In marketing, a customer persona is a tool that allows you to inject EMPATHY into your marketing strategy. A well-sketched customer (or buyer) persona can help you understand how your audience will respond to your marketing messages and value propositions. When you build a customer persona, you need to include all the human values and fears that will determine how real people will respond to your brand and message.
What is a Customer Persona?
In short, a customer persona is a demographic character sketch of your typical or ideal customer. It represents where your customers live, how they spend their money, what matters to them, and what they want to avoid. It should express the distinctive qualities of your audience without becoming so narrow that it excludes many potential customers.
Customer personas are used in marketing to create and test marketing strategies. Do our messages address the most pressing needs of our audience? Does our brand reflect the values of our audience? Questions like these are better answered when a clear picture of the audience is available.
How Can I Get Started?
In order to craft a useful buyer persona, you must consider the most relevant factors:
- Demographic information such as ranges of age and income, family composition, education level, and location
- Interests (professional and personal)
- Goals (professional and personal)
- Values and standards
- Frustrations and fears
- Experience with technology and preferred channels of communication
This is a nice starting list, but you will want to include further information that is unique to your industry and market. For instance, if you sell timeshares, you may want to include information about your target audience’s ideal vacation.
As you can see, a buyer persona consists of information that will help you sharpen your marketing messages. If the values and fears that are top of mind for my customers aren’t addressed in my marketing, I know I have work to do.
In marketing, you have to make assumptions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t question those assumptions. A customer persona will provide you with a framework through which you can question and test your marketing decisions. Of course, as you learn more about your audience through iteration and communication, your persona and subsequent marketing will adjust in kind.
Have you built a customer persona? Start putting the puzzle pieces together and see what you learn!
Black Raven creates Digital Content with an “audience-first” approach.