Let’s be honest – it’s impossible to know every one of your customers on a personal level. People are dynamic, so the process of classifying them can be long, drawn out, and filled with uncertainty. Although it can be a challenge, having a personal touch in your marketing is crucial for ensuring your business can cut through the clutter and crush the competition.

So how does one accomplish this? The answer is to craft well-built buyer personas. Buyer personas play an important role in helping your marketing team understand who their audience is and how to access them, as well as helping your sales team better understand the customers they’re selling to. When your content truly solves for your customers’ problems, the content gets read, and your prospects begin to trust your brand. Plus, quality content that answers relevant questions will rank higher in terms of SEO, because it addresses what people are searching for.

How do you find out what problems your customer and prospects are experiencing? Easy. Just ask them.

Setting up Buyer Persona Interviews

So, who should you interview? Make sure you speak with customers from different backgrounds. Your buyer personas should reflect the diversity of your customer base so that you have a clear understanding of who your buyers are.

Related: The Power of Aligning Your Marketing and Sales Teams

Before you dive in headfirst, there are certain questions you should ask to ensure that your content marketing strategy will be able to reach your target audience. And it’s not just enough to ask the questions. It’s also important to make sure that you are asking the right questions to ensure your inbound marketing strategy will be a success. Remember, your goal is to understand what motivates your customers, what fears they have, and what problems they face, so that you can create content that truly solves their problems. Your questions must yield answers that can help you move your content strategy forward.

Buyer Persona Interview Questions

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! We’ve compiled this list of key questions to ask in your buyer persona interviews:

  1. How would you describe the industry in which your company does business?
  2. What is your job role? Your title?
  3. How long have you had this role and title?
  4. How is your job measured? Do you have numbers you’re responsible for?
  5. What do you worry about when it comes to “hitting your numbers?”
  6. What does a typical day look like?
  7. What do you do when you’re most productive?
  8. Are you spending more time at work or at home?
  9. Where would you rather be?
  10. If you were hiring someone to replace you and had to write a job description of what’s actually required, what would it say?
  11. What are your biggest challenges?
  12. What does it mean to be successful in your role?
  13. How do you learn about new information for your job? How do you stay informed?
  14. If you’re online learners, do you visit social networks? Do you use Google?
  15. Which publications or blogs do you read?
  16. How do you prefer to interact with vendors? (email, phone, in person)
  17. Describe a recent purchase.
  18. Why did you consider a purchase? What was the evaluation process?
  19. How did you decide to purchase that product or service?
  20. What might make you reticent to buy from a provider in your industry?

You might then decide to ask demographic information such as income level, education history, and more. Sometimes it’s easier to ask the lighter questions first before digging into that demographic information.

Why Asking the Right Questions is So Important

Buyer personas are designed to help you find out what your customers are like, and what they want and need, so that you can ensure your marketing efforts are better tailored to them. This information also plays a key role in guiding product development. Buyer personas provide insight into what your customers’ goals are so that you can help them overcome any obstacles that may be keeping them from achieving their desired objective.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits is that you improve efficiency for your sales and marketing teams. With buyer personas crafted, your business is now able to maximize valuable visitors, leads, and customers while offering more personalized service.

Asking the right questions to your buyers is important because well-crafted buyer personas provide a realistic profile of your actual buyers so that you can align your content with what’s most important to them. Findings from these interviews will also help you to understand your ideal buyers’ decision-making process. Keep in mind that buyer behavior and motivations can change over time, so you should conduct buyer persona interviews regularly to ensure your marketing strategy is based on current data. For help with research and developing accurate buyer personas, reach out to Ironmark’s marketing experts. We’ll be happy to help you craft the right set of personas – perfectly matched to your ideal customers.

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This article was originally posted by Ironmark at http://blog.ironmarkusa.com/buyer-persona-interviews