The use of Personas in Marketing

You may be familiar with the use of personas for design. These are the summary of a typical users characteristics in a short page or so, often giving details of their working day, gender, age, what is important to them in their job, who they report to, what they like to do outside of work etc.I have recently had personas developed for the majority of our typical users. To do this we interviewed sales people about what they thought of a person and pretty much took it from there. I am now about to present these to the sales team and try to get their buy in on the project. Basically I would like them to look at personas when requesting literature, and try to give us in marketing an idea of who we should be writing for.My problem will be that the persona will be based around a particular person, or combination of people that the particular salesperson had in his mind eye at the time, and I am sure that will be controversial.At the moment I am wrestling with the problem of should I allow changes? The trouble with changing a persona is that it will tend to dilute it and make it what we think it should be as a group, rather than a particular case which we know to be the case. I will let you know how I go. The presentation is on Friday, so I’ll have to have my arguments together by then! 

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