Ask These Questions in Your Buyer Persona Interviews

Posted by Sarah Wai on May 18, 2017 9:22:00 AM

buyer persona interview questions

We talk a lot about Buyer Personas at Tribute Media because they're a critical factor in effective Inbound Marketing. But many of you may be asking: "How do I start researching and creating these personas from scratch?"

It all begins with asking the right questions. From there, you create your buyer personas, then you ask more questions and refine your personas.

Read on for the questions we recommend you ask in your initial interviews, as well as additional questions to refine your personas later, and finally, tips on how to utilize your personas.

Establishing a Base for Your Buyer Personas

There are some essential questions to ask in your buyer persona interviews that will start you in the right direction.

Remember, you must interview multiple people who represent each persona. You can't just base your buyer persona on one person. For example, at Tribute Media, the majority of us love to drink Dr. Pepper. Do we ALL drink Dr. Pepper? No. But if you knew that most of us drank it, you’d have an advantage if you were trying to sell it to us.

Let’s take a look at the basic questions we should be asking to establish our initial personas. These are also included in our Buyer Persona Worksheets, which are available for download below. 

Background

  • What is their job position/role? Are they a decision maker? Or do they have influence with the decision maker?
  • What is their level of education? What kinds of schools do they typically attend?
  • Are they on a career path or have another defining path they are on?
  • Do they tend to have a family? How does that affect their decisions?

Some deeper questions to ask:

  • Do they typically work in a particular industry?
  • What’s their company size in terms of revenue or number of employees?
  • How do they prefer to act around vendors? Do they prefer a particular sales experience?

Demographics

  • Gender?
  • Age or generation?
  • Income range?
  • Where are they located? City? Small town? By particular geographical landmarks such as mountains, rivers, oceans, etc.

Identifiers

  • What is their demeanor typically?
  • Do they typically have a communication preference?

Some deeper questions to ask:

  • Where and how do they consume information?
  • Where do they go to stay informed? A blog? Print or online news publications? Webinars?
  • What does a typical day look like for them?
  • What products or services do they tend to love or hate?
  • What social networks are they in, or social media platforms are they using?
  • What’s their evaluation process before purchasing products or services?

Goals

  • What are their primary goals?
  • Do they have common secondary goals?

Some deeper questions to ask:

  • How is their job performance measurable? Are they hitting their numbers?

Your greatest advantage is knowing how you can help them achieve their goals and overcome their challenges

Challenges

  • What are their primary challenges or pain points?
  • Secondary?

Some deeper questions to ask:

  • How do their challenges affect their everyday life?

You don’t know what you don’t know

All the answers to these questions help you define what kind of persona your products or services are designed for and appeal to. You may think you understand who you designed a product or services for, but who it appeals to and who actually looks for it could be VERY different. That’s where these questions come in handy.

For a B2C company, some of these questions may simply help you better understand the nuances of your personas. However, for B2B companies, much of this information is crucial to understanding your target audience. You want your message to be consistent company-wide.

You never want to assume you know your personas completely. You need to take the initiative and ask your top clients or customers these questions. You don’t always need to ask them outright or in survey form, but ask them in genuine conversation to get a feel for what makes them tick. This aspect of your marketing strategy is a key component and, if utilized correctly, can make all the difference in reaching your goals.

buyer persona guide

Sarah Wai

Written by Sarah Wai

Content Connoisseur of Tribute Media. B.S. in Media Communications. Hubspot and Inbound Certified.

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