Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona: What’s the Difference?

Buyer Profile VS Buyer PersonaBuyer Profile VS Buyer Persona: What's the Difference? Today we're continuing our look at Buyer Personas. They are a valuable tool that helps us understand and predict buying behavior. Buyer Personas aren't just for the big players anymore; now, you can gather the same info and in some cases even more easily than a larger company.

Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona: They Aren't the Same Thing

As we discovered yesterday, terminology is important. Using terms interchangeably, or believing that what a term means to me is the same as what it means to you, is a road to trouble. Tony Zambito wrote a good article not long ago on the differences between Buyer Profile and Buyer Persona. In it, he shares an excellent table on the differences between the two terms:

Buyer Profiles Buyer Personas
Factors Insights
Target and Account Segmentation 1 to 1 Marketing
Process focused Behavior focused
Common strategic initiatives Goal-based achievements
Common buying process Scenario development
Common buying criteria Mental modeling
Win/loss interviewing & sales data collection Qualitative buyer insights research & B2B buyer ethnography
Buying stage mapping Buyer story mapping
Demographics/Physiographics Descriptive narratives

(c) 2014 Tony Zambito

Two Points to Consider When Thinking About Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona

Let's focus on just one takeaway for each when considering Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona right now. First, it's very common to see a consultant saying, "Build your ideal customer profile." And that will lead you in the direction of having a Buyer Profile. But what is the result of doing this as your main marketing research activity? You'll find out, perhaps, what, where and when your customers are buying. But you won't learn why. Or why they aren't buying.

As Zambito points out, it's very difficult to differentiate yourself based only on business factors that buyers are seeing as a commodity. And if you haven't done your Buyer Persona research, you won't know how to tell your own story so that it meshes with their thinking.

Second what we discover is that the buyer has their own storyline. And if your storyline doesn't match up with theirs, they probably won't buy. So what is that story? This is what your Buyer Persona research is going to help you find out.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Did you find this info useful? Please Like, Share or Comment to let others know! <<