Silhouette of a person

Why use marketing personas?

by Cam's Writing

What are marketing personas and why you should use them?

If you work in marketing, you need to know your customers. It’s quite easy to get an idea of their age, gender and location, but you need much more about them.

That’s why marketing personas are important. These fictional characters help you visualise your ideal clients and get a better understanding of their needs. They can also help you improve the way you communicate with your customers.

Copywriters are not the right people to help you create your marketing personas, but they’re probably the ones who love them the most. For writers, using them can improve their work and make a big difference.

What are marketing personas?

Marketing personas are characters representing a group of customers or users, or a market segment. They aren’t just stereotypes but archetypes, the quintessential examples of your typical customers.

Like everyone else, a user persona has a name, a marital status, sometimes even a family and/or pets. They have a job and some hobbies, problems to solve and a system of beliefs. More importantly, they have a face. Personas should include a photo to help your team visualise them.

You shouldn’t base them solely on demographics – such as age, gender and location – but take into consideration people’s needs, habits, fears and behaviour in general. Personas are here to help you comprehend your customers’ priorities. This requires a deep understanding of your target audience.

How do you create marketing personas?

Even if they’re fictional characters, marketing personas don’t come from people’s imagination. They’re based on qualitative and quantitative research.

Firstly, you need to know what you want to learn about your customers. Are you more interested in the problems they need to solve or in the things they worry about? Do you wish to know what they’re expectations are regarding your products or services? Make a list of questions. Then, talk to your customers.

To create useful personas, you need to do some proper market research. Combine the information you got through the conversations you had with them with the data you’ve already collected through your customer database, web analytics or even CRM.

Once you’ve gathered all the information, start writing it down in order to create a character summarising all you’ve learned. Give them a name and a face, using stock photography. This exercise might give you the impression that you’re a novelist but this is not just a creative game. You are building a powerful tool to boost your marketing.

On the internet, you can find many free guides and templates to help you create your marketing personas, like on Smaply for example.

Why should every content team use them?

Marketing personas aren’t only used by content teams, they should be shared with everyone in your company to help your collaborators understand your customers better. However, personas are particularly useful for content creators.

For copywriters, it’s always easier to write relevant copy when you know who you’re writing for. Personas help build empathy. Instead of creating content for an anonymous audience, they’ll craft it carefully for Jane, a mother of four planning her next family holiday, or for Juliette, a millennial about to launch her own business, or for Johanna, a young single woman looking for love in London.

Marketing personas trigger your imagination. They help you put yourself in your customer’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. That is why they’re such a powerful marketing tool and every content team should have the opportunity to work with them.

Different market means different personas

Since marketing personas include the understanding of your customers’ behaviour and culture, you can rarely use the same ones for several markets. The key characteristics of a nation’s consumers are different from the ones in other countries.

For example, John, a twenty-something student in London, is likely to live in a flat-share. Whereas Jean, a twenty-something student living in Paris, will probably rent a small studio or bedsit. John would meet his friends at the local pub, Jean would prefer a trendy café. They might have a lot in common but their lives would be different, therefore they cannot be represented by one persona.

Finally, because your customers’ priorities and concerns are constantly changing, you need to regularly update your personas. You don’t have to create new ones every other month, but you should continuously keep learning about your audience, wherever they are, so you and them are always on the same page.

At Cam’s Writing, we love working with user personas. They’re a great tool to create effective marketing content.
If you want to know more about our services or if you need help creating or adapting your personas for the French or the British market, give us a call.