Digital Marketing 101: The Power of Personas & Why Understanding Your Audience is So Critical

Before embarking on a comprehensive marketing campaign, it’s critical to first identify the ideal customer (or client) you’re trying to attract. Audience motivations are the driving force behind their behavior, and when you want that behavior to help support your business, service or product, you’d better do everything possible to understand as much as possible about them.

How Personas Help

By creating personas, you develop a hypothetical target audience based on what you already know about your actual audience. This exercise allows you to better understand your unique audiences – as well as their key motivations. Unlike market segmentation, creating a persona goes far beyond simply identifying the broad groups of people who are likely to support your organization. Creating separate, individual personalities and designing an approach that’s customized specifically for them leads to a better success rate. Utilizing persona motivations as your marketing approach is more effective than gearing generic marketing tactics toward a less well-defined audience.

Creating Personas

Creating effective personas is based on knowing and understanding your demographics (much like other market research.) However, unlike generic demographics, personas delve into specific interests, habits and underlying motivations. Statistics, interviews and feedback requests from your existing audience are all good ways to build a persona. The more detail you can include, the more accurate your persona

  • What is their name? How old are they? What do they look like? Are they single, or do they have a family?
  • Physical appearance: Are they healthy, or do they want to be in better shape? Are they interested in products related to health or personal care?
  • Narrative profile: What does their daily routine look like? What are their habits, their likes and dislikes? What makes them interesting?
  • Goals and motivations: What are their personal and professional goals? How long have they held their jobs? What types of colleagues do they work well with?
  • Most important: What is the biggest problem/challenge they face and how can you help them?

Including as many details as possible will ensure you are creating a completely well-rounded persona.

Putting Your Persona to Work

As your understanding of your personas expands, your message will become more targeted and relevant. And this will ultimately improve the success of your marketing. Is your persona a night owl? Then don’t focus advertising at that persona early in the morning. Does your persona hate Twitter? Avoid the use of hashtags and other lingo associated specifically with that platform. Your marketing will evolve to attract the ideal audience based on the personas that you create. Over time, your real-life audience will become your advocates as well, promoting your brand or product out to those with similar mindsets. A persona, when developed and utilized properly, is the primary catalyst for major marketing success.


Published March 17, 2017.
Categories: Digital Marketing