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What Is A Persona?

If you are having a tough time coming up with the right copy for the headlines, content for the rest of the site or look and feel of the website, you probably haven’t created your personas. This is a critical component of your marketing. After all, the marketing team needs to know to whom they are marketing, and the sales team needs to know to whom they are selling.

Almost any education in marketing will teach you the importance of defining your target customer. However, rather than deciding on a broad demographic or group of people, the conventional wisdom teaches us to describe one single (made up) person who most closely embodies your primary customer – a persona.

What is a persona?

Personas are a common marketing and design tactic that helps you to focus on your marketing campaign or project. They are character sketches of individual audience members that define who the website, product or service is for. Personas help marketers visualise their audience and better understand their needs in relation to the campaign.

Personas are defined as archetypal users that represent the needs, goals, values, and behaviours of larger groups. Acting as stand-ins for real users, personas are tools that help guide design and content teams in making decisions about the look and feel of websites and what they will read. By identifying people’s behaviours and what drives them, personas bring users to life by giving them names, personalities, and faces. While these personas are fictitious, they are based on the behaviours of real people/customers.

How is developing a persona helpful?

Understanding the needs of your audience is critical to the success of marketing. Personas will help you to identify and communicate their needs efficiently and effectively. By prioritising content development and website design based on personas it will help you avoid the trap of building what we think users want, allowing us to create content that people use and value.

More critically, insightful buyer personas readily inform strategies for persuasive messaging, content marketing, product or solution launches, campaigns and sales alignment.

Ultimately, personas help to move you away from what the marketing team wants and towards what the persona wants. Instead of saying “I like the colour yellow, so we should use it on our homepage design” you can say “The persona will have trouble reading yellow text and we should choose a colour that makes it easiest for them to read.”

How to create a persona

  • What is their demographic information?
  • What is their age? Where do they live? What industry do they work?
  • What is their job level/senority?

Marketing/Finance/CEO – part of the C-suite. C-level executives presents unique challenges; they might have shorter attention spans, spend less time learning and researching, and have different goals than a lower level employee

  1. What does a day in their life look like?
  2. What are their pains/issues?
  3. What do they value? What are their goals?
  4. Where do they seek their information/data?
  5. What are their most common objections to your product/service?

Now that you have this information you can now create a persona document. Download our free template to help you create your buyers personas and share with your colleagues.

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