This article originates from a presentation at the Product Marketing Summit in San Francisco, 2022. Catch up on this presentation, and others, using our OnDemand service. For more exclusive content, visit your membership dashboard.
Let’s start with a quick game of two truths and a lie. There are three statements below. All you need to do is figure out which one is the lie.
- Buyer persona is the same as buyer profile.
- Buyer journeys are not always linear.
- Personas are never static.
What do you think?
The lie is number one: a buyer persona is the same as a buyer profile. Well done if you got it right! This is one fundamental thing I want to leave with you today. Buyer personas and buyer profiles are two different things.
When we think about buyer profiles – your IT Ivans and your marketing Megans – we geek out about their demographics, their roles, and what a day in their lives looks like. Then all that information goes into a long, long document.
The buyer persona takes a fundamentally different approach. It’s not so much about the buyer’s role as it is about how they make the buying decision. What are the criteria? What is their journey? Zooming in on the buying aspect is key. While a buyer profile could be one-dimensional, the buyer persona looks at multiple attributes.
A real-life buying process
Let’s look at a real example of a buying process – with Pokémon cards.
My son is the buyer; his thought process is, “is this Pokémon card real or fake?” His cousin is the key influencer in the buying process; he’s always saying, “always buy your cards from a pack, not online!”
I’ll be honest: I still don't get it. The final stakeholders are me and my husband. Our role is to make sure that our son isn’t getting scammed. Then, on the vendor side, tons of amazing platforms personalize, hyper-personalize, and share ads and offers.