Create the best buyer persona with these 51 questions.
Updated: May 15, 2019
I am hoping that by now you must have defined at least one buyer persona. If you are still confused regarding how to go about it, please check out my previous post, A beginner's guide to Buyer Persona: What is it & Why is it important?
Now, let’s move on to the things you should bear in mind while defining your buyer persona
Buyer Persona as we know by now is an overall description of your ideal customer. Outlining a persona will help you take informed decisions as you will be able to break away from the ambiguity & some futile discussions. In this post I would like to share some important points that you should keep in mind while creating a persona:
- Garbage Information = NULL
The first point to consider while drafting your persona is that there should be no irrelevant information. Please refrain from adding any information which will not assisting you either communicate or build the product better. Meet Daisy, 65. She resides in small town which has limited internet connectivity. She keeps in touch with her family through calls & SMS.
- Equal Contribution = MAX
Creating a buyer persona is not a one man’s job, it’s a collective affair. Any kind of a company will have variety of buyer persona as the need of every customer would differ however, your job is to find similarities & club them together. It’s important to note that if there are no key differentiators in your persona, you will only come up with vague descriptions.
- Seek and you shall find!
You can only create successful buyer persona if you are inquisitive enough & understand the reason behind the choices. Do not be afraid of asking ‘WHY’. People generally refrain from talking about themselves in such kind of formats & so, to get a better understanding of their behaviour & choices, you should always be prepared to dig deep to understand their behaviour.
- Keep the framework handy.
You should always keep a structure ready which can help you get specific answers. This will not only help you to drive the conversation, it will also get you all the data points you need to design your detailed persona.
- Know your competition.
Very often, we tend to think that we do know our competitors really well. The word competitor brings upon the traditional comparative factors in your mind like the ones operating in the same segment as you & offering similar products/services however, you should always look for substitutes. Donalds & Dominos are competitors as they are both QSRs & let’s say are in the vicinity. however, would a person choose only between dominos or McDonalds if he is hungry? Can he not satisfy his hunger by munching on a chocolate bar? This type of competitor is called as “Indirect Competitor”. Indirect competitors typically belong to the same industry & intend to solve the same consumer need however, their product & offerings are different.
If you would like to know more about competitors, you can check out my blog on the 4 types of competitors & how to handle them.
Let’s now get onto to drafting the questions that you ought to ask while conducting the interview. All the questions can be classified into different categories 7 it will depend on how much you already know about the person you are interviewing. I have tried to group the questions together so that you understand the flow better however, feel free to customise it according to your target audience.
What is your name?
How old are you?
Are you married?
Tell us about your educational background.
Which is the highest degree that you hold?
What type of colleges did you attend?
How long have you been working?
Which social media websites are you present at?
Which SM platform are you most active at?
How do you keep yourself up to date with the happenings in your industry?
What are the skills required to do your job?
How do you prefer to shop?
Which are your favourite books?
Which are your favourite blogs?
Do you watch TV? Which is your favorite show?
What do you use internet the most for?
What do you use laptop & mobile for?
Do you use mobile for surfing?
On a scale of 1-5 how techy are you?
Which is your preferred mode of communication with your vendors?
What are the modes that you do to research about your prospect/ vendor?
Which is the most recent item that you purchased and which were the influencing factors that drove that purchase?
What is your stance on startups?
Do you shop online? Till what ticket price are you comfortable shopping at?
What was your first job?
Which is the industry did you start your job in?
How many industries have you worked in? Can you please name them?
Describe your career path
Who do you report into?
How many report into you?
How long do you stay in one job on an average
When do you plan to retire?
Who do you turn to for advice?
Do you advocate any brand? which are the mediums used by you to advocate them?
Behavior & Inspirations
What do you do for fun?
What is one hobby that you haven’t been able to pursue?
Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
What are the five softwares that you use on a daily basis?
Which are your most used softwares /app at work?
What type of community do you stay at?
Which car do you drive? How many cars do you own?
Are you a member of any clubs?
How would you give an elevator pitch of our company?
Which associations & panels do you actively participate in?
What is the most favourite part about your job?
What is the least favourite part about your job?
Just like my other blogs, I generally like to answer the question what now? Once you are done interviewing & gathering all the information. Put it all together & look for Points Of Parity (POP) & Points Of Difference (POD). You will start seeing patterns which will help you write better persona. You can also give them fictitious name & an image which you can quickly associate with while browsing through different personas.
Do not be daunted by the sheer length of the questionnaire, you will be able to craft a good buyer persona even if the person answers half of the questions. Do not treat this as bible which you have to abide by the whole time. Use this as a ready reckoner or a framework that you can refer to every time you need any assistance.
Please remember personas help you to not only tailor your communication but it will also allow you to maintain a consistent voice which would be customised according to each target segment.
Do not just do this exercise for the heck of it. Please put it in use every time you are launching a new product or are entering a new market. You will notice a huge difference in campaigns.