As I’ve said in a previous blog post, creating buyer personas takes a lot of time and effort but the benefits on your marketing are worth it. To define your buyer personas, you need to go out there and interview your current consumers to create a single representation of them. You need to dig deeper and ask the right questions in order for your buyer persona to be effective. You need to create a buyer persona questionnaire.
What Is a Buyer Persona Again?
As a quick review, the term “buyer person” was coined by marketing expert Tony Zambito as a model to identify a business’ ideal consumers. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of the target market with an emphasis on their purchasing behavior. According to Tony, the buyer persona model represents “who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and when and why they make buying decisions.
The creation of your buyer persona is crucial for the formulation of an effective marketing strategy. By profiling your target market and identifying key buying behaviors, you will be able to motivate them to create a relationship with you and persuade them to choose your products and services.
Your Buyer Persona Questionnaire
That said, in order to get an accurate buyer persona, you need to ask the right questions. I’ve listed some of the questions that you could ask your interview participants. Feel free to change these questions as you see fit.
Basic Demographic Questions
- What is your name?
- How old are you?
- Are you male or female?
- Which country and city were you born in?
- What’s your ethnic background?
- Where do you live now?
Psychographics are as much a part of the buyer persona as the demographics. As such, consumer psychology should be the central part of your research. One of the factors that affect personality and behavior is the early years of childhood. Early experiences, especially the home environment, can be an indicator of their adult tendencies.
- Who raised you? (Parents, grandparents, etc.)
- What did your parents/guardians do for a living?
- How would you describe the parenting style of your parents/guardians? Permissive or authoritarian?
- Are your parents still married?
- Do you have any brothers or sisters?
- If yes, how many siblings do you have?
- In what birth order were you born?
- How would you describe your sibling relationship growing up?
- What was the socioeconomic class of your family growing up?
- How would you describe the community you grew up in?
- As a child, what was your favorite activity?
Same with the formative years, you can gain insight on your customer’s psychology through their education.
- Did you go to a public school or a private one?
- How large was the school you attended?
- What extra-curricular activities did you take part in?
- How well did you do at school?
- What was your favorite subject? Why?
- What was your least-favorite subject? Why?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- Did you go to college? Which one?
- What was your major in college?
- What college extra-curricular activities did you take part in?
- How would you describe your social life during this time?
- How well did you do in college?
- If you didn’t go to college, what did you do after high school?
Work is obviously related to your target market’s financial status and stability. Getting an insight on their work habits and their general satisfaction on work can give you an idea of their personal aspirations.
- Did you have a college internship?
- What was your first job?
- What was your first full-time job?
- What is your current job?
- What industry are you working in?
- How long have you been in your current job?
- How did you arrive in your current position?
- What are your key responsibilities?
- How much is your current salary? (Ask for the range, if uncomfortable.)
- Do you feel that you are compensated fairly?
- Do you feel satisfied in your job?
- Do you like the people you work with?
- Do you like your superiors?
- How big is the company you are working for? How may employees?
- How would you describe your company’s employee turnover?
- Are you considering a career change in the immediate future?
- What is your dream job?
- Do you have plans to pursue your dream job?
- When do you plan to retire?
You should focus on what motivates their purchasing decisions as this is critical to the understanding of your consumer’s mindset.
- What is your net worth? (Ask for the range, if uncomfortable.)
- Do you have debt? How much? (Ask for the range, if uncomfortable.)
- Do you make careful or impulsive purchase decisions?
- How do you feel about your purchase decisions?
- What factors usually motivate your purchase decisions?
- Are you the person primarily responsible for purchasing decisions of your household?
Lifestyle and Personality Questions
These questions will help you determine the best marketing approach to use on your target market. Pay particular attention to their personal beliefs and their interests.
- What type of housing do you currently live in?
- Who do you live with?
- Are you happy with this current arrangement?
- Do you have pets?
- Are you single, dating, or married?
- Do you have children?
- How many children do you have?
- How often do you travel for leisure?
- Which political party do you support?
- Are you active in politics?
- Are you a member of a particular religion?
- If yes, what religion are you a member of?
- Do you make an effort to stay fit?
- Would you describe yourself as environmentally conscious?
- Do you give significant attention to your personal appearance?
- What hobbies do you have?
- What is your favorite movie/TV show?
- What genre of music is your favorite?
- Do you enjoy reading?
- What genre of literature do you like reading?
- Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert?
- Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
- Are you a risk-taker or risk-averse?
- Are you more logical or more creative?
- Do you follow any routine?
- Are you spontaneous or do you plan ahead?
- How affected are you by other people’s judgment?
- Are you independent or do you tend to follow the crowd?
- How would your friends describe you?
Internet and Tech Questions
These are extremely helpful if you have an e-commerce website or if you want to check the viability of having one. They are also valuable if you are a tech businesses or even any type of business with plans for digital and social media marketing.
- Are you an early adopter of technology?
- Are you adept at using the internet?
- What operating system do you use?
- What browser do you use?
- What is your preferred search engine?
- What social media sites do you use?
- If you don’t use social media sites, why not?
- Do you follow social media accounts of businesses? If yes, which ones?
- Do you shop online?
- Which websites do you usually buy from?
- How would you compare buying online from buying offline?
- If you don’t shop online, why not?
- Do you use your mobile phone to browse the internet?
- How concerned are you about online privacy?
This is where you go into the specifics. Feel free to add more product questions that you think may help in creating an accurate snapshot of your buyer persona.
- How did you know about [your company/product]?
- How do you usually use [your product]?
- What do you think is the competitive edge of [your product] over other competitors?
- What questions did you ask yourself before you decided to buy [your product]?
- What is the most important factor you consider when deciding to buy [your product]?
This set of questions is not a definitive list. It only serves as a general guide to form your own buyer persona questionnaire. Omit those that aren’t applicable to your business and add your own questions. After all, your marketing should be tailor-fit to the consumers you want to target.
What other questions would you suggest we add to the list? Share with us your thoughts below.