August 26, 2013
By Ryan Malone
Many customers actually like to give feedback, especially if they feel particularly loyal to your company. However, you are asking them to take time out of their day, so consider compensating them in some way.
Set a realistic expectation for how long the interview will take, explain why you are doing it, and make sure they have everything they need to be comfortable.
Be prepared with questions, but also allow yourself the freedom to explore new paths as the customers share their stories. It is most important to be open-minded; you might not get the answers you expect. Use open-ended questions so customers have the opportunity to elaborate on their experiences.
After the kickoff meeting and customer interviews, you'll be ready to create persona profiles for use in all of your marketing endeavors.
Buyer persona development may seem overwhelming, but it is worth the effort to truly understand your target audience. If you don't know what prompts them to make a purchase, you won't know how to focus your marketing efforts most effectively.
About the author
Ryan Malone is the founder and Chairman of the Board of SmartBug Media and is a veteran of Deloitte & Touche, Seagate and several venture-backed technology companies. When he's not leading SmartBug and helping clients build high-octane marketing organizations, he's loving his wife and daughters and unsuccessfully learning the guitar. Go Terps! Read more articles by Ryan Malone.
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