As a method for characterizing the people who buy (or are likely to buy) from your company, marketing personas provide valuable insight into your target audience. If you’re new to the idea of using personas to grow or establish your business, this article will help you learn why they’re important and how simple they are to create.
What is a marketing persona?
A marketing persona is a semi-fictional character that represents the type of person who uses your product or service. Because each persona you create defines a distinct user group, you can connect with different customer segments based on specific characteristics.
These might include:
- Demographics (like age, gender, family situation, income, or geographic location)
- Professional role or job title
- Shopping habits, goals, or pain points
- Interest in or need for your product
In most cases, buyer personas are created by combining market or industry research with actual customer data gathered from surveys or client accounts.
Marketing persona benefits
The better you understand who your ideal customer or audience is, the more pointed your marketing can be. Not only do marketing personas help create messaging that resonates with existing clientele, they can help you target people you’d like to have as customers in the future.
That said, personas play a vital role in:
- Designing and improving products or services to meet user needs
- Attracting high-quality website visitors, sales leads, and prospects
- Developing marketing campaigns and expanding audience communication channels
Marketing personas help stimulate business growth by making it easier to plan an effective marketing approach and adapt it to your customers’ changing needs.
Creating a marketing persona in 3 simple steps
Creating marketing personas isn’t complicated. But because there’s no one-size-fits-all buyer type, crafting customer representations that are true and useful to your business might take a little work.
Here’s how to do it in 3 simple steps.
Step #1: Conduct and gather your research
In addition to conducting market research, you can get the information to create your personas by:
- Studying your historical sales data
- Talking to your sales team about their most promising leads
- Using intentional information fields to build your website forms
- Emailing carefully crafted surveys to existing customers
- Interviewing the clients in your contact database
You can also use analytics to uncover trends in how customers find your business or consume your marketing content.
Step #2: Identify and compile common traits
Armed with your research and data, the next step is to distill all that information down into a comprehensive set of common traits. The best way to do that is by looking for patterns in demographics, buying roles, behaviours, and motivations.
You might also want to include a real-life customer quote or brief testimonial as part of your marketing persona to help demonstrate:
- What your primary buyer likes about your product
- Why they use it
- What personal or professional challenge it alleviates
Pro Tip: For B2B businesses especially, the more information you can gather around common sales objections, the more useful your marketing persona will be during conversations with prospects and future ad campaigns.
Step #3: Give your marketing persona a name
Naming the buyer that you’ve just identified (and even adding a fictional face) will enable strategic consistency across your business, while allowing you to distinguish between the different personas that may emerge as you expand your marketing reach.
It will also personalize your ideal customers in a way that survey results and other data just can’t do.
By making it easier to think about your audience as real people with specific needs, marketing personas can help your business create more authentic, impactful buyer relationships.