Marketing Personas: Definition, And Why It Matters

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Developing a marketing persona

Although marketing personas are developed around individual consumers, it is important that this individual is representative of the audience it is intended to reflect. To ensure representational accuracy, businesses must undertake market research and analyze data on their existing customers.

Indeed, effective marketing personas require businesses to gather quantitative and qualitative data. 

This can be achieved by:

  • Surveying or interviewing existing customers to build demographic data such as age, gender, income, and education level.
  • Analyzing website analytics to determine consumer buying behavior.
  • Keyword research to determine the words people are using or the problems they are trying to solve.
  • Industry articles detailing current consumer trends.
  • Product-specific data – where was the product bought? What functions are most important to the consumer? 

Benefits of marketing personas

A well-defined marketing persona helps businesses deliver marketing campaigns that are cost-effective and drive sales. Following is a list of benefits detailing how this might be achieved.

Understanding customer needs

Since customer needs are usually related to problems they need solving, knowing these problems allows businesses to create relevant and valuable content. 

With a content strategy based on a marketing persona, organizations self-select their ideal consumers by creating content that resonates with them most.

Understanding customer behavior

Customer behavior encompasses where the fictional individual in a marketing persona likes to spend time online. It details where they get their information, which social media channels they prefer to use, and how they like to be communicated with. 

Understanding this behavior is crucial because it provides valuable insights on where marketing strategy and content creation should be directed.

Higher quality leads

Once a business understands what a consumer needs and where the consumer is trying to meet that need, it is important to communicate in a personable manner

Communicating in this way shows the consumer that a business understands them on more than just a superficial level. It also results in high-quality leads because the right message is matched to the right marketing persona according to the right location and consumer behaviors.

Consistency in marketing message 

Developing marketing personas means that every employee, regardless of their role, is on the same page with regard to the type of consumer the business is trying to attract. This allows all levels of the business, from executives to floor staff, to streamline coherent marketing efforts.

For marketing and sales teams, personas paint a consistent and ultra-specific picture of the types of people they are endeavoring to attract. Ultimately, targeted sales pitches can be created before the business has even connected with an interesting lead for the first time.

Key takeaways:

  • Marketing personas, sometimes called buyer personas, describe fictionalized ideal customers and how they utilize a product or service.
  • To be accurate and effective, marketing personas require upfront research into consumer buying habits, trends, and demographic data.
  • Marketing personas allow businesses to match their marketing campaigns with the right audience at the right time. They also create consistency and awareness of marketing efforts across different departments.

Connected Marketing Concepts

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Digital Marketing

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

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