Marketing personas can help tailor messages and product offerings to connect with consumers.

Great marketing boils down to relevance—creating content that buyers can relate to. That's easier said than done. Even shoppers with similar demographic characteristics can have very different values and purchasing motivations. One of the ways to navigate this challenge is to create buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and analysis of your own customer data. For example, you might be a company that sells outdoor gear. One of your buyer personas could be "Adventure Seeker Alex." In this persona, "Alex" is a 30-year-old male who loves hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors. He works as a software engineer and enjoys spending his weekends in nature. Alex is interested in high-quality, durable gear that can withstand rugged outdoor conditions.

By creating a persona like Adventure Seeker Alex, you can tailor your marketing messages and product offerings to resonate with customers like him: "Cheap Skis? Not Cool! Opt for Top-Quality Gear and Own the Slopes!"

Work Backwards
But how do you create these personas? Start with basic market research. Say you conduct a survey of consumers who have purchased outdoor gear. Start with basic demographic questions, including age, gender, household income, and profession. Then ask questions related to their outdoor activities.

  • Are they adrenaline junkies? Or do they prefer more serene sports like canoeing?
  • Do they see outdoor sports as a luxury? Or is it an activity they plan their lives around?
  • How much do they spend on these activities? Do they buy the best equipment? Or is functional and economical good enough?

From here, work backwards. Who are the people who are adrenaline junkies and feel high-end equipment is worth the money? Look for commonalities such as similar demographics, occupations, and lifestyles. This is how you end up with Adventure Seeker Alex. If you want to sell entrylevel equipment or budget-conscious products, you can go through a similar process for Curious Novice Sally or Practical Adventurer Sam.

Once you create personas that match up with the desired products, you can create marketing campaigns around them. How would you speak to Adventurer Alex? Novice Sally? Or Practical Sam? Use these narratives and marketing copy for each persona to reach out to segments of your target audience whose profiles match these personas.

So be more human in your marketing. Create personas! This way, you can stop marketing data and start marketing to people.