For this project, students will conduct a thorough buyer persona creation process. This will entail (1) working with a client who sells high-consideration products or services, (2) interviewing various decision makers and influencers involved with the buying process (not all from the same company), and (3) identifying patterns and trends in the interviews that help to create one or more buyer personas for the client. The follow up project is a marketing proposal that uses buyer persona insights to recommend improvements to existing marketing strategy.
We will be following Adele Revella's Buyer Personas method, which is both popular and proven. Her method calls for the use of unstructured interviews to dig deep with buyers. This will help us understand how, when and why the buyer buys. It addresses many questions, such as what would make the buyer choose one product over its competitor. It's not a simple demographic/psychographic profile.
How does this benefit the client?
Clients will benefit from increased insight into what makes their customers tick. This is a strategic competitive advantage. It is also important for businesses to work with students because it helps them think critically about what they are doing and it gives them an opportunity to mentor the next generation of business leaders.
What do we need from the client?
We will need access to five or six customers. They should not all be from the same buying center or company. They can be decision makers, influencers or users. Variety is optimal. If possible, it would be great to include one or two who decided not to buy from you for any reason. If you can give us names and contact info, the students will reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to participate in a 30-minute interview for a school project.
How does this benefit the students?
This process will help the students gain confidence as they work with customers and clients. It will also help them learn to empathize and see the world from their customer's point of view. Few outside of sales ever have the opportunity to talk directly with customers. Lastly, it gives the students a useful tool for evaluating the effectiveness of existing sales and marketing efforts and developing a plan for improvement.