HomeBlog Audience Analysis: Can You Name Five Different Types of Personas?

Audience Analysis: Can You Name Five Different Types of Personas?

February 16, 2015 | By Rachel Young

  • Sales, marketing and product teams must develop an understanding of their target audiences at the persona level
  • Organizations leverage personas for product innovation and to create content and campaign strategies
  • SiriusDecisions defines five personas types, based on where in the innovation and go-to-market process the insights are best leveraged

For b-to-b organizations of all sizes, the growth outlook in the coming year is very positive. Opportunities abound in three of the growth pillars identified by SiriusDecisions: new markets, new innovative offerings and new buyers.

But to take advantage of any of these growth pillars, sales, marketing and product teams must develop a deep understanding of their target audiences – particularly at the persona level.

Best-in-class organizations leverage personas for product innovation, they rely on persona information to create content and campaign strategies. At SiriusDecisions, we’ve seen strong interest among our clients in persona-level audience definition.

Companies early in their utilization of personas commonly wonder what the most important types of personas are. SiriusDecisions defines five types of personas, based on where, during the innovation and go-to-market process, the relevant insights are best leveraged.

  • Buyer personas for go-to-market strategy and messaging. Buyer personas are developed by marketing to understand the specific needs, preferences and buying behavior of the job roles involved in the purchasing process for the offering. Persona definition feeds the market requirements, content and campaign strategy and sales enablement.
  • End-user personas for product design. User personas are developed by product management to understand the specific workflows of end users and consumers of the offerings. User profiles should describe specific use cases.
  • Web personas for Web usability. Web personas are developed by the Web team to understand the interaction and usability preferences of the target audience for the Web site and other Web properties associated with the offering or program.
  • Influencer personas for influencer relations. Personas for influencers such as media and analysts are developed by the communications team to encourage sharing and increased brand awareness.
  • Sales personas for sales enablement. Sales personas for both direct and indirect channels are developed by sales and marketing teams to understand seller needs, workflows and preferences. Persona definition feeds sales enablement strategy and planning.

As your organization takes on persona initiatives, be clear about the type of persona that is being defined and where the resultant insights are expected to be leveraged in marketing, sales and product workstreams.

 

Rachel Young

Rachel Young is a Senior Research Director of Portfolio Marketing at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years of experience in product and solution marketing, demand generation and communications. Follow Rachel on Twitter at @rpyoung_.

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