What is a Marketing Persona?

What is a marketing persona and how to develop a profile for your target customer?

Personas are hypothetical models or individuals representing a target market. One persona represents you entire target market or a large portion of the target market. By defining a persona in your marketing you are defining exactly the profile of your target customer or consumer. The persona will help you focus your marketing efforts in everything you do to make sure you communicate to the right target audience in the most efficient and effective way. For example, direct marketers use personas when writing a direct mail letter – the person who writes the direct letter can even use a picture of the persona who represents the target market.

What is important when defining a persona for your marketing? When defining your persona you need to define all the specific, unique and typical characteristics of your persona. By asking a few questions you can start developing a persona. For example, what they read, where they live, where they work, how old are they, what media they follow, what they don’t like, what they support… are typical questions which can help you get going and design an effective persona.

After you have your persona or personas (in case you have more than one target market or market segments within a single target market) you will use the persona in all marketing campaigns and communications. In addition, having a well defined persona will help you further learn about your target market characteristics.

Related: Marketing Strategy

When you develop your marketing campaigns you will develop and organize everything around your persona. You will write the way they like to read about topics, you will write about things they are interested in, you will target audience that have similar characteristics, you will develop your website similar to other media they like and follow… all customized to your persona.

When developing your marketing materials have your persona in front of you and imagine that you communicate one on one with your persona describing your products, services, your event, your business and anything you need to communicate. This approach will help you develop a specific and effective campaigns for your target market which is the goal of every marketing activity. When it comes to new product development or improving your existing services having your target persona will help you identify the most important benefits and features so you can develop a targeted offering.

These days with social media marketing the role of persona is even more important. Your target market is under high volume of advertising and marketing messages so developing targeted social media platforms will improve your marketing. With so many options available to your target market you want to get the attention by developing social media and offerings which are exactly what they need.

Understanding your persona will help you understand their needs, wants and preferences. This understanding is critical for marketing success. When you know your persona you know what they are interested in and what kind of questions and concerns they might have and you will use your marketing communication to address any concerns for them. You have visited many websites online and some of them are general communicating to mass consumers however some of them are oriented to a niche or very specific group of individuals with specific needs. The later kind of websites are developed around a certain particular persona and they are more effective in advertising, promoting and selling their products and even more important they are able to develop happy and loyal customers and followers.

As a conclusion, it is a smart investment for your business to develop a persona. Invest some time and gather your team and start brainstorming and answering the questions mentioned above and start developing your persona. When everybody agrees with the characteristics and definition of your persona start using it in everything you do in the future. Your marketing will definitely be more effective.