Let’s face it – it’s hard getting to know every client personally. It’s a lengthy practice, which in most cases will be plagued by uncertainty, dynamism and (in many cases) impossibilities. But having a personal touch to your marketing is important. While you are handicapped in fully personalizing all aspects of your marketing, buyer personas will absolutely work for you to add that personal touch.

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on real data and some educated speculation. Their purpose is to give you a general idea of what to deliver to a general clientele with respect to the buyer persona they fall under. The best (and most accurate) way to get information about your ideal customers is extremely simple: Ask them. You’d be surprised how many people love talking about themselves. You can conduct customer interviews and give them a little something for taking part.

If for whatever reason, you do not have the ability to conduct customer interviews, or a customer survey, there are some sneaky tips that can help you find the information you need.

Social Media

Many buyers post very personal data on their social media accounts which – in more cases than not – is open to the public. Buyer preferences can (with some effort) be extracted from their social media accounts. Having a customer’s links to their social media accounts will save a lot of hassle in obtaining that personal information.


Industry Forums

When customers talk to one another, a magical thing happens: They tell the whole and honest truth. If you can find a forum where your customers hang out – either on a LinkedIn group, association, or a general question forum like Reddit or Quora – stalk it. It’s especially useful to read these conversations because you learn exactly the way your customers talk, and how they talk is the way they like to read or listen. This helps you build your content in their language, not yours.

Browser Cookies and History

You’ve probably come across a notification while browsing that the website you’re on uses cookies. Cookies will (at their most basic level) give up all your browsing behavior. Having an application to collect cookies will help you easily collect buyer preferences, all the while following all legal channels, without really having to ask.

Related: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Terminology Guide

Online Book or Product Reviews

Review sites are another great way to eavesdrop on customers speaking their mind. Whether its Amazon, Yelp or a specialized industry review site, people tell it like it is in reviews – especially bad reviews. Take note. Listen to the language they use, and problems they have. Most likely if they are reviewing a competing product or service, your ideal buyers would have the same complaints. You can get ahead by creating content that tackles those problems, positioning your company as the go-to resource.

Personality Tests

Setting up a personality test, or any kind of test that will require someone to give up some personal information about themselves, is a unique way for extracting the information you need. A personality test will have the buyer answering personal questions that in a basic sense will mean nothing to them, but in a marketing sense, will mean the world you.

buyer persona tips - Ironmark, Annapolis Junction, MD


Although not as sneaky, having buyers take surveys will get you your prized information. Having buyers create personal accounts and giving them prizes (like discounts or gift cards) for filing surveys is bound to get you better results. Be sure to ask them specifically what problems or challenges that they face. This way you can gear the content you build to solve those problems, and enter their conversations in a positive way!

Getting Other Firms to Do It for You

You may not have to do all the work. While some firms have policies against sharing buyer data that the buyer willingly presented, most do not have policies against sharing data they extracted on the buyers through other means. Similar firms will also most likely build similar buyer personas.

Intensive research and lead page optimization will go a long way to allow buyer personas to help you. Learning how each persona consumes products ensures better product and service placement. It will aid you a great deal employing buyer personas to deliver a more personalized service.

Let us conduct your buyer persona interviews – here at Ironmark, we excel at getting to the core of customer motivations. We provide in-depth buyer personas that set the stage for a winning content marketing strategy. Contact us for a free 30-minute marketing assessment today!


Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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