Iterative Marketing Podcast Episode 3: Persona Discovery

Personas are a key marketing tool digital marketers use to see the world through the eyes of their target audience. In this week’s episode, Elizabeth and Steve explain how personas create a shared vocabulary in organizations while creating focus and personalization in marketing collateral. ​

Episode Show Notes

Introduction and Definition of Marketing Personas

(0:00 – 1:03) Introduction To Iterative Marketing Podcast: The Iterative Marketing Podcast provides marketers and entrepreneurs with actionable ideas, techniques, and examples to improve marketing results. The podcast hosts, Steve Robinson and Elizabeth Earin are excited about introducing the topic of persona and its definition. Resources and notes from the show can be obtained by signing up at

(1:03 – 1:56) Personas in Iterative Marketing: Definition: Personas are fictitious individuals representing a larger audience segment with shared understandings, worldviews, and experiences. They help marketers keep target audiences top of mind while working. Personas are crucial to the iterative marketing methodology.

The Benefits of Personas in Marketing

(1:56 – 3:29) Persona Discovery: Enhancing Collaboration Across Teams and Vendors: Persona discovery is an actionable component in marketing, offering benefits like creating a shared vocabulary for organizations and external vendors. This shared understanding facilitates better collaboration on marketing initiatives and operational changes. Documenting and communicating personas helps align teams, making them useful for the entire organization and external agencies.

(3:29 – 5:52) Personas: Enhancing Targeted Marketing and Streamlining Decision-Making: Organizations can use multiple personas to make informed decisions in marketing, media buying, and creative work, simplifying the decision-making process by focusing on the persona rather than the individual marketer, media buyer, or creative professional. Personas help agencies better understand target audiences, resulting in a sharpened focus for collateral, creative work, and media channels. This allows organizations to empathize with their audience and create tailored marketing materials that address their needs, ultimately increasing the likelihood of purchasing.

(5:52 – 7:29) Leveraging Personas for Personalization and Deeper Customer Understanding: Personas provide marketers with insights into customers’ motivations and frustrations, enabling better understanding and personalization. They help create uniquely tailored collateral for specific audience segments based on their experiences, worldviews, and interests. Using personas facilitates personalization and marketing automation in the future, allowing businesses to cater to different personas for a higher level of personalization.

Charity Outreach

(7:29 – 8:37) Charity Break: REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program

Building Effective Personas

(8:37 -12:23) Crafting Effective B2B and B2C Personas: Key Differences and Best Practices: B2C personas focus on the individual’s life, experiences, feelings, and preferences in their personal life. Job titles or work-related information are less relevant in this context, while B2B personas consider job titles, work dynamics, and the decision-making process. B2B personas often involve multiple stakeholders and shared work-related characteristics. Marketers should be cautious about generalizing personal life aspects in B2B personas. Instead, they should focus on the shared characteristics relevant to the work environment. Once marketers have determined whether they are creating a B2B or B2C persona, they can proceed with persona development, considering each type’s unique characteristics and requirements.

(12:23 – 13:16) Identifying and Researching Your Best-Fit Clients: The next step in creating personas is conducting research. Start by gathering the right people and identifying your best-fit clients based on your current client roster. Focus on clients that, if replicated, would significantly benefit your business. Avoid building personas around aspirational or ideal clients, as obtaining relevant research and verifying their compatibility with your current offerings may be difficult. Once you’ve identified your target clients, gather information through various research methods to comprehensively understand their needs, preferences, and behaviors.

(13:16 – 17:16) Key Considerations for Research, Testing, and Refinement: Traditional research for creating personas involves using LinkedIn, Facebook, and website analytics to gather demographic data. Sales or customer service teams should be involved in the persona creation process as they interact with customers daily. It is best to have fewer people in the room when creating personas. Test personas by showing them to customers and gathering feedback. Fill gaps in personas, make necessary assumptions, and refine them based on new learnings and insights. A complete persona, even if inaccurate, is more beneficial than an incomplete one as it helps build empathy and understanding of the target audience.

(17:16 – 19:37) Avoiding Over-Specification and Staying True to the Iterative Methodology: The creation of personas presents a few key challenges, one of which is deciding where to start and end each persona and how to bucket the target audience. Starting small is essential to prevent being overwhelmed during the setup and implementation phases. Another common mistake is getting caught up in creating overly specific personas with unnecessary details that exclude a broad representation of the target audience. Instead, personas should provide just enough information to put oneself in their shoes without losing sight of the big picture. It’s crucial to stay true to the Iterative marketing methodology and dial in the persona at the right altitude to ensure it speaks to the right people.

(19:37 – 22:44Creating Effective Marketing Personas: Finding the Balance Between Depth and Utility: The importance of creating personas for marketing purposes is emphasized. However, it is cautioned that going too far in creating multiple personas may result in characters that lack depth and relatability. Providing enough background and detail to make the persona realistic and empathetic is crucial. The objective is not to categorize people based on their purchasing habits but to understand their thoughts and decisions. The product or service offered should factor into the persona to some extent, but it should not be the main focus. Finally, a persona’s usefulness depends on how often it is used and updated, and it should not be treated as an exercise but as a powerful tool,

Join Us Next Time

(22:44 – 24:16Conclusion: The hosts suggest creating a persona before the next podcast episode about the customer journey. They encourage listeners to use examples available online and share their successes and challenges with personas. The episode concludes with an invitation to sign up for the Brilliant Metrics newsletter. Don’t miss out on the latest and most actionable marketing advice! 

Iterative Marketing is a part of the Brilliant Metrics organization. If you would like more information on the marketing services provided by the expert team at Brilliant Metrics, reach out today for a free discovery call.

The Iterative Marketing Podcast,  a production of Brilliant Metrics, ran from February 2016 to September 2017. Music by SeaStock Audio.

Learn more about Iterative Marketing and listen to other episodes on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.

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