What Is a Marketing Persona?

Published: 05.08.22Marketing
Marketing persona - who is it and what is it used for?

Who is a marketing persona?

Before you start marketing any product or service, you should answer the most important question: who is the target audience? It is the idea of the potential recipient that is the basis for creating a marketing persona. We can call it an ideal customer, buyer persona or just a marketing persona – the purpose of defining it is one – to visualize and personify your future customer. By giving him/her a name, age, character traits and even home address, you can get to know him/her in detail. The more details you have, the easier it will be to tailor your marketing communications to him.

You can define a persona based on your own perception (if you are just launching a product or service) or on analytical data about your customers. As you work to define the persona, you discover their needs, interests, and so you know where to find them and how to talk to them. It will be easier to put Agnes, 27, a makeup artist and young mom interested in sports, at the center of your strategy than someone completely indescribable. A lot of time and attention should be spent on creating a persona, because it represents a whole group of potential customers who will only become customers if their needs are met.

Why define a marketing persona?

When creating marketing content, it’s best to think right away about who the audience is supposed to be. This procedure increases the chances of reaching those people. It may seem quite trivial, but there is still no shortage of marketing campaigns on the market that hit like a bullet in the fence – despite an original idea and good execution, no one is interested in them. Why?

This is because their creators have not asked themselves beforehand what the most important needs of their marketing persona are now. It makes it easier for us to create a coherent marketing campaign that will really reach people interested in the products we offer. In addition, a reliably crafted marketing persona is an invaluable aid to content marketing. Knowing your customers’ needs and having a broader knowledge of their decision-making process makes it easier to create valuable content that meets their expectations.

Often marketers have very limited knowledge about the audience of the product they are promoting. Of course, they have detailed data and research on the group to be targeted by the campaign. However, the numbers contained in such analyses are quite different from contact with a real person reaching for a product. That’s why marketers often boast that only they really know the customers. Creating a marketing persona is supposed to make marketers start treating the customer as a full-fledged person – a flesh-and-blood human being.

Knowing one’s marketing persona allows us to tailor not only the content, but also the communication channel – in this case, much depends on the age of our customer. We will reach a teenager differently, and a person in his 50s differently. So demographic data will help us in creating a persona – by using them we will reach our target group much more easily. Appropriate communication channels undoubtedly make it easier to contact customers on the Internet, and their adequate selection should be the starting point in planning our marketing campaign.

How do you create a marketing persona for your business?

When creating your marketing persona, we need to know our customers well. A thorough analysis of the model customer will undoubtedly facilitate the creation of a persona. We can start our work by using basic templates that will help us determine the criteria necessary to create a picture of the ideal customer. These criteria are primarily:

  • age,
  • gender,
  • marital status,
  • occupation and education,
  • place of residence,
  • interests,
  • aspirations and expectations,
  • daily problems.

Where to look for this information? There are several ways to get to know our customers better. First, it’s worth analyzing the data on our website visitors. This is a real treasure trove of knowledge. The keywords typed by customers hitting our site tell us about their desires. A thorough analysis of customers’ expectations of your brand will undoubtedly enrich the created persona, adding depth to it, which will help you plan your marketing activities more effectively. A marketing persona created based on “dry” data is a good starting point, which can then be developed using customer experience.

It is also a good idea to do a meeting of the whole team (or its representatives). Not just the marketing department, but also salespeople, customer service people and product developers. By sharing thoughts, we can create a realistic picture of the marketing persona. Salespeople, working directly with the company’s customers, observing their reactions and objections, see their most important needs much more clearly. Those working in customer service also have contact with customers in difficult and sometimes contentious situations, and resolving them together undoubtedly brings them closer together and allows them to get to know the epitome of typical customers better. Product developers, on the other hand, know their creations better than anyone else – including their strengths and weaknesses. This makes their predictions potentially extremely important in creating the image of our customer. A marketing persona created jointly thanks to the opinions of employees who interact with buyers or users at different stages of the sales process will undoubtedly be a great reflection of a potential customer.

We can also look for customers on social media. Let’s see who is adding posts with questions related in some way to our product, or who is describing problems it could solve. It’s worth looking around not only in social media, but also in online forums, where we can find many basic questions that will enrich the picture of our model customer, illustrating his needs. Social media and thematic forums guarantee easier outreach to our target group, from where we can draw information about potential customers in full handfuls, which will also benefit our buyer persona.

Surveys and interviews are also important tools – after all, it is our customers who know themselves best. So it is worth asking them what they expect, what is important to them, what needs are unmet. It will be best if such interviews are conducted by salespeople or people from the customer service department – this gives us a chance to collect reliable information, much more useful than that coming, for example, from online surveys.

When creating marketing personae, it’s good to have in front of our eyes examples from real life, from which we can create a real, comprehensive picture of our customers. The more detailed information we have, the better. Even such a small thing as a real name can make us get close enough to individual personas to treat them as a reliable source of customer knowledge, which will facilitate our promotional activities.

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Author Avatar Rafał Namieciński

Chief Executive Officer. Sets the direction of Firmao's development. Under his leadership, Firmao CRM has become one of the leading CRM systems in Poland. On the blog, he shares thoughts on the latest CRM industry trends, offers tips on implementing and using CRM systems.

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