Buyer Personas: What are they and how do I create them?

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Have you ever thought about who your customers are?

Prepared Paige, Showboat Sean, Adventurer Aaron… these are the names of fictional characters we created to represent prospective customers for our boating course.

None of us really know much about boating, so our first step to marketing this course was thinking about who would be taking it and why. That’s when we realized, how much did we really know about our prospective customers?

Using existing survey data, we began to develop a sketch of who our ideal course taker would be. Thinking through demographics, motivating factors, and experience levels, our data came to life and 5 real customers emerged.

 

How to use them

Buyer personas may be generalized and imaginary characterizations; however, they help marketers put a face to the customer, to internalize their pain points, and to begin to understand what drives them to purchase a product.

This is extremely important for developing content and messaging and for positioning the product in a way that resonates with your target audience(s). Personas can help you tailor your pitch, differentiate your product, and improve business results.

 

How to create them

  1. Use data to find trends:
  • Survey data, customer interviews, research, etc.
  1. Create a profile and consider the following:
  • Demographics
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Income level
    • Education level
    • Marital Status
    • Number of children
  • Identifiers
    • Personality traits
    • Hobbies
    • Preferences
  • Motivators
    • Why are they buying your product?
  • Concerns
    • What are their pain points?
    • How does your product solve their problem(s)?
  • Marketing message
    • How should you describe your product to them?
  1. Bring it to life:
  • Build a story around these profiles. Imagine these group as real people. Give them names. Think through what their day-to-day lives look like. They’ve encountered your product. What’s next?