deviate from the sweet spot, but you didn't want to chase "bright shiny objects" that were so far from the target buyer that you were wasting your time. Sales is all about time management, and you want to spend the majority of your time in front of your sweet spot directly your time and effort at them. The surprising thing about your article, is that marketing is developing these "personas", buit I've never had a marketing person ask me, what is the makeup of our target customer. As someone whose livelyhood depended on knowing that profile and identifying it asap, it amazes me that marketing departments aren't coming to sales and asking them this. Whenever I come to a new company my first goal is to understand who the marketing is directed at, who the majority of sales people are actually selling to, then modifying the materials created by marketing to fit ther sweet spot and identifying and closing these high potential targets. My suggestion is that anyone creating a persona for marketing to, should start with the people touching your buyers on a daily basis and asking them what should this buyer profile look like.


It feels as if online marketing forces you to be more aware of your buyer's persona. For instance I am now creating my online video around keywords. I post to a site at http://www.Adwido.com and they target specific keywords to boost my search engine traffic. Not to mention the account is Free.


This is a great article, David. Buyer personas are the foundation on which demand generation programs are built. For instance, lead nuturing campaigns need to share truly compelling and bite-sized content, but unless you really know the buyers, you don't know what would get their attention.

Thanks for sharing a great example too.

Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor and President
Find New Customers

Michelle Golden

David, a fantastic example of persona development. I LOVE the cardboard cutouts! And a lovely (not to mention concise!) reminder of the reasons personas are so darn essential in the first place. Thanks for all you do. I really mean that...

Ruby Clifton

Today the market is entirely consumer centric. You can't sell what you have, but you have to sell what is in demand. Ultimately it is the consumer who is the king.

Even before you launch a product, you need to do a proper market research about the profile of the consumers who are going to use that product, and design the product accordingly.

Dick Wooden

Very helpful for what I was looking for. I now have some better ideas for Ed the entrepreneur and Sammy the Sales Manager personas. These will help to clarify those interested in gaining business success with CRM from my blog, www.SuccessWithCRM.com/blog/

Thanks for sharing!


I don't think enough people bring up persona's in marketing. Thanks for the article.


This is a great article! I am a copywriter and run a start up (now 4 years old) that develops copy (marketing content) for marketing collateral and for companies employing social media in their daily business activities. We are currently developing a website and have been working on my website's content and trying to figure out how best to ensure the message makes sense or solves a problem for my target audience. And via learning about personas and in turn defining my buyer personas and answering the question: who needs to develop marketing collateral? I realize that my copywriting services would mostly benefit:

a) start-ups
b) companies that are re-branding
c) existing companies looking to increase their brand presence through social media
d) existing companies looking to revamp their existing content and so as to communicate more clearly with their target audience.
e) companies looking to launch a new product or service.

And hence there is my target market. (where before I had simply defined them as SMEs Corporates and NGOs, defining my buyer personas has helped me narrow it down much better.)

Again, Great article!!

David Meerman Scott

Lilianokado -- good luck implementing the ideas!


Great article david !

We are a company that both serves B2B and B2C customers. Will it be useful for us to create a buyer persona for our B2C customers, or its only waste of time ?

Thank you

David Meerman Scott

Yassin - you need to create a buyer persona for every important market you wish to reach.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

follow me

David Meerman Scott books

I want to speak at your next event!


David Meerman Scott e-books

David's iPhone and iPad apps

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2004