Skip to Main Content

I-CORE Research Guide

How do I research to persona?

An Overview of the Research Process

The persona represents the person you are going to be selling to. When selling to businesses you are still needing to sell to an individual and it's important to understand what they care about in their position at their company as well as appealing to who they are as a person. This means also researching their likely habits, values, psychographic profile, media usage and trends.

  1. Research the demographics and psychographics of buyers using MRI/Simmons. Using the data found in MRI/Simmons to create a demographic profile for your persona. MRI/Simmons data will point you toward a good direction but you still have choice. You may want to factor in information you've learned about your target company (Is there a person specifically you've identified as a buyer? -- This information may not be available.)
  2. Conduct consumer research and find the psychographic, values, habits, media usage and trends to further develop your understanding of this persona and how it could affect your strategy for reaching this buyer. if you are selling a business product, you still need to appeal to the human side of the buyer as well. Use resources listed under B2C Market Research
  3. If selling B2B, don't forget to consider what issues will be top of mind for this persona when they are at work. How you can help solve a problem or improve their business? You need to determine how you can help them fulfill their needs. (Refer to your industry research, b2b market research, and trade journals found in ABI/Inform or Business Source Complete. To find trade journal articles go to Find Articles & News.)
  4. Incorporate your research into your persona narrative. Use endnotes to indicate where you found the information. 

Example: John Smith has an annual income of $100,000.1


1. "Demographic Profile: Business Purchasers making decisions over $5000 a year,” 2023, Spring 2021 NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, MRI Simmons

Using MRI/Simmons for B2B & B2C Research

MRI Simmons (Formerly Simmons Insights) allows you to find information that can help you develop a demographic profile of your customer. It can be used for both B2B and B2C buyers. Below the database link is a detailed tutorial on how to interact with the Simmons Insights database while creating a B2B demographic profile, followed by links to shorter videos on other topics.

How to create a demographic profile

(Example shows how to make one for someone who makes business purchase decisions at work but can be used for also consumer and brand related queries)

How to Use Cross-Tabs in MRI Simmons (~6 minute video)

How to understand Index. (2:34 minute video)

Databases for B2B Market Research

Database for B2C Market Research

Section 4: Sources for B2C Market Research