How to Develop Buyer Personas

Khrysti Nazzaro - March 15, 2016

Effective digital advertising requires a deep understanding of your company’s target market(s). Many businesses take market demographics at face value and neglect a deeper exploration of who their audience(s) is/are and what makes them tick. Is this a realistic view of the person who is buying your products and services?

demographic profile
Now imagine that you are able to go beneath the surface, and leverage data from your analytics platform (especially any advanced segments you are tracking), perhaps your programmatic advertising platform, and the data you collect on your website. The view you have of that buying persona suddenly takes on a whole new color:

persona driven marketing

Getting there doesn’t require endless focus groups, luck, or incredible feats, it’s actually as straightforward as filling in the blanks.

What Do You Know about Your Buyers?

Begin by aggregating the demographic points you are aware of:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Family composition
  • Income level
  • Education level
  • Industry / Job / Role (for B2B)
  • Location / Region
  • Other Sites Visited

What Can You Suppose?

Next layer on elements you can learn from research and the aforementioned data:

  • Interests and likes (start with what other kinds of sites buyers tend to visit) – hobbies, categories, etc.
  • Influencers – who actively impacts the group? What does the buyer read?
  • Drivers – what motivates this group? What are the buyer’s beliefs?
  • Social media presence / participation – what channels does the buyer group use and what do they use them for?
  • Challenges / pain points – what will your brand help solve / provide to this buyer to rectify a current challenge? Which of your products or services will be of value to this buyer type?

Who Is Your Buyer?

Once you’ve answered these questions – and any others relevant for your brand – it’s time to craft your persona. Just with [the picture above], the more lifelike and rich of a character description you develop for your persona the easier it will be to grasp who he or she is and what he or she most needs from your company. Persona profiles can then be used to inform decisions about advertising and Content Marketing campaigns, topics, design creative, user interfaces, calls to action, and more. The applications are limitless.

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