"Before you dive into how customers in your industry make buying decisions, you must first understand who they are. This is the beginning of your primary market research" "sometimes referred to as marketing personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you visualize your audience, streamline your communications, and inform your strategy."
"When choosing whom you want to engage to conduct market research, start with the characteristics that apply to your buyer persona. "Market research firms have panels of people they can pull from when they want to conduct a study. The trouble is, most individual marketers don't have that luxury -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the time you'll spend recruiting exclusively for your study will often lead to better participants. The best way to make sure you get the most out of your conversations is to be prepared. You should always create a discussion guide -- whether it's for a focus group, online survey, or a phone interview -- to make sure you cover all of the top-of-mind questions and use your time wisely.