Personas are characters you create to help define who your typical customer is. Each persona represents a customer group with shared values, behaviors, or goals. In comparison to customer profiles, which are based on demographics, life style traits, and other similar factors, personas have an emotional or behavior element. Each business offering usually serves more than one use or need, and so you will likely have more than one persona.
With personas or characters in mind, targeting a group of customers with similar traits is easier to do. The days of “spray and pray” are gone with today’s data driven marketing tools available. Over time, you will learn more specifics about customer attributes, purchasing habits, and product preferences to develop a full customer profile on each persona.
Developing your personas should be done early in the planning process. You’ll want to know who will use your product/service and who the buyer will be. Keep in mind: The buyer and user may not be the same person.
Here are the personas we created for those using this website. You’ll notice that our characters have similar traits, but different motivations for using our site. We named each character to make them easier to identify and target.
Note: The photos of models are used for illustration purposes only.
Once you understand your customer’s motivations or who your customers may be, you will need to understand how to find them, which is where having a customer profile comes in handy. To develop a customer profile, you’ll need to know customer attributes, purchasing habits, and product preferences so that you know where, when, and how to reach them with your marketing message…but that’s a topic for another article.
With your persona defined, you’re on your way to understanding who is using or likely to buy your product/service.