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Crafting Vivid Buyer Personas to Illuminate Your Marketing Strategy

Mar 8, '16 / by Monica Guzman

The Client as Hero

Your business has a narrative, and you’re the story’s protagonist (the lead character). In this story, you're on a quest to provide a product or service to people. So, who are these people?

While we often think of customers in terms of generic buyer personas, but for a fresh change of perspective, try viewing your customers from the context of your story. For instance, we can say that the conflict, or villain, of the story is the buyer’s problem, which only you can defeat (help solve) with your product or service.

What does that make your client?

Not a damsel in distress. You don’t want to think of your client as a victim because you don’t want them to feel like a victim. Instead, look at your buyer persona as the hero of your story.

Taking the "client-as-the-hero" approach to buyer personas

There are many benefits to the client-as-the-hero persona approach. First, your client will enjoy feeling like the hero of the story. After all, they’re the ones who have the problem, want to fix it and seek a solution.

Meanwhile, on the inbound marketing side of the equation, you’re passive; you’re here for them.

In other words, you’re the sidekick.

As their sidekick, your job is to anticipate their needs and provide support so that they can defeat their villain. When you allow your customers to be the hero, you’re making them feel awesome. What would they do without their trusted sidekick? Suddenly you’re on their team, playing an integral role that they couldn’t do without.

Another perk? This way of looking at things is fun. The term "buyer persona" can turn the eyelids heavy, but the client-as-the-hero approach revs the imagination and transforms the persona into a living, breathing person and offers a more three-dimensional composite of your target audience segment.

Creating buyer personas for your business

As you’re creating buyer personas, start asking yourself some questions. What sort of villain is your hero battling? What outfit is your hero wearing? What’s their title?

No longer must you yawn when brainstorming about tactics Marketing Mike can use to fortify his inbound strategy. Instead, you’re helping Marketingman defeat The Blogonator who’s wreaking havoc on creative article ideas within Corporate City.

Okay, you don’t have to go quite that far. But framing the buyer persona this way gives you a clearer idea of what you, as a sidekick, should focus on. You’re not trying to save the world, and you’re not stealing your hero’s thunder; you're simply making yourself useful when disaster strikes your hero’s beloved city.

Related Content: How to Find Your Customer's Pain Points

As you strive to create truly vivid buyer personas, it can be helpful to collect some information through research and interviews:

  1. Their age and gender
  2. Their history as a hero
  3. How populous their city is
  4. What their superpower is (i.e., what they’re already doing well)
  5. What resources they already have
  6. Villains they’ve faced in the past
  7. Villains that make them nervous
  8. Their responsibilities
  9. Their civilian identity
  10. Why they might appreciate a sidekick

Bonus points:

  1. What they like to eat for breakfast
  2. Cape or no cape?
  3. Their favorite pastime

Give your hero, the villain, and yourself some color! The more vivid your personas, the better they’ll serve society.

How does your marketing stack up?

Topics: Strategy

Monica Guzman
Written by Monica Guzman

I believe that good storytelling – crafting content that actually speaks to an audience – requires humor, vulnerability, verve and voice. As a writer, artist and entrepreneur, I most enjoy working with those who eschew fear of the unconventional!

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