Marketing Bootcamp

All About Buyer Personas: What They Are, Why You Need Them and How to Make Them Effective

All About Buyer Personas: What They Are, Why You Need Them and How to Make Them Effective
Image credit: Blend Images - Colin Anderson | Getty Images

Constructing buyer personas has been encouraged by industry leaders for a considerable period of time, and the majority of marketers have listened to this recommendation -- 85 percent according to a study conducted by Relevance. Yet only 15 percent of respondents from the study indicated their buyer personas were effective. How is that possible when, according to Business Grown, persuasive personas usually account for over 90 percent of a company’s sales? They key word here is “persuasive.” About 80 percent of Relevance’s study participants disclosed they were confused about how to properly create influential personas.

What is a buyer persona?

HubSpot defines a buyer persona as a “semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” This persona allows you to understand what your customers need, how they think, behave and how you can address them accordingly. The more details you can outline, the more successful the persona -- and your marketing efforts -- will be.


First, configure the age, sex, income level, marital status, education level, geographic location and any other characteristics you think are important for defining your target audience. Once you’ve narrowed down the key demographic factors, you can begin to build a consumer profile.


While determining the demographic qualities of your target audience is important, identifying those factors alone is not sufficient. Take, for example, this profile: Ideal consumer is a married male, at least 60 years old, with a net worth of over 30 million and has a passion for playing golf. The consumer could be Bill Gates or Alice Cooper, and it’s unlikely that both are receptive to the same tone or type of content.

Therefore, understanding the attitudes, aspirations and values of your target audience is also necessary to ensure marketing efforts are worthwhile. To further develop your persona, answer these questions:

  • Why would a shopper prioritize my content? What problems does my buyer feel passionate about?
  • How would a purchaser benefit from my content?
  • What hindrances might prevent a user from paying attention to my content? Or doubt my products and services are dependable?
  • How can I influence a user to take an actionable step?
  • What criteria will influence whether or not a shopper decides to make a purchase? How can I prove my products or services are superior to alternative options?

By digging deeper into the mind of your target purchaser, you can properly create a buyer persona and inbound marketing campaign that successfully reaches and influences your ideal shopper. 

(Written by Phillip Thune)

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