A Guide to Buyer’s Persona

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Every business is trying to attract a particular group of people to buy its products or services. We’re talking about its target audience—those broad categories defined by things like gender, ethnicity, interests, hobbies, and budgets. Target audiences give companies a general idea of who they should market to. (Buyer Persona)

But here’s the real deal – to truly nail your product and marketing strategy and connect with customers on a personal level, you need way more than just those broad demographics. You need an in-depth understanding of what makes your ideal customers tick – their values, frustrations, and goals. That’s where fictional personas come into play.

What is a persona?

A persona is a fictional, generalized character representing your business’s target users or customers. Personas are idealized clients—characters with the exact pain points your product solves, the goals your product or service helps achieve, and sensibilities that align with your brand.

A persona is typically defined as a single, nameable person with specific characteristics instead of ranges. For example, “Our persona’s name is Emma, and she’s 34 years old,” rather than “31 to 45” or “mid-30s.” However, the most important aspect of a buyer persona is typically not demographics but goals and pain points related to your product.

Why create personas?

Let’s be real, businesses are basically shooting in the dark regarding their products and marketing. They might have a vague idea of their target audience, but that broad approach misses the mark big time.

Personas put you in your ideal customer’s shoes and help you understand them more deeply. What matters most to them? What are their biggest struggles and pain points? What are their goals and aspirations? 

Armed with those crucial insights, you can craft products and messages that speak directly to their needs and desires. Effective personas help you make better business decisions by thoroughly understanding the pain points of the target group. This offers the following benefits: 

  •  It helps identify your target group’s needs and enables you to develop products or services that directly address their challenges or fulfill their desires. 
  • This customer-centric approach significantly increases the likelihood of attracting and retaining a loyal customer base, as your offerings precisely align with their expectations and requirements.
  • Gaining insights into your target group allows you to effectively tailor your marketing efforts and communication strategies across various channels. Different customer segments may have distinct preferences for shopping and interacting with brands online, requiring a nuanced approach to resonate with each audience.
  • Understanding your target group‘s preferences enables you to optimize your presence on each channel, ensuring that your messaging, promotions, and user experience are perfectly tailored to their unique needs and preferences. 

Difference Between User personas and buyer personas

Different teams or functional roles within a company use personas for specific reasons. However, while the use cases differ, the hypothetical customer behind the fictional persona should be the same. You wouldn’t want your marketing team designing messaging to reach one person while the product team builds for someone else.

User personas are employed by design teams in product and UX (user experience) design. For example, if they know their persona obsessively manages their email inbox, they might prioritize a feature allowing users to control the notifications sent by their email app.

On the other hand, buyer personas are used in every form of marketing, from branding to digital. Creating buyer personas helps teams craft marketing messages and decide which marketing channels to leverage in their strategy.

If you have multiple products, use cases, or target markets, consider creating a persona for each customer segment. If you do this, it’s crucial to use sales or usage data to understand which persona is most important to your business (your primary persona) and which is less important (secondary personas). 

What makes a good persona?

Personas are all about specificity. The more you do as a designer or marketer to specify your buyer persona, the better your team can create great products and run effective marketing campaigns.

For example, if you are a mattress company, you might say your persona’s pain point is that “typical affordable mattresses are uncomfortable.” While this could help you write a copy about your mattress’s comfort, it is a limited insight.

Be as specific as possible to create realistic characters. 

This level of detail will lead to evocative marketing copy focused on the product’s cooling materials and better decisions about the overall product roadmap.

How to create a persona

Below, we have outlined a step-by-step process: 

1. Research your customer

Typically, the process starts with a product idea. This idea could stem from identifying an unmet market need, leveraging emerging technologies, or building upon an existing offering.

Once you have the initial product concept, the next crucial step is to research and identify the customer base that would be most interested in and benefit from this particular offering. Conduct research to understand potential customer segments for this offering.

For that, identify a potential product idea through intuition. Formulate hypotheses about the target customer base, leveraging available data. Test those hypotheses through market research and customer feedback. Iterate by refining hypotheses based on findings, continuously improving understanding of the ideal customer segments.

2. Hypothesize based on findings

Once you’ve gathered enough data to understand your customers‘ profiles, pain points, and goals, begin hypothesizing how to develop personas based on your findings. You could create a short personal description that includes personal details like name, preferred language, interests, family status, income, job title, challenges, and goals or motivations.

The more precise you are, the better. These buyer persona examples can function as templates for achieving effective detail. Remember that everything on your one-pager remains a hypothesis until you can validate it through testing.

3. Test and validate your personas

There are many ways to test your persona. Product and marketing teams have different approaches for reaching the same outcome: establishing confidence in their persona’s definition.  

A marketing team validates personas definitions through quantitative test marketing campaigns. For example, they might launch social media advertising campaigns targeting users representing two versions of their persona to see which performs better. Or they may target one audience with multiple messages to see which one resonates with them. These are effective ways to prove personal hypotheses.


You ensure your marketing stays targeted by constantly refining existing buyer personas and discovering new ones as your audience grows. This clarity empowers your team, leading to increased social media engagement and a better return on ad investment. Ultimately, buyer personas are an investment in understanding your ideal customers, a key to business success.

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