What Is a Marketing Persona?

Marketing Personas are a way of visualising and organising your potential customers; explains brand consultant, Rog How

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Posted by Rog How, June 26, 2018

A marketing persona, or buyer persona, is a fictitious character who represents a customer group. This persona buys your product or service in a similar way, or for the same reason. 

The customer should always be at the heart of your business and marketing personas are a way of visualising and organising your potential customers so that you can tailor your branding, product and marketing strategies to each customer group.

Let’s look at an example to demonstrate.

An ice cream parlour might sell ice cream mainly to parents buying treats for their children. But what about the parents who might also end up buying for themselves? Young-at-heart adults might also be tempted to buy, or teenagers might want to go there as a place to hang out with their friends.

What does it matter? Surely everyone just likes ice cream so anyone who wants it, will just come and buy. That may be true, but all these groups buy in a different way and for different reasons, so we might decide to tailor signage, product choices or special offers to each customer group.

Kids might be attracted by bright, bold signage and will want particular sorts of ice cream. Parents might want something different or a little more more sophisticated, while the teenagers might be tempted by a special deal if they come and eat in store – like getting a drink for half the price.

In just a few minutes of thinking about it, we are already able to make fairly significant strategic decisions which might help us to sell more ice cream. We have put ourselves in the shoes of our different customers and therefore we can service their particular need – or reason to buy – in a tailored way.

This example is very general, but it is the first step to building up a picture of your customers. To find out how to go about building your persona groups in more detail, check out my article here.

Roger How is a brand consultant and marketing director at Polleni Branding & Design Agency. If you’d like to speak to him about brand strategy, email him here.

(image credit: Present & Correct)