The 5 Problems With Your Current Buyer Personas (And How to Fix Them)

4 minutes read
Sarah - 07.11.2022
The Five Biggest Problems With Your Current Buyer Personas (And How to Fix Them)

If you're like most companies, you have buyer personas. But, chances are, they're not as accurate or helpful as they could be. Why? Because most companies make the same mistakes when creating their buyer personas. In this blog post, we'll cover the five biggest problems with current buyer personas and how to fix them.

The impact of accurate, well-defined buyer personas

As the old saying goes, "you can't please everyone." The same is true of businesses - no matter how great your product or service is, there will always be some people who just aren't interested. Or, in other words, an audience that will not receive maximum value for your product or service. 

That's why it's so important to have well-defined buyer personas for your marketing, sales and support teams. By understanding who your ideal customer is, you can focus your efforts on attracting and serving those individuals, rather than wasting resources chasing after people who will not derive maximum value.

Free ideal customer profile and persona template

The five biggest problems with your buyer personas

1. You Don't Know Who Your Personas Are

The first step in creating an accurate buyer persona is understanding who your customers are. That might seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many companies don't take the time to really understand their target market. 

Your buyer personas should not be rooted in stereotypes. They should be based on real data that you've collected about your target market.

It is best practice to interview customers and prospects to gather actionable data. While we highly recommend interviewing your audience, there are other ways to pull helpful information too... specifically within HubSpot. This can be achieved by, creating smart content on forms and reviewing HubSpot traffic and customer analytics.

Within HubSpot, you can look at your current customer base to identify your target buyer personas.

  • Identify the core job functions of key decision-makers per industry
  • Identify the key demographics
  • Touch base with your sales team and understand what core challenges these individuals faced, what their needs and goals were, and why they turned to your organization for a solution.
    • Tip: you should also be using smart content on forms to pull data on this information.
  • Review traffic analytics - what webpages did these individuals visit prior to booking a sales meeting?

By looking at your data at hand, you can form an accurate buyer persona that is rooted in fact, not stereotype.

2. Your Personas Are Too Broad

Another common mistake we see companies make is creating buyer personas that are too broad. When you try to encompass too much with your persona, you run the risk of making inaccurate assumptions.

For example, let's say you're trying to target small business owners with your product. It would be a mistake to lump all small business owners into one persona. Instead, you should segment your small business owner persona by the core challenge they are looking to solve.

3. You Have Too Many Personas

The third problem with buyer personas is that companies often have too many of them. Creating multiple personas can help you to segment your market more effectively. However, if you have too many personas, it can become difficult to create targeted content and campaigns for each one.

4. You Haven't Updated Your Personas in Years (Or More!)

Once you have your personas created, it's important to keep them up-to-date. But, most companies don't do this. They create their personas and then forget about them. As a result, their personas become outdated and inaccurate.

If you want your personas to be accurate, you need to update them on a regular basis. At a minimum, you should update your personas every year. But, if your target market is rapidly changing or your product is growing exponentially, you may need to update them more often.

5. Your Personas Aren't Used by Your Entire Team

Finally, another common problem with current buyer personas is that they're not used by your entire team. Most companies have their marketing team use buyer personas when creating content and running campaigns. But, that's not enough. If you want your company to truly understand your target market, you need to make sure that all go-to-market teams are using your buyer personas when making decisions.

Within HubSpot, you can set up rules and automation to automatically update buyer persona properties. By creating workflows for each of your personas, HubSpot will automatically update your persona property when they take a number of distinct actions. You can ensure the accuracy of your personas through smart content forms and enrichment data.

HubSpot Buyer Persona

Buyer personas are the foundation of your marketing and sales activity. By targeting the right set of customers, you can deliver value and make the flywheel turn faster. To get your buyer personas right, you need to put in the effort upfront to understand your ideal customer. Once you have a clear understanding of who they are, what their needs are, and what motivates them, you can create buyer personas that will guide your marketing and sales activity.

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