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Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business Hardcover – March 9, 2015
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From the Inside Flap
The best way to understand what people want is to get to know them. Businesses are beginning to re-embrace this truth, and to realize that Big Data reveals only part of the customer's story. Marketing surveys have indicated that, within the next couple of years, at least 80 percent of all marketers will be using buyer personas to define their audiences and guide business strategies. Those who have already tried the technique have been amazed by its ease and value, yet, for many, buyer personas are still not translating to increased business. Buyer Personas is a long-awaited how-to guide for marketers who want to implement buyer-expert marketing effectively.
Creating buyer personas is the process of conducting one-on-one interviews with customers to get a handle on their mind-sets, understand their purchasing decisions, and build three-dimensional profiles of real buyers. But how are these interviews conducted? And then what? Buyer Personas addresses these questions in a concise and refreshingly relatable way. Adele Revella hopscotches over fads and hysteria to prove that asking customers about their decisionsand then systematically analyzing their answersis one of the most powerful strategies around.
"Know your customer" is an adage as old as marketing itself, but, in the digital era, many are forgetting this timeless truth. Although it's possible to gather mountains of information on just about anything, no amount of data will help marketers understand customers as wellor as quicklyas simply listening. Interview a customer tomorrow morning, and by tomorrow afternoon you will have robust new knowledge of how your buyers think, without any of the pitfalls that accompany less people-centered approaches.
Buyer Personas provides immediately actionable, step-by-step procedures and answers to the questions that marketers ask as they begin to build and use buyer personas. Beginning with the principles of buyer persona marketing, then proceeding to a practical method for contract or in-house buyer persona development, the book concludes with the most crucial elementmaking use of buyer personas once they have been generated. Countless examples show that this last step is where too many marketing executives fall short. They focus on the goal of creating buyer personas without a clear plan that guarantees a useful outcome. The third section of Buyer Personas assures that the buyer persona initiative leads to sales and marketing activities that measurably impact business goals.
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR BUYER PERSONAS
"I find that most marketers have no 'real' idea how to develop buyer personas for their organization. This critical component is either missing or completed incorrectly for the majority of enterprises. Don't let this happen to you. Buy this book and implement this strategy in your organization today."
Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute and Author of Epic Content Marketing
"In an age of Big Data analytics, where all the emphasis has been on B2C marketers inferring consumer buying tendencies by crunching Web logs, it is good to see new work on the qualitative side of the ledger, focused on specific individuals making considered purchase decisions shaped by personal and social values. Adele's focus on buyer personas provides a great platform for building B2B marketing campaigns."
Geoffrey Moore, Author of Crossing the Chasm
"Business schools advise marketers to listen to customers. Adele Revella provides a powerful methodology to understand customers. This book is an important contribution to the marketing literature. Highly recommended."
S. Thomas Emerson, Distinguished Career Professor of Entrepreneurship, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
"'If you build it they will come' no longer works in the high tech industry. Adele's book is a practical guide to starting with the customer first, making your marketing more relevant so you can close more business faster. Most important is her approach to understanding why buyers don't choose your solutions, providing the marketing innovator with an opportunity to turn objections into key selling points."
Bridget C. Bisnette, Senior Director, Cisco Systems
"In a world where marketing is increasingly about listening to your customers and meeting their needs, you need to find a way to both do that well and do it efficiently. Here, Adele Revella delivers the prescription."
Ann Handley, Author of the bestselling Everybody Writes and Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
"Look no further than this tried-and-true playbook from the reigning queen of the buyer persona. Adele Revella's practical, step-by-step approach has been immensely valuable to help us develop a more effective messaging strategy. Buyer personas help us get inside the consumer's mind-set, instead of falling back on the 'me-too messaging' that's so prevalent in our industry."
Marissa Myers, Director of Marketing, Dreyfus Sotheby's International
"Adele's message is simple but incredibly powerfulmarket from an understanding of what really matters to buyers. It might sound simple, but it's hard to do. Want to know your customer better? Want a better way to communicate with them? Want to change the game on your sales and marketing? This book shows the way, with a clear and effective road map for developing and using personas."
Tim Cook, Partner & Vice President of Client Services, The Mx Group
Top customer reviews
Buyer Personas not only explains why you should adopt the methodology, but the author also walks you step by step through how to conduct buyer interviews, assimilate interview data, transform data into insights, build the persona(s) and design the messaging that will resonate with buyers. Don't be deceived by short cut processes to create summaries of buyers that describe college education, magazine subscriptions and little else. This is the only methodology that works.
Buyer Personas is a wonderful book and an important service to the marketing community. So many misconceptions are floating around about how to create buyer personas, it's a wonder anyone creates and uses them correctly. I believe few companies do. Of the 14 or 15 companies I've worked with, not a single one has created and used effective buyer personas. I've created a few myself, and this book helps me see the mistakes I made along the way.
I think the problem is that few people understand what a good buyer persona is, why it's valuable, and how to use it in marketing. Fewer still know how to create them. They settle instead for demographic profiles, composite portraits, and second-hand information gathered from salespeople.
You can search for hours on the Web to learn about creating and using buyer personas. You'll come up with a lot of superficial, vague, and conflicting recommendations. Now you can just buy this book and be confident you're getting your information from a single authoritative source.
Ms. Ravella's book appears to hold back no secrets or tricks of the trade. It's a true how-to guide, loaded with plenty of practical advice. After reading it, you can make great progress in creating and using your own personas. Ms. Ravella makes it clear that the only good way to create effective personas is to interview customers and prospects. And she explains that process in detail, right down to where to get names, how to contact them for appointments, what questions to ask in the interviews, how to conduct effective interviews, and how to compile and present the information you learn. I highlighted page after page in the Kindle edition.
Ms. Ravella also explains how to sell the concept of buyer personas to skeptical managers. It's clear she's been through the process many times and has developed advice to avoid or overcome many of the practical challenges people are likely to face.
This is not one of those 30,000-foot overviews that's designed to generate leads and credibility for the author's business. You'll find Buyer Personas informative and very useful even if you intend never to hire Ms. Ravella's company. Yet after reading this book, I think many bigger companies with the means to hire her will see they'd be foolish not to do so.
I am happy to have found this book. If you're serious about creating good buyer personas, you'll also be happy to have read it.