Personas are the most critical element of creating messaging. They inform Message Maps, and help identify and develop content aligned with the buy cycle. They validate the components of a buyer engagement strategy. Personas drive messaging, and ultimately content strategy.
Personas typically focus on demographic, firmographic, and psychographic descriptions of buyers. These are all important requirements for buyer understanding, but the single most important function a Persona is helping organize and prioritize buyers by pain points to drive engagement. Personas too often lead to “domain-centric” content rather than engagement-focused content – foundational element of a buyer engagement strategy.
We use the term “Engagement Personas” to reflect the importance of this buyer engagement role. Engagement Personas are based on key buyer and influencer roles within the target audience. They represent an buyer-centric perspective with pain points that are relative to your solutions. We organize and prioritize the pain points and connect them to segment-specific narrative. Pain Maps enable you to create Engagement Personas by prioritizing the pain points that will ultimately inform the message development process. Message Maps provide the insights required to create compelling content. There is often overlap between segments/buyer types which allows for more efficient message and content development.
Pain Maps and Engagement Personas are created through interviews with SMEs and stakeholders, primary and secondary research, surveys, and interviews with a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside of your target audience, including industry analysts and thought-leaders.