Defining an audience persona—also called a customer or buyer persona—helps you better find, target, and relate to your ideal customer.
Understanding your customers and putting their needs first is crucial to applying your value proposition and growing revenues.*
Ideally, you build the persona from direct customer feedback.
“To build buyer personas, interview buyers who have previously weighed their options, considered or rejected solutions,
and made a decision similar to the one you want to influence.”
― Adele Revella
Knowing the audience persona orients your approach and refines your communication.
Once you work with the sales, product, and client services teams as well as existing clients to understand your current and target markets, you will create a detailed description of a fictional person who represents your target audience. This composite figure embodies the characteristics of your best customers.
You build a specific persona including a name, background, and interests. Sometimes, people even give the persona a face, body, and backstory, presenting scenes from the persona’s regular life.
This process will improve your empathy for your customers’ needs, goals, and challenges. You will learn when they need a solution and how best to apply it.
By imagining the model customer and serving their persona in planning sessions, you can craft marketing messages for the target market. The persona will guide product development, branding, and social media, as well as how to effectively engage influencers and brand ambassadors.
Finally, this persona helps you focus marketing on the right audience by excluding people who would never be good customers: those who lack the interest, ability, or resources to buy your product or service.
The best way to build a persona is as follows:
Research your target audience and understand factors such as age, location, income, industry and role, language and culture, spending patterns, interests, and challenges.
Reach out to customers and ask to talk with them (see questions below). You may even organize learning events which can allow you to meet and learn from customers.
Identify your target audience’s goals and pain points. Separate your business and offering and think about their desires and challenges. This thought process also may lead to innovation on your part.
Follow your audience’s user groups, conferences, and social channels to hear current conversations. Ideally, lead some of those discussions.
Questions to ask when building an audience persona:
How would you describe their beliefs, dreams, fears, and other emotions?
What do they hear? What media influences them, and what do they read or view?
What sights surround their home, job, and activities?
What do they say and do? How do they behave in different settings?
What are their pains? What risks and threats do they face?
What are their gains? What do they need to be successful?
Since customers engage your company for varied reasons, you may want more than one persona to represent each wider audience.
Pro Tip: Compare your business values with the persona to determine if you truly want to work with them.**
Remember that you will likely spend more time (stress and celebrations) with these people than family and friends over many years).
Key Takeaway: The audience persona helps you visualize the ideal customer to better target, reach, engage, and continue working with them.
* Find the article on Value Proposition here
** Read the article Aligning Brand and Values here
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