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UPDATE: How to Use ChatGPT to Jumpstart Your Buyer Persona Project

Update

Since I first published this article, a lot has changed in the world of Generative AI. It's gotten better, and we are getting better at prompt engineering. This is all good news for us since it makes our lives easier.


Recently, I started using Google's Gemini and revisited the topic of using GenAI to jumpstart buyer persona development. Below is a template you can use to get started, and I am confident it will accelerate your buyer persona development.


A special thanks to Jeff Su for his YouTube videos on using ChatGPT. They have been inspirational on my prompt engineering journey. Check out Jeff's videos if you haven't already.


Here's my buyer person prompt:


You are a chief marketing officer in a building materials business with over 20 years of experience. Your company’s annual revenue is between 100,000,000 USD and 500,000,000 USD. Create a buyer persona about yourself using the following headings in H2 format:

My name,

My primary responsibilities,

My top 5 business goals,

My spending authority,

My your personal aspirations,

My top 5  problems,

The specific sources I use for getting industry information,

A description of a day in my work life.

Use a tone that sounds like you are talking to me using the words you would use in everyday life. 


The result...


My Name

Call me Sarah. I've been in the building materials game for over two decades now, working my way up to the CMO role here at [Company Name].


My Primary Responsibilities

I oversee all aspects of our marketing strategy, from brand awareness campaigns to lead generation and everything in between. Think of me as the conductor of the marketing orchestra, coordinating the team to achieve our goals.


My Top 5 Business Goals

  1. Drive sustainable growth: I'm not just looking for a quick bump in sales; I want to see consistent, long-term growth for the company.

  2. Build brand loyalty: We have a great product, and I want people to be die-hard fans, not just one-time customers.

  3. Stay ahead of the curve: The industry is constantly evolving, so staying informed about new trends and technologies is crucial.

  4. Optimize marketing ROI: Every dollar spent needs to deliver a clear return on investment.

  5. Empower my team: I want to cultivate a team of talented and passionate marketing professionals who are constantly learning and growing.


My Spending Authority

I have a decent budget to work with, but I'm not signing off on multi-million dollar deals without board approval. However, I have the green light to make strategic marketing decisions and investments within a set spending limit.


My Personal Aspirations

Beyond the bottom line, I want to leave a positive mark on the industry. I'm passionate about sustainability and innovation, and I'd like to be part of the movement towards greener and more efficient building practices.


My Top 5 Problems

  1. Cutting through the noise: It's a crowded marketplace, and getting our message heard can be a challenge.

  2. Meeting evolving customer needs: Consumer preferences and buying patterns are constantly changing, so it's important to stay adaptable.

  3. Measuring marketing effectiveness: Attributing success directly to marketing efforts can be tricky, but it's vital to demonstrate the value we're bringing to the table.

  4. Talent acquisition and retention: Finding and keeping top marketing talent is crucial for our success.

  5. Staying compliant with changing regulations: The marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and keeping up with the legal and ethical considerations is a necessary burden.


My Information Sources

I'm a big believer in staying informed. Here are my go-to sources for industry news:

  • Industry publications: Trade journals, online news platforms, and research reports keep me updated on the latest trends and innovations.

  • Industry events: Attending conferences, trade shows, and networking events allows me to connect with peers, learn from others, and identify potential partners.

  • Data and analytics: We have access to a wealth of data that helps us understand customer behavior and optimize our marketing efforts.


A Day in My Life

My days are a mix of strategic planning, team meetings, client calls, and data analysis. I might start the morning by reviewing campaign performance metrics, then jump into a brainstorming session with the team to come up with new marketing ideas. Later, I could be meeting with a potential vendor to discuss new marketing technologies, or presenting my latest strategy to the executive team.

No two days are exactly alike, but that's what keeps things interesting in this dynamic field.


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It's taken me a while to tweak the prompt. Feel free to use and expand it to help you build buyer personas.


While this result doesn't have the depth I ultimately want, it does a better job of creating empathy with the reader. If I'm not familiar with the industry or role, I could easily find someone who is familiar to provide feedback.


Give it a try!


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Many of us are looking for ways to leverage #ChatGPT (and AI in general) to help in our personal and business endeavors. I wondered if Chat GPT could be used to create #buyerpersonas. And if it could, how good a job would it do?

My expectations were really, really low. I assumed it would return a bland collection of useless information like a 5-year-old did the work.


One of the things I learned along the way is that the quality of the results is only as good as the specificity of the request. That is, vague requests produce generally useless information.

After a few failed experiments, I arrived at a request with a pattern to produce results that I found interesting. With more experimentation, I believe I can get Chat GPT to produce gradually better results.


I started by asking Chat GPT to "build" a #buyerpersona. Eventually, I learned that using "create" produced a better result. I also learned to be specific about a job title. Chief Marketing Officer had better results than CMO (which could be misinterpreted as a chief medical officer).

The request for the results you will see below came from this request...


"Create a buyer persona for a chief marketing officer in a large technology company"

Within seconds Chat GPT started delivering a fully formed buyer persona.

Here's what I received…

========================================


Sure! Here's a buyer persona for a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in a large technology company:

Name: Sarah Lee

Demographics:

  • Age: 35-50

  • Gender: Female

  • Education: Bachelor's or Master's degree in marketing, business administration, or a related field

  • Professional experience: 10+ years of experience in marketing, with a strong background in technology marketing

Goals and motivations:

  • Drive brand awareness and demand generation

  • Increase market share and revenue growth

  • Develop and implement effective marketing strategies that align with company goals

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with customers and partners

  • Keep up-to-date with industry trends and emerging technologies

  • Achieve personal and professional growth and development

Challenges and pain points:

  • Creating differentiation in a crowded and competitive market

  • Managing a large and complex marketing organization

  • Balancing short-term and long-term marketing goals and priorities

  • Demonstrating the value and ROI of marketing initiatives to the executive team

  • Attracting and retaining top marketing talent in a highly competitive job market

Preferred channels of communication:

  • Email

  • Phone

  • Video conferencing

  • Industry events and conferences

  • Professional networking groups

Influencers:

  • C-level executives, particularly the CEO and CFO

  • Product management and development teams

  • Sales and customer success teams

  • Industry analysts and thought leaders

  • Key customers and partners

Values and personality traits:

  • Strategic and analytical thinker

  • Strong leadership and communication skills

  • Collaborative and team-oriented

  • Innovative and adaptable

  • Results-driven and data-focused

Overall, Sarah Lee is a busy and ambitious marketing leader focused on driving brand awareness and demand generation while building strong relationships with customers and partners. She is well-versed in technology marketing and is constantly seeking to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving industry. While she faces many challenges, she is determined to overcome them and achieve success through hard work, strategic thinking, and effective communication with her team and stakeholders.


========================================

The basic request pattern is"...

"Create a buyer persona for a [job title] in [industry sector]."

As I mentioned, adding more specifics will likely produce a different result, like another industry sector or adding attributes to narrow the industry sector.

Then I wondered, "Where did Chat GPT get the information to create Sarah Lee?". By the way, the name in the buyer persona came from Chat GPT, not from me.

So, I added a follow-up request…

"Please provide citations."


Again, my expectations were low. I assumed there would be a single source that was repackaged to produce the Sarah Lee buyer persona.

Here's what Chat GPT returned…

========================================


Sure! Here are some sources to support my previous response:

  1. Buyer Persona Definition:

  • Hubspot: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-research

  1. CMO Demographics:

  • Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2021/02/19/what-cmos-are-planning-for-2021/?sh=6b41a6b2441e

  • Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/chief-marketing-officer-salary-SRCH_KO0,23.htm

  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/chief-marketing-officer-at-large-technology-company-2827699943/

  1. Goals and motivations:

  • Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/09/04/12-objectives-every-marketing-leader-should-focus-on/?sh=2e6425a77db5

  • Gartner: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/how-cmos-can-use-market-research-to-drive-growth/

  1. Challenges and pain points:

  • Marketing Dive: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/6-challenges-facing-cmos-in-2021-and-beyond/597932/

  • Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2018/01/why-cmos-never-last

  1. Preferred channels of communication:

  • MarketingProfs: https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2018/34696/the-most-effective-communication-channels-for-different-personas-infographic

  • CMO Council: https://www.cmocouncil.org/insights/articles/the-connected-marketer-in-the-always-on-age

  1. Influencers:

  • Marketing Week: https://www.marketingweek.com/marketing-leadership-how-to-influence-c-suite/

  • Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2019/09/how-cmos-can-influence-the-ceos-strategic-agenda

  1. Values and personality traits:

========================================


Both the buyer persona and the citations were produced in under 3 minutes.

Providing the citations gave me assurances that the work was grounded in facts. And I can link to the resources to pick up additional insights or correct misinterpreted information.

Let's talk about what this means to you and the limitations of the results.


Jump-Start Buyer Persona Development

One of the most common problems with developing buyer personas is getting started. Conceptually, buyer personas are easily understood, but the practice of developing and maintaining them is an afterthought.

Using Chat GPT is a quick way to jump-start buyer persona development. I fear that it's so easy that it would be easy to get carried away and create more buyer personas than necessary.


Recognize the Limitations of Chat GPT

The quality of the result is only as good as the learning system of Chat GPT, relevant data availability, and your request's quality.

While the buyer persona creation of Sarah Lee is compelling, it lacks the depth to build empathy. Someone deeply familiar with Sarah Lee can fill the gaps between what exists in the generated buyer persona and what is reality. To that end, remember that a tool like Chat GPT can function as a research assistant but still requires further investigation and validation of the information.

To put it bluntly, don't take Chat GPT's information at face value. Apply critical thinking to be comfortable with the data before proceeding.


Crystal Knows - Another Buyer Persona Shortcut

Another buyer persona development shortcut I picked up in the last few years is using Crystal Knows. #CrystalKnows delivers a surprisingly accurate personality profile from a LinkedIn profile. I don't proclaim to know how it works, and frankly, I don't care. All I know is it produces terrifyingly accurate results.


The value to buyer persona creation is Crystal Knows can give you personality trait attributes. Find 3 or 4 representative LinkedIn profiles and run Crystal Knows to learn the personality attributes. Identify the patterns in the cohort and update your buyer persona.

And now you are one step closer to a fully formed buyer persona.


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1 comment

1 Comment


Koch Chris
Koch Chris
Aug 31, 2023

The content reflects an individual's exploration of leveraging ChatGPT and AI in general to create buyer personas for personal and business purposes. The author initially had low expectations, assuming that the results would be unhelpful and akin to a child's work.


However, the author discovered that the quality of the results obtained from ChatGPT is dependent on the specificity of the request. Vague requests tend to yield less useful information. Through experimentation and refining their approach, the author found interesting results and believes that with further experimentation, they can achieve even better outcomes.


This commentary highlights the importance of understanding how to effectively utilize AI models like ChatGPT by providing specific and well-defined requests. It demonstrates the potential for AI…


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