Last week I had a handful of discussions on Segmentation vs Personas. These two get really muddled, particularly in startups. In my opinion startup folk spend way too much time on personas and not nearly enough time on segmentation 1/
Segmentation lets us take a market and split it into distinct groups of buyers. If you take "restaurants" as a segment - I can split that into "fast food", "family casual", "steak house" etc. Personas represent buyers within a segment "owners", "chefs", "waitresses" 2/
In B2B we often have more than one persona that has influence over a deal. For example you might sell to the VP Sales, but the individual sales rep is a user and the CEO might be the person who actually signs the check. 3/
Segments need to be tightly defined for marketing/sales to target them. You need to focus your marketing/sales on the parts of the market that are the easiest to sell to. "SMB" isn't a useful segmentation. eCommerce brands with 10-100 employees that use Shopify is very useful 4/
Most startups I talk to have a weak segmentation and yet many defined personas. Most of the time, I these startups really only have one - the key "champion" in the account. The others don't have much influence on a deal (and the champion does the job of selling them anyway). 5/
First you have to have your segmentation defined tightly enough that marketing and sales can run campaigns around it. Next worry about making sure you are selling to the right champion in the account and that you understand that persona. 6/
For most of the startups I've worked with, there wasn't a need to go beyond that. Some marketing teams go bananas creating personas that never get used. Nail your segmentation, understand your champion and then stop looking for busy persona work and just go sell some stuff /end
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