What is a marketing “persona”?
Sometimes referred to as “Buyer personas”, the marketing personas is a fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. They help us to internalise or ‘build a picture of’ the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to.
They are defined by a mixture of any of the following attributes or activities:
• shopping habits
• job role / description
• interest in product
• need for product or challenges they face
By better understanding your customer, you will more closely identify with your audience and better solve their problems. And when you solve their problems, everyone wins.
Six Key Benefits of Creating Customer Personas
Marketing personas provide structure and context for your company, making it easier to map out content, allocate your team’s time and resources, and achieve alignment across your business.
- Identify your customer needs and desires so you can delight them with your products, services, and content. You can’t market to someone unless you understand their goals, habits, pain points and all the other little things that may influence their purchase decisions.
- Understand how your customers make purchasing decisions, so you can better target your marketing and move them through the sales funnel.
- Develop new or improved products and services based on the needs and wants of your current customers.
- Determine where your customers are engaging so you can work out how best to communicate with them, how to reach new customers, where to promote your business, and what types of content to produce.
- Segment your marketing efforts so you can target different personas and subsets of personas with the offers and content they’ll be most drawn to, making your marketing efforts more effective.
- “Pre-qualify” leads by attracting the right potential customers. Through personas, you can drive more sales-ready leads. You’re reaching the right people by leveraging what they want, rather than by pushing what you want.
Developing your persona
How can marketing personas be used?
- Product development can use buyer personas when building product roadmaps. Personas will help them identify changes to your offering based on what your customers need the most.
- Marketing can use buyer personas to build effective strategies. When creating content marketing strategies, for instance, personas are critical. They help to focus on keyword research efforts and are used as a reference when crafting copy.
- Buyer personas can also help your sales team build rapport with potential customers. By understanding what the prospect is dealing with and coming prepared to address their concerns, your sales team will be much more effective.
- And, finally, customer support teams can use personas to better serve customers. By being trained on the problems your customers are trying to solve with your product and the frustration it causes when things don’t work out, your support team will be able to show more empathy. A little compassion can go a long way when dealing with an irate customer.
How many personas do you need to create?
We’d recommend that you make three to five personas to represent your audience; this number is big enough to cover the majority of your customers yet small enough to still carry the value of specificity. Hubspot has tons of examples of companies who have created marketing personas, and there are templates galore for making personas of your own.
Crafting buyer personas comes down to really knowing who you’re talking to and then being disciplined and consistent about giving them exactly what they want. Clarifying the types of people who benefit from your solutions (and or products) and the challenges you help them solve, is critical to your efforts to attract and retain customers.