Every business we touch completes some form of marketing, large or small most business owners know that they have to be continually marketing their business to grow. But one area that most businesses we see fail in is working out a buyer persona.

From Wikipedia

“A persona (plural personae or personas), in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. The word is derived from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask”

So what does this have to do with marketing?

Very simply, just like you would dedicate an amount of time to create a rich character for a fictional story, you should dedicate some of your time creating different personas which make up a group of users that have similar attributes, demographics and will therefore respond slightly differently to marketing messages. Personas can be used to define goals and desires as well as interaction with your company along with the visual design of your brand and website. Very powerful stuff.

How to start creating Personas for your marketing

The easiest way to make a start with this process is look at your existing client base. Choose your top 3 clients (after all you want to attract more like these so it would make sense to start with these as a first pass)

Then put together all you know about them:

  1. General demographics: sex, age, geography
  2. Interests: what do they do when they are not working
  3. Publications they read: What newspaper / blogs / feeds do they subscribe to
  4. Goals and Aspirations

The fuller you can make the profile the better you will be able to market to them. If you’re in the sporting industry then Sport England has done this for you, and if you’re not in that industry I still recommend you take a look at this to give you an idea of how a real persona should look. Now whilst these personas are the best I have seen, you too should create names to associate with your personas and when you market to them get into their mindset to deliver a good message that will encourage action.

As a very small example but one I use a lot is imagine you are selling a pair of red high heel shoes, you know your audience type is a teenager that would love to put on these shoes. What would your headline be?

  1. Sassy shoes for your evening out?
  2. Every girl needs a pair of red shoes

Well they are OK, but quite generic…. better to target in on the driving force of a teenager.. so what about

  1. Your parents will hate these
  2. Your girlfriends will be Sooo jealous of these

You get the idea!

Start putting on your marketing ‘play’ you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.