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Defining Business Personas

21 Oct, 2015 McKell Naegle

Using personas—an imaginary being that portrays your ideal customer or user—can help you define your business and reach your target market. So why are personas important to define and how can they help you? Let’s find out.

It’s common knowledge that to market to a consumer base you must first understand your customer. Without doing this, you are basically throwing mud at a wall and hoping it sticks. You will also be spending more money on marketing than you should be. Personas can narrow down your marketing so you can target better and have a better ROI. A persona allows you to see your business through the customers’ eyes. There are usually two types of personas that businesses use: buyers or users. Buyer personas are essentially customers; and user personas are still customers, but your business is not working or selling directly to them. Let’s go into a little more depth:


Buyer personas can be viewed as your perfect customer and give you great insights on how to market. These personas work best if your product is going straight to consumers, not through a retailer. Buyer personas are based on observations of your current customers as well as research of your target market.


Manufacturers and developers commonly use user personas. They’re designed or created with a specific type of user, rather than a buyer, as the focus. Companies typically using user personas will not come in contact with the consumer, so they imagine who would be the ideal user of their product rather than buyer. The retailers, who deal with the customer, are concerned with buyer personas. Think of appliance companies making a large refrigerator made for a family household or software being designed for a specific task. The functionalities and uses of the products are developed with the user in mind, not the buyer. That is mainly due to the fact these products are often sold through large retailers such as Best Buy or Sears and not the manufacturing or developer.

Developing your persona

Your persona needs to fit who you are trying to target with your product or service. So figure out their background (work and personal life), demographics (age, education, family, etc.), goals, and purchasing trends. Figure out what is most important to them.

During this process, make sure to keep researching your market and analyzing your customers. You want to make the persona as well rounded as possible. Spend a good amount of time analyzing your data so you can come to well thought out conclusions.

Personas can be a great and important addition to your marketing plan. They can help narrow down your target market, which could result in less money spent on marketing and a higher ROI. Be sure to put as much detail into your persona as possible and don’t leave any stoned unturned. Happy marketing!

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