Here is a frequently asked question — who should develop our buyer personas? For years I answered the question within the questioner's expected context — I'd say that the people in marketing or, more specifically, product marketing, should own this responsibility. But that's not my answer now. It just wasn't working.
After years of observing the people who thrive in the role of persona creator, plus tons of feedback from people who have made no progress whatsoever, I've noticed that people who readily produce good personas may work in marketing, but they are just as likely to work in other departments. So I've decided to build a persona for the people who excel at buyer persona work.
This is not a well-researched persona, just the accumulation of a lot of years of observations. I'm writing this post to see if I'm on the right track
Let's call this guy Michael, the persona who thrives on buyer persona creation (note that I've found a 50/50 split between males and females for this persona). Michael is . . .
- Extroverted — he gets energy from being around people, both socially and professionally
- Curious, open-minded — he will take a position on a topic but also wants to hear from new sources to get input and other ideas
- Married with two children, having a family is important to Michael
- Is a life-long learner — reads a lot, follows some blogs, loves to attend conferences when possible
- Empathic — has a well-developed capacity to read between the lines and hear what others are not saying
- Confident — he is happy to ask questions to clarify what he thought he heard, and to reach out to talk to people he doesn't know
- In Myers-Briggs, Michael is an ENFJ (although I've seen ENTJs who are also attuned to this work)
- Wants to influence others — has a blog but feels that he doesn't spend enough time on it — Michael is very busy
- Likes to work with the sales people and the sales people like him too — he gets called into too many sales situations and struggles to get his other work done
What did I miss? Do you know anyone who loves to build buyer personas who isn't at all like Michael?