50 Questions To Help You Build A Buyer Persona

What is a buyer persona?

A well-developed buyer persona is your best friend when it comes to developing and implementing your marketing plan. When I present on stage, I ask every member of the audience to close their eyes and imagine their perfect customer: where he/she lives, what he/she does, how much he/she makes, etc. In just a few minutes, I ask a series of questions to help the crowd pinpoint their target audience for their next email marketing campaign or social media post.

The buyer persona helps you understand your prospects and customers better. It gives you insights into the demographics and psychographics of your ideal customer. With these insights, you can make more informed marketing decisions to attract, engage, and convert those customers. Depending on the type and size of your business, you may have only one buyer persona or more than 20. Ultimately, referring to your buyer persona when you create new marketing materials will help you to provide the information that your prospective customers need to digest in order to choose to do business with your company.
 

Why use a buyer persona?

Here’s an example of a sample buyer persona I put together. Notice how I added a name and a photo, so I could visualize my buyer persona:

Sample-buyer-persona-Mary.png

Somewhere in South Boston, there may very well be a 72-year old retired school teacher named Mary; if so, I’ve never met her. That being said, I can refer to this image and description of Mary when I’m building out my latest Facebook Ad or writing a new blog post for my website. I can even go so far as to ask Mary questions and think out loud through the answers as I review her description, “What would you want to hear, Mary?”

Yes, the buyer persona is a very powerful tool, but in order to benefit, you first need to build it out. Below are 50 questions to help you build a buyer persona. Some of your answers may come from common knowledge (i.e. my convenience store is in South Boston, so my customers live in South Boston.) Other answers may come from your sales or marketing team and/or metrics like Google My Business insights or Facebook reporting. You may even have to write a quick survey to grab some direct feedback from your current customers.

 

50 questions to help you build a buyer persona

Demographics

  1. Do you live in the city, suburbs, or rural area?

  2. Do you rent or own?

  3. What is your age?

  4. What is your gender?

  5. What is your education level?

  6. What is your marital status?

  7. Do you have children? How many?

  8. Do you have grandchildren? How many?

  9. What do you do for work?

  10. What is your current job level?

  11. How long have you been in your current job?

  12. What would you like to be doing for work in 3 years?

  13. What is your household income range?
     

Psychographics

  1. Do you prefer to shop in-store or online?

  2. Where do you look for product/service recommendations?

  3. Do you prefer reading articles, watching videos or speaking to a live person to learn more about a product or service?

  4. What offline resources do you use to conduct research?

  5. What online resources do you use to conduct research?

  6. How many [review] stars must a business have for you to consider it?

  7. What type of computer do you own?

  8. Do you own a smartphone, a tablet, or both?

  9. How often do you splurge on something fun or extravagant?

  10. What was your most extravagant purchase?

  11. On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for you to get a good deal?

  12. What drives you to buy: quality or value?
     

Day in the Life Questions

  1. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

  2. Do you get out of bed right away or hit snooze on your alarm?

  3. How much time do you spend traveling to work?

  4. What type of vehicle do you drive?

  5. How much time do you spend at work?

  6. How much time do you spend at home?

  7. What do you enjoy doing on your days off?

  8. Who are the most important people in your life?

  9. What do you watch on TV?

  10. Who is your favorite actor?

  11. What is your favorite movie of all time?

  12. What is your favorite song right now?

  13. Who is your favorite athlete?
     

Digging Deeper Questions

  1. What keeps you up at night?

  2. What frustrates you most during the day?

  3. What is the worst customer service experience you have ever had?

  4. What regular activity stresses you out?

  5. What makes you nervous and why?

  6. How can someone make you very angry?

  7. What is the one job you would never consider doing?

  8. What purchase over $XX do you regret the most?

  9. What purchase under $XX do you regret the most?

  10. What are your 3 proudest personal accomplishments?

  11. What are 3 things you want to accomplish in the next year?

  12. What makes you happy?

By finding the answers to these questions, you’ll have a pretty substantial buyer persona, but that is just the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg. As you move forward with your marketing, you’ll want to continue diving deeper and deeper into your buyer persona: adding more questions to your list and refining your existing answers. Stay with this exercise, and it will provide you with a huge return on your digital marketing strategy.

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Jake Burns