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Tips and Tricks to Successfully Conduct Buyer Persona Research

In a previous blog - How to Build Impactful B2B Buyer Personas - we discussed what B2B buyer personas are, and why they’re crucial to your Inbound Marketing program. We also outline five key steps to help you build them.

The trouble is, when it comes to buyer personas we've found that most organizations fall at the first hurdle - buyer persona research. Conducting thorough research is vital to creating accurate and insightful buyer personas that guide your marketing efforts.

That’s why we’ve created this blog. We dive into effective buyer persona research techniques, empowering you to gather the data needed to build impactful personas for your B2B inbound marketing strategy.

What is Buyer Persona Research?

Buyer persona research is the process of gathering information about your ideal customers. It involves understanding their demographics, behaviours, needs, challenges, goals, and decision-making processes.

This research paints a clear picture of who your ideal customer is, allowing you to tailor your marketing messages and content strategy to resonate with them effectively.

How to Conduct Buyer Persona Research

1. Define the Goals of Your Research

Before diving into your buyer persona research, take a step back to define your goals. Are you creating buyer personas for the first time, or are you looking to refine existing ones? Understanding your objective will guide the research process and ensure you collect the most relevant data.

2. Brainstorm Questions to Ask Your Customers

Once you've established your goals, brainstorm a list of questions you want answered about your ideal customer. Here are some key areas to consider:

  • Demographics: Age, job title, industry, company size, location, etc.
  • Needs and Challenges: What are their biggest pain points? What keeps them up at night?
  • Goals and Aspirations: What are they trying to achieve? How can your product or service help them get there?
  • Buying Behaviour: How do they research potential solutions? Who influences their decisions and do they have control over their company's budget?
  • Media Consumption: Where do they get their information? What social media platforms do they use?
3. Set Up Customer Interviews and Surveys

If possible, conduct in-depth interviews with your existing customers. This allows you to delve into their motivations, challenges, and buying journeys first-hand. Another option could be to develop targeted surveys to gather broader customer sentiment and quantify qualitative data from interviews.

4. If Speaking to Your Customers Won’t Work, Interview Your Sales Team Instead

If interviewing customers directly isn't feasible, don't fret! Interviewing your sales team is a great option to get more information about your company’s ideal customer. They are on the front lines interacting with potential customers daily. Ask them about the types of leads they encounter, common objections they face, and the pain points they address during sales conversations.

5. Leverage Data From Your CRM for Additional Snippets

Your customer relationship management (CRM) system is a goldmine of information. Analyze demographics, purchase history, support tickets, and customer service interactions to identify trends and commonalities among your existing customer base.

6. Constantly Update Your Persona Documents

Your market and customer needs are constantly changing - don't treat your buyer personas as static documents. It's important to schedule regular updates, interviewing customers or your sales team to ensure that your personas reflect current market realities. This ongoing process ensures your marketing messages and content remain relevant and continue to resonate with your ideal customers.

If things change, you'll need to update your content strategy, existing offerings and past content to meet those changes. 

Are you looking for help building your buyer personas and implementing an Inbound Marketing program that delivers results? SummitBound Marketing is a HubSpot agency focused on delivering data-driven B2B Inbound Marketing strategies. We’d love to help you meet your business goals.

Tom Davis
Post by Tom Davis
July 2, 2024
With a background in journalism, Tom combines his love of writing and experience in Inbound Marketing to deliver effective content strategies to SummitBound clients.