Creating Marketing Personas for Your Target Audience

Chances are, somewhere in the marketing office of a product you own, you are a marketing persona. Maybe it’s under another name and the picture looks a little different from you, but your lifestyle has been mapped out and analyzed so that you were drawn to buy the products that you own because you felt they filled a need in your life. You were targeted with a marketing persona.

What are marketing personas?

Based on the target audience you have in mind (i.e. stay-at-home moms, millennials, etc.), a marketing persona is a sketch of who that person is. Based on research data and educated guesses, it includes demographics, such as age, sex, marital status, income, education level, and size of family.  It outlines their lifestyle preferences, such as hobbies and interests, their use of technology to shop and obtain information, their motivations and goals. You can list these items out, have a photo representation, or even do an illustration of what this person looks like to really get inside their heads and understand their desires and needs. Don’t forget to give them a name to really create a sense that you know this person.

Why do you need marketing personas?

By creating a character analysis of your target audience, you humanize them in a very specific way. This helps you to get a better understanding of their needs, how to speak to them, how you can demonstrate that your product serves a purpose in their lives, and how to develop more products to cater to them. Copywriters can use personas to write copy specifically to this person, which will come out in a way that engages them.

How to create marketing personas:

Pick a marketing segment – (or narrow it down to 2-3) Different types of people are interested in different things. A middle-aged professional with kids will shop for different items than an elderly retiree. Your product may be of value to both of these groups, but your goal is to tap into their specific need for it at this point in their lives. It may require differences in tone of voice, visuals and angles in your marketing communications, as well as the placement of your marketing efforts (i.e. social media vs. traditional marketing, such as print flyers or TV ads).

Do marketing research – Really get to know who the people are in your target segment. Research them through social listening and going onto Twitter and Facebook to see what they are commenting on and liking.  If this segment regularly visits your website, look at site analytics to see what they are gravitating towards to understand their interests. Look at what keywords they used to find you in search engines. Also, look at other websites that are popular with this segment to see how they are catering to them. And you can always just ask them in a survey, with questions such as: “How and where do you get your information on the products you shop for?”

Review your company’s values – Do a review of your company’s values and think about how they mesh with your target audience. Do you strive to be eco-friendly and is that a concern for your target segment of young, outdoor sports enthusiasts? Then stress that in your marketing messaging.

What is the problem you are trying to solve? – What is the need this marketing segment has that your product fills for them? Think about how you make your audience’s life easier or better. Is your target working moms who need to get everything done in a hurry because they don’t have much time and your product helps make meals faster? Let them know in your marketing!

If you haven’t created marketing personas for your target audience, get to it! You’ll have a clearer picture of not only who you are creating your products for, but also how to talk to them!