Avoid Persona Pitfalls and Crush it This Year

January 16, 2017
by Peg Miller
  • persona, B2B marketing

When working with B2B marketers to execute content against a persona strategy, several pitfalls can emerge during the execution phase. Here is how to avoid these  common pitfalls when you execute a content strategy against your persona information:

  • Beware of Persona-itis.

    We know that -itis is a medical term for inflammation or swelling. In this case, I mean the affliction of creating too many personas. Don’t get carried away with creating too many personas. I’ve seen teams create 28 personas. Ideally, you should target 6-8 personas or less if you truly want to be able to target them.

  • Don’t Fall into the Tag-a-Matic Approach.

    This is when teams tag all content for all personas, which provides poor targeting and no meaningful reporting.

  • Put Personas into Action.

    I’ve seen organizations spend tens of thousands of dollars on agencies to help them build detailed personas, only to put that information on a literal or figurative binder on a shelf. They never get to the execution stage based on the information they worked so hard to assemble. Personas are only effective when they get used. What are you doing every week to execute against your persona-based strategy?

  • Don’t Hide Behind Personas as an Excuse to Avoid Real Customers.

    I preach to my own marketing team and to my clients’ teams – be sure you talk to real customers on a regular basis. There is no substitute for listening to real customers.

  • Personas for Prospects, but Why Not for Customers?

    Once a prospect becomes a customer, it’s still important to continue to understand their motivations and daily lives through persona development for customers.

If you’d like more detail, I’ve written about avoiding the most common persona pitfalls.


Peg Miller is Co-Founder of the B2B Marketing Academy, and consults with high growth companies on their marketing, content and product strategies to achieve revenue results.