Detailed, in-depth buyer personas provide a foundational understanding of your prospective customers' wants, needs, and personalities. You should know how to share your buyer personas properly with the different departments whose work affects customer experiences.
A strong buyer persona report template is the first step towards standardizing how everyone in your organization understands target customers’ needs and desires.
Let’s take a look at some best practices you should apply to your persona report building.
Rather use Beacons Point’s standard persona report template? Download it in our resource pack today.
Why You Need a Buyer Persona Report Template
One of the key benefits of having a buyer persona report template is the ability to maintain consistency across your personas while making it easier to adjust the personas should their preferences change over time.
Additionally, report templates ensure that all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. You gather a ton of data insights through persona research. By constructing a persona template before you even begin your research, you’re much less likely to forget important details from your research in the final report.
Templates also make the report-building process much less daunting. Instead of attempting to fill a blank sheet of paper with all of the hopes and fears of your customers in a concise and comprehensive manner, the setup work is already done for you. Trust that the strategy behind each section of the persona report has already been considered and let your research flood into each predefined section.
What strategy goes into constructing a buyer persona report template? Let’s take a look.
Key Factors to Include in a Persona Report Template
When creating your buyer persona report template, there are certain factors to consider and include. The big one to remember here is to mirror the sections from your interview questionnaire. These include:
Determine what each persona is attempting to achieve based on their specific wants or needs. What is the persona looking for and why?
What are some specific challenges that a persona may be trying to overcome? Consider the various pain points that may lead a persona to seek your products or services as a solution. Also, consider challenges they may experience that your customer service team can help resolve even after they make a purchase.
Interests and Behaviors
Take into account the specific interests your personas have and the behaviors they exhibit throughout the buyer's journey. Interests can help your marketing team figure out how to engage each persona, while detailing behaviors can help determine the most efficient path to lead them through the sales flywheel.
Consider how factors such as age, location, marital status, and gender may influence certain buying decisions, behaviors, challenges, wants, and needs.
A Concise "Story" Section Summarizing All Defining Characteristics
Remember that a persona is more than a collection of characteristics. A persona is supposed to be a human being with a unique story and personality that provides a complex definition of who they are. Consider what the “story” of your persona is and try to capture it within a single paragraph that constructs a viable narrative.
Taking all the minute details that you've gathered, construct a section that puts those details together into an empathetic story that humanizes them. For example, one of your personas may include a middle-aged office worker who endures a long commute to and from the downtown office to the suburbs. Once that person gets home, they will have a life that's separate from the job, with responsibilities around their family, maybe including a spouse or children. Doing what you can to understand the psychology and daily routine of your target audience will help your team fully empathize and truly connect with them.
An organized, arcing narrative can also help shape your marketing and content strategies to best connect with each persona. Addressing both the personal and professional needs of your audience can help establish you care about them and know how to help resolve the myriad challenges they face. In the end, your audience will be far more likely to trust you if you appeal to prospects as real people rather than consumers.
What Are Some Persona Report Template Best Practices?
To help you create consistently great buyer persona reports and get the most from them, here are some tips for creating and distributing them:
Send a Downloadable PDF Document
For optimal convenience, send a PDF to each team so they can download and review them for personal use.
Limit the Report to One Page
Ideally, your report should be no longer than a page. At the very max, try to keep it to two pages. Your reports should be concise and to-the-point, providing sufficient details in an efficient format that's easy to digest.
Use an Image That Accurately Represents the Persona
People are more visual in nature, so having a lot of descriptions may not be enough to effectively personify each persona. Try to match each persona with an image of a person, ideally a photo of a person smiling to encourage sympathy. This puts a specific image of each persona in the minds of each department, which — when attached to the written characteristics — can paint a fuller picture of your target audience, further humanizing your personas and, subsequently, your campaigns.
Use Bulleted Lists Where Appropriate
Another way to keep your buyer reports digestible for each team is to use organized bullet lists where possible. A bullet list can concisely clarify each point, whether it's the goals and challenges or the demographics of each persona. While a short paragraph containing the persona's story can be easily read, a large wall of text that can benefit from some breaks may deter readers. People are more likely to engage and retain information about each persona when that information is presented in a brief, well-constructed list.
Identify the Average Customer Lifetime Value
Consider the average customer lifetime value, including the max cost of customer acquisition. Consider what the maximum cost per customer acquisition (COCA) is and include it in your persona report.
For example, you may have a persona called Marketing Mike. If Marketing Mike were to purchase your products or services, you can predict he will stay loyal to your brand for two years based on your historical customer engagement, and that he's worth a maximum of around $30,000 over the course of those two years. In building that persona, you can determine that signing on a customer aligned with Marketing Mike will be worth approximately $30,000. Subsequently, you can more accurately determine how much to spend on your Marketing Mike-targeted campaigns with that COCA in mind.
Taking all of these aspects into account can help you develop top-quality, dependable buyer persona reports that prove to be invaluable for your business. Each team will have a strong understanding of each persona along with the specific roles they'll play in targeting and attracting them.