3 Reasons Why Buyer Personas Are Key for Marketers

Savvy marketers take the time to create and adopt buyer personas as a key part of their marketing strategy. These profiles capture information about consumer groups including demographic information, motivations and attitudes. To some, this may seem like a wasted effort.

How can we understand the entire consumer market from a handful of buyer personas?

Marketers who adopt a one-size-fits-all strategy and expect their brands to be everything to everybody are doomed to fail. By first identifying which demographic groups your core consumers sit in and then learning as much as you can about them by developing buyer personas lets you create and execute focused campaigns that work.

Buyer Personas Identify Key Demographics

The process of creating a customer persona involves taking the time to explore your business’s analytics to find the interests represented in your customer base. From this, you can build a few profiles representing the type of people to whom you’re selling, including their income range to their motivations, fears and buying attitudes.

The Shopify blog has an excellent step by step guide to finding this information and using it to create effective buyer personas.

When a marketer understands their buyer in great depth and detail, they can target advertising and content towards them.

When you know the motivations and fears of your consumer, you can create advertising that targets those attitudes, effectively producing personalized marketing pitches.

Powerful Content Can Be Aimed Directly at Consumers

We already know that the effectiveness of content marketing is based on producing content that is relevant and valuable to our audience.

When we understand how our core customers think, we are able to zero in on the content that they want to read and engage with.

The positive effects of a content marketing strategy are amplified when the audience is a known quantity.

Information About Buyer Attitudes Can Predict Behavior

Long and frustrating roadblock for most marketers, customer behavior is a difficult value to capture.

Buyer personas make behavioral factors more transparent and easier to key in on.

the benefits of creating personas

According to the Harvard Business Review, consumer attitude and behavior are inexorably linked. Customer personas provide a method of understanding buyer attitudes, which can be used to predict the buyer’s behavior.

When we know generally how our customers are going to behave in the face of our marketing campaigns, we get a clear path to the sale.

When you have access to deep understand about your core customers, it makes it much easier to market to them, and you’ll see an increase in your marketing ROI.

The benefits to marketing that customer personas present prove their worth, even given the time it takes to create them.

Do you or your clients use personas? Let me know in the comments section below.

Drew Berger

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Drew holds a degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics. He has experience writing in the areas of politics, economics, sports and sports business, and product descriptions. He always strives to produce unique content within a given deadline at a high level of quality.

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0 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why Buyer Personas Are Key for Marketers”

  • Avatar
    Christine Birch says:

    Great post on the benefits of personas – they are a lot of work, but are so worth it! Tying into the last post about serial content, this got me thinking on how to use personas in a narrative marketing strategy too. Has anyone seen this done?

    • Avatar
      Drew Berger says:

      Christine, I’m not sure what an example of what you’re talking about would look like, but I think that if you have a detailed understanding of your audience, you have a better avenue through which to create effective serial content.

      • Avatar
        Christine Birch says:

        I’m not sure what it would look like either. Our discussion of serial content as narrative led me to thinking that good stories start with good characters. Thinking of your audience as character(s) seems like a good way to facilitate that angle.

    • Avatar

      It’d be great if you could create serial content that told a story that appealed to multiple personas simultaneously through different characters in the narrative.

    • Avatar
      Earl Dotson says:

      I have heard of comics and actors adopting personas, but marketers adopting them was news to me. I’m obviously behind the curve on this.

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    Certainly important to thoroughly understand the audience you are marketing to and I believe in order to understand them you have to get involved with the niche. I would therefore never recommend being part of an affiliate program or trying to market goods and services that you have no interest in. Just because something pays well, doesn’t mean you’ll have the motivation to understand the consumer. That’s why when I choose to market content or become an affiliate, I always make sure that it is something I’m truly invested in as an individual.

    • Avatar
      Earl Dotson says:

      That’s a great recommendation. It’s easy to be blinded by a good payday, but the money will be small comfort once you’re bored with what you’re doing.

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        There is a place for money, though. If we writers only wrote what what we loved, there’d be a lot more epics — and a lot more hungry writers.

        • Avatar
          Earl Dotson says:

          Believe me, I understand the importance of money. I just think it’s healthy to not always feel like a mere hired gun.

          • Avatar
            Earl Dotson says:

            The ideal is to find the right balance between what you’re interested in and what pays. I think it’s found through experience.

          • Avatar
            Georgia Potts says:

            Some days that seems to be easier to do than others. There are days when there is a lot of great, interesting work to do that keeps me engaged as well as earning. Then there are days that I spend hours writing about hemorrhoids or, um, adult topics that are outside my comfort zone. Some days that’s just all I can find to work on.

          • Avatar
            Earl Dotson says:

            Hope the days where you’re engaged and earning make the hemorrhoid-focused days worthwhile.

          • Avatar
            Georgia Potts says:

            They definitely do. I don’t feel like I have to enjoy the topics in order to do them. If I have a good earning day,that’s a good day. If I’m engaged in the topic, that’s just icing on the cake. The main focus is really on building clientele while keeping earnings up.

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            I think that’s a struggle for a lot of content writers: earning enough to pay current bills while also working to advance our careers. Because we don’t get automatic raises and often don’t get credit for the pieces we right, it’s especially hard to do. It’s worth the effort, though!

          • Avatar

            I think that’s a struggle for a lot of content writers: earning enough to pay current bills while also working to advance our careers. Because we don’t get automatic raises and often don’t get credit for the pieces we right, it’s especially hard to do. It’s worth the effort, though!

          • Avatar
            Georgia Potts says:

            Some days that seems to be easier to do than others. There are days when there is a lot of great, interesting work to do that keeps me engaged as well as earning. Then there are days that I spend hours writing about hemorrhoids or, um, adult topics that are outside my comfort zone. Some days that’s just all I can find to work on.

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      auntieemily says:

      That makes sense and is very important to remember. We need to be marketing those products that we really care about.

    • Avatar

      So true! I used to be an Amazon affiliate, and I did so much better when I could promote products that I wanted to buy for myself!

  • Avatar
    Georgia Potts says:

    Personas are increasingly being employed in virtually every aspects of marketing and PR. I liked that this spelled out what the benefits are to those who employe them. Thanks!

    • Avatar

      Personas are seemingly everywhere!

      Right now, I’m seeing specific personas in about half of the orders I take (as a writer). Two years ago, it was probably more like 10 percent.

      • Avatar
        Georgia Potts says:

        I agree, it’s really become the norm right now to have a persona already in place to present to the writer.

          • Avatar
            Georgia Potts says:

            Personally, I like it a lot. It gives you someone to envision when you’re writing the piece. That helps you to understand what will be important to that demographic and what to highlight in the piece.

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            It’s alright. I don’t pay too much attention to them myself.

            If they were “80 year old cowboy who has a horse named bill and was shot in a duel,” maybe I’d have more fun with it.

          • Avatar
            Georgia Potts says:

            I think the age and education levels in personas are what are most helpful. What you write to educated middle-aged people is going to be very different from what you write for people in their early 20s who dropped out of high school.

          • Avatar

            You’re right, in that you should write differently to different target audiences.

            I find, though, that there’s enough work available that I don’t need to modify my style. If a client needs something written for a high school-drop out and thinks I use too many long phrases, they can find another writer and I can find another client. There are lots of writers and clients, and we can each find a better match.

            This is probably a handicap in my writing style, but it helps me work more efficiently.

          • Avatar
            Georgia Potts says:

            I think the age and education levels in personas are what are most helpful. What you write to educated middle-aged people is going to be very different from what you write for people in their early 20s who dropped out of high school.

          • Avatar
            Georgia Potts says:

            Personally, I like it a lot. It gives you someone to envision when you’re writing the piece. That helps you to understand what will be important to that demographic and what to highlight in the piece.

      • Avatar

        Same here. It’s so helpful when the client tells you about their typical customers. I can often visualize the person and write as if I’m having a direct conversation with him or her.

  • Avatar

    My blogging work is one place I’ve really tried to look at personas, by poring through the analytics I have available.

    One that surprised me was my positivity blog, where I thought I was writing to a female audience, with women aged 40+, but it turned out my audience was primarily male – about 70% male – and between the ages of 20 and 30.

    So, I switched my writing, to reduce the feminine speech patterns I used to address the readers, and to be more all-inclusive of gender and ages addressed.

  • Avatar
    Charlie Parker says:

    Can I just say (regarding the link to the Shopify tut.) that Shopify never shuts off their value valve. Not only do they consistently make themselves better, but they don’t mind sharing their intel with small businesses that want to grow too. Maybe it’s because they have an HQ in my city, but Shopify is constantly partici in everything around here. It’s nice to see.

  • Avatar

    “The positive effects of a content marketing strategy are amplified when the audience is a known quantity.”

    Good point. Defining your audience always makes writing easier, whether you’re composing copy for a company or a fictional work.

  • Avatar
    Holly Thomas says:

    This kind of reminds me of method acting. Many big actors actually jump into the lives of the people they are portraying so that they can understand their characters better. It is proven to be effective.

    It is only logical that a marketer that attempts to see things from the buyers point of view will be more effective. When you understand the people you are working with you have insight that is invaluable regardless of your final intention.

    • Avatar
      Earl Dotson says:

      Two-time Oscar winner Robert DeNiro is famous for his Method acting approach. To prepare to play Vito Corleone in 1974’s “The Godfather: Part II” – the role he won his first Oscar for – DeNiro spent several months living in Sicily. To prepare to play Travis Bickle in 1976’s “Taxi Driver,” he earned a taxi driver’s license and drove a cab around New York City. DeNiro won his second Oscar for playing real life boxer Jake La Motta in 1980’s “Raging Bull.” First he got himself into fighting condition and even fought in several matches. Then he gained 60 pounds to play La Motta later in life, which was a record for several years (Vincent D’Onofrio broke the record by gaining 70 pounds for his role in 1987’s “Full Metal Jacket”).

  • Avatar

    Knowing your buyer is like knowing a friend very well. You can predict what kind of handbag she’d like to receive as a gift, or what premium channel subscription she’d enjoy. So it’s very logical to build customer personas.

    • Avatar
      Earl Dotson says:

      That’s a great comparison. I hate to say it, but sometimes having a buyer is better than having a friend. Buyers are more likely to give you money.

  • Avatar

    Very interesting read. It’s always important to consider the customer when working on marketing/content. Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar
    Earl Dotson says:

    I had heard of actors and comics having personas, but never marketers. However, after reading this it’s abundantly clear why personas are good for marketers to have.

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