Creating buyer personas for lead generation is extremely useful, helping you personalise your campaigns to see improved results. Buyer personas work hand in hand with personalisation, making it easier to personalise and tailor campaigns to specific audiences rather than a generic, broad audience.

Why Your Lead Generation Buyer Personas Are Failing

Although the majority of businesses make use of buyer personas (also known as profiles), many assume that personas can be set and forgotten about. Others make the mistake of creating overly complicated or overly simplified personas. Then there are those that focus on the wrong data, which can have an impact on the persona’s ability to target the right customer.

Wondering why you are not seeing any results from your lead generation buyer personas? You could be making one of the following mistakes.

In this guide, we take a look at the biggest reasons that your buyer personas are not getting you the lead generation results you are hoping to achieve.

1. Underestimating the role they play

You know that buyer personas play a key role in personalised campaigns. You know that they help you create highly targeted strategies designed to reach your ideal customer. While this knowledge is certainly essential, there are a few other things that you may not be considering. Personas offer a way to engage customers on a far deeper level by speaking their language. They can also help you fine-tune your various lead nurturing strategies so that you head in the right direction. Personas can also help to increase trust and grow reputation, by delivering the right content to the right audience in the right way. Once you begin to realise what a valuable tool that personas offer, you will be able to start crafting personas that generate results.

2. Focusing on the wrong data

It is easy to focus all of your efforts on demographics. Demographics are important to include but there is other data that can be equally or even more important. Think about how your customers find you – the marketing channels they use, the way they interact with brands online, their level of technological understanding, and other, similar factors. Think about the type of things your customers are interested in – socially, digitally, and emotionally. Understanding your customers means understanding not only where they are based and which demographic they fall into but also what they do online and how they use online channels to find information and products. One of the best ways to get accurate data is to invest in a comprehensive digital marketing dashboard that allows you to track data in real-time.

3. Using bias or assumptions

Another thing that is all too easy to do is letting bias or assumptions guide your personas. This is where reporting comes into play. If you are not using data to craft your personas, you are taking a very real risk of making assumptions. Assuming that your target customer uses specific social media channels can end up with you targeting the wrong customers on channels that may not be driving your results. Likewise, thinking that current customers can be used to model buyer personas can also affect your results. Bias happens when you rely on guesswork rather than cold, hard data. Make sure that you have taken the time to thoroughly and carefully follow the data when creating and perfecting your personas.

4. Overly simple personas

The trouble with overly simple personas is that they focus only on the most obvious factors. This could include basic demographics, for example, without factoring in average spend, preferred channels or other information that could drive results. Overly simplified personas may reach a wider audience. They will not always fine-tune your targeting to your target audience. The more information your persona has, the more easily you will be able to target customers. This will help you create and implement personalised campaigns that are tailored to a specific customer type rather than a broader audience.

5. Overly complicated personas

At the same time, you want to be careful not to go overboard. An overly complex persona can be equally ineffective as an overly simplified persona. You do not need to know absolutely every single thing there is to know about your audience. You do not want to alienate and worry customers by asking for personal information that has no relevance to your lead generation campaigns. Getting a comprehensive overview is one thing. Going too deeply into specifics seldom helps. Aside from putting off new customers, it also makes it harder to reach your ideal audience without being hyper-specific.

6. Forgetting about negative personas

You know what type of customer you want to attract. What about the type of customer you don’t want to attract? Negative personas can be a very useful tool to help you stay on track. This type of persona includes the qualities you don’t want in a customer – everything your lead generation campaigns should avoid, in other words. This would include similar perimeters as your ideal customer personas, except you would be focusing on criteria you want to avoid. Knowing and identifying the type of customers you should be avoiding is helpful to keep your campaigns on track. It will also help you design strategies that stay clear of your imagined worst client.

7. Too many or too few personas

Don’t think that you can create one persona and call it a day. You have different types of customer, even if they share many traits in common. Honing in on one single target customer is the type of narrow-minded thinking that will make it far harder to attract customers who fall within your broader audience but are not being targeted. That doesn’t mean you have to create dozens of personas for every single type of customer. What it does mean is focusing on about six to eight types of customer and creating unique personas for each. Creating too many personas can quickly get confusing and complicated, making it much harder to plan personalised campaigns in the process.

Using Lead Generation Personas Properly

The good news is that you can perfect your buyer personas as you go, without having to start from scratch. You could make changes to certain parts of the persona, add additional personas, scale down personas, build up personas, simplify overly complicated personas, add negative personas or even review your current personas to see whether any updates are needed.

Personas are a tool that evolves and changes as your priorities change. You may find that you start to change your target audience as you explore new markets. You may find that your initial personas are no longer relevant as new technology and trends arise. By continually refining and improving your personas, you have the best chance of seeing results across your lead generation campaigns.

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