The 4 R's of the perfect buyer persona

Marketing Powerup #17: Adrienne Barnes' formula for creating useful buyer personas that win more business.

Most buyer personas are useless. They often have a quirky name like “Mark the Marketer,” and some info like:

  • 37 years old
  • Married for 8 years, 2 kids
  • A mid-level manager at a tech company

The problem with this? Mark isn’t real!

“It’s not based on solid data, customer-backed conversations, social listening, or user behavior.” says Adrienne Barnes, founder of Best Buyer Persona.

Adrienne is on a mission to help businesses create actionable, data-backed, and needle-moving buyer personas that win more business.

She's worked with dozens of companies to create useful buyer personas that lead to better content marketing, sales enablement, and ad campaign plans.

Instead of including demographic data such as age, job title, and gender, Barnes' best buyer personas have four main parts: responsibilities, relationships, rituals, and routines.

  1. Responsibilities:

    1. What are the roles and tasks that your target buyer performs?

    2. Which KPIs and metrics do they track?

    3. What are some of their goals?

  2. Relationships:

    1. What's the internal hierarchy within the company?

    2. Who are the decision-makers versus the end-users?

  3. Rituals:

    1. What does their day-to-day look like?

    2. What other tools do they use?

    3. Do they work in an office or work remotely?

  4. Routines:

    1. What's their process for purchasing products or services like yours?

    2. What kind of routines and cycles is the company a part of?

By including these four elements in your buyer persona, you can better empathize with your buyers and position your product as the best solution to their problems. It’s rooted in understanding your product’s Jobs-to-be-Done, which I cover in a previous issue of  “How great marketing upgrades people.

Barnes other tips for creating more useful buyer personas:

  • Leave the picture out of it. Pictures can introduce bias.
  • What content would help the persona? Determine what topic and type of content would help this persona the most.
  • Don’t stop iterating. This document is never done!
  • Share it with your entire company. The information is too valuable and important not to put to work.

You can learn about how to create more useful buyer personas that win more business in the latest episode of the Marketing Powerups show.

Watch it on YouTube, or listen to it on Apple Podcast and Spotify now.

You can apply Adrienne Barne’s perfect buyer persona formula with the powerups cheatsheet I share exclusively to Marketing Powerups subscribers as a free perk.

You can download and make a copy of it here (a direct link with no email required).

Marketing Powerups Cheatsheet for April Dunford's Product Storytelling Framework

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That’s all for now, friends!

Have a powered-up day,

Ramli John

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    Written by

    Ramli John

    Ramli John

    Ramli John is the founder of Marketing Powerups and author of the bestselling book Product-Led Onboarding. He's worked with companies such as Appcues, Mixpanel, and Ubisoft to accelerate their growth.

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