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.

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