Create four or five customer personas? No. You need just one of something else.

Marketing agencies are telling people in SMBs that they need to create multiple customer personas for their business. That is a modern myth.

Does Nutri-Grain need multiple personas? It is one of the biggest selling cereal brands on the planet. It has one persona. 49% of the consumer market sits outside of that persona, but that does not matter. They market just the one persona and they are a billion dollar business.

How did this multi-persona myth take hold? It is because digital marketing is so obscure. Agencies and their mythical thinking on digital has overshadowed marketing common sense. The result is that SMBs are giving digital agencies the keys to their business, crossing their fingers and hoping it will work. And it doesn’t work, because the agencies are saying, you need more personas, simply to create more work for themselves.

The drive behind personas is sound: understand your customer. However, SMB owners and leaders already have an inherent sense of this – you are already so close to your market and your customers. Persona exercises – creating elaborately-detailed customer profiles – are better suited to corporates, where the members of marketing teams probably have little in common with the people who will actually buy their products.

Leave personas to corporate marketers and Broadway playwrights. Let’s get back to marketing commonsense. Financial commonsense. Sales commonsense. In business as in life, it’s safer to avoid multiple personas. One strong strategy is all you need.

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