Buyer Personas 101: What They Are and Why They Matter to Marketers

Buyer personas are growing more common as a way for companies to make marketing decisions and use
ThinkstockPhotos-dv1613007targeted ads, but many business owners do not know what personas are or how they can be used.

Buyer Personas: Definitions

A buyer persona is a digital representation of a buyer created from gleaning information about their buying habits and online activities that are available to survey. When companies use buyer personas, the goal is to create a realistic look at a buyer and then predict what they would be interested in through insights to their lifestyle. Buyer personas pluck information from many different sources, particularly online stores, social media, and of course marketing and ad analysis.

Benefits of Using Personasfile-1310034439 (3)

Creating buyer personas is all about getting a more accurate representation of a customer – both a general “ideal” customer and the real customers that making purchasing decisions. Not only do business learn how customer make buying decisions, but personas also give them the ability to create much stronger targeted ads, customizable deals, and similar benefits.

Buyer personas can also go far beyond ads: When used correctly, they can help you understand why a customer may choose a competitor instead of your business – and what tactics can bring more customers over to your side when it comes to future branding. Why do people buy your products or services? What social influences play a part in purchasing decisions? These are the sort of questions that deep persona building can help answer.

Getting Started with Personas

The right research is key when it comes to building personas: Companies need plenty of data to form accurate personas and use them effectively. In order to make personas that are more useful than traditional focus groups, businesses must have access to the right tools and experts that will help when making decisions. Creating buyer personas may require an upgrade in general buyer intelligence throughout the company: The more online activities a brand is involved in, the more effective personas are likely to be.

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About the Author

Though his chief ambition is to one day control the entire Internet, Jim busies himself in the meantime running our little web development and marketing agency. He's a certified super nerd who ranks coding in old, outdated languages and watching Star Trek reruns just a bit too high on his list of fun things to do. Outside of work, Jim enjoys Hockey (Tampa Bay Lighning, to be specific), more genres of music than most people realize exist, riding his Harley (he calls it "two wheel therapy") and exploring the world through travel.