Creating Expert Buyer Personas – John Fernandez of Jibe

John Fernandez is the Senior Director of Analytics and Operations at Jibe, a recruitment marketing platform that makes hiring easier for both job applicants and recruiters. 

You champion creating buyer personas and unifying user experience across channels. Why are these so critical to marketers’ success right now?

Digital marketing is at a very delicate juncture right now, I feel. On the one hand, it has never been more important to the success of every business, on the other hand, forces are placing digital marketers at the center of a massive nuclear arms race.

Digital marketers are expected to be at the front lines for all the terms C-level executives are being introduced to, terms they hadn’t heard of just a couple of years ago, whether it is “big data” or “content marketing” or “social” or “Panda & Penguin” or “mobile & tablet” or “marketing automation.” These executives are being bombarded with topic after topic that they need the digital marketers to respond to, have a strategy in place, and execute successfully on.

Digital marketers are expected to be at the front lines for all the terms C-level executives are being introduced to, terms they hadn’t heard of just a couple of years ago, whether it is “big data” or “content marketing” or “social” or “Panda & Penguin” or “mobile & tablet” or “marketing automation.”

Of course, most digital organizations now have all these things to worry about, but nowhere near the additional resources they need to execute well.

The trend I think we should be focusing on right now is a result of this issue, and its fragmentation – of systems, analytics, and most importantly, user experience.

Consumers, whether individual customers or businesses, don’t care about what device they are using, or what part of your internal systems they are in when they want to interact with you.

When they are on an Android Phone or an iPad or a Chromebook or a Macbook Air or a desktop PC, they expect the same experience whether through the website, a mobile app, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or the e-mail communications they’re getting from a marketing automation system, sales CRM, or customer support portals.

This fragmentation is creating a very inconsistent, and frustrating experience. Those organizations which can maintain a unified message and experience will have an enormous advantage over those that can’t.

Consumers don’t care about what device they are using, or what part of your internal systems they are in when they want to interact with you… they expect the same experience whether through the website, a mobile app, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram… This fragmentation is creating a very inconsistent, and frustrating experience.

Why is it so crucial for marketers to learn about creating buyer personas and buyer journeys?

I’ve found that organizations are challenged – they’re creating buyer personas that are often too light, or even non-existent, and they are critical for understanding content and digital media strategy.

I think there’s some very successful places to grow the way we think about personas and how it impacts digital marketing – these shouldn’t only be product marketing, marketing communications and sales tools, they should be top of mind in all aspects of digital marketing, from creating targeted content, to building the site itself to attracting and converting traffic from those personas. You really can’t create any content that you expect to resonate with your personas without a deep understanding of who your personas are and how they move throughout the sales cycle.

You really can’t create any content that you expect to resonate with your personas without a deep understanding of who your personas are and how they move throughout the sales cycle.

Are there any resources that you’d recommend for marketers who are creating buyer personas?

There’s a great deal of helpful resources out there for creating buyer personas with a view to digital marketing:

– Conductor has a great worksheet and how to guide on Buyer Personas.

– Marketo has a very useful template.

– The Buyer Persona Institute has a wealth of information on Buyer Personas.

– Search Engine Watch had a recent great article by Home Depot’s Erin Everhart on this subject.

– The Content Marketing Institute has a great article by Jey Pandian on specifically combining Buyer Personas with SEO Data.

Want to start creating buyer personas? Here’s our guide: What are Personas?