How to Define Your Marketing Personas
When marketing your business, you’ll likely run into the task of creating a marketing persona. If you’ve never done this before, it can get confusing and feel overwhelming, but it’s not as hard as it sounds! Here, we’ll outline marketing personas to give you a better idea of what they are, how they’re beneficial for your business, and how to write one up.
What is a Marketing Persona?
A marketing persona draws a picture of who your target audience is. Marketing personas are based on research to represent the largest group you plan to target. Oftentimes, marketing or buyer personas are descriptions of semi-fictional buyers with a name, background, likes and dislikes, etc. Businesses may outline more than one persona for various products or segments of their audience.
Why You Need Marketing Personas for Your Business
A marketing persona is important because it gives you a clear, defined idea of who you are marketing to. This helps when you have multiple people working on different steps of the marketing process. With the buyer persona on hand, everyone has the same idea of who they’re designing the campaign for. That way, you can better target your marketing based on your audience’s likes, dislikes, and habits.
A marketing persona goes further than just listing your target audience’s habits, however. It actually gives a personality and name to your audience — hence the term “persona.” That helps you create a real-world experience for a seemingly real person, which makes the experience more user-friendly for the people who are actually interacting with your brand.
How to Draft a Marketing Persona
An accurate marketing or buyer persona starts with quality research. Begin by getting a good idea of:
- Your target audience’s demographics, such as age, race, and gender
- What education level they’re at
- Whether they’re married or single
- Their income level
- Their hobbies and amount of free time
- Their job title
- Their personal goals
Continue this list based on what is relevant to your business and what your team should know.
If the data on your buyers varies, you may consider developing two to five personas of your audience.
Now, create a description for each persona. Include things like the persona title (how you will identify this particular description), a photo to represent this persona, a fictional name, the customer’s demographics, their job title, etc.
Avoid getting too personal, but be sufficiently detailed so that the persona isn’t vague enough to be interpreted as just any consumer.
It’s a common practice to write your buyer persona in story format with fictional names and backgrounds — although they should still be in-line with your target audience. This makes your persona feel more real to your organization.
Let’s take an example:
Persona: Agency Owner/Founder
Fictional Name: Michael Johnson
Job Title: CEO
- Age 25-35
- Lives in urban area
- Bachelor’s degree
- Income of $100K per year
Goals: As founder of an award-winning finance app, I strive to bring user-friendliness to the budget-minded consumer as well as provide affordable solutions to managing their finances. I want our customers to feel like there’s no other app like FinancialX and that they can count on our team to help them meet their financial goals. I value creativity and loyalty in my staff and aim to create a safe, friendly environment where everyone gets along.
Challenges: Since our start-up staff is small with only 13 workers on-site, we struggle to provide our app users with everything they need in a timely manner. Software updates take us longer than our users want, and our customer service is slow to respond. Our overall budget is small, which means that we don’t have a lot of marketing power.
Story: I co-founded the FinancialX app with a friend from high school in 2012. We grew our business to 10 employees by 2014 and later hired three more in 2015. I am comfortable with coding and social media, and I get most of my industry news from online blogs.
Feel free to deviate from this structure to add more information as needed.
Getting started with drafting a marketing persona can be confusing at first, but once you realize that all you’re doing is describing a fictional character that fits in with the rest of your target audience, it’s a breeze.