Fuel Cycle

A Marketing Manager’s Guide to Customer Personas

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As a marketer, it’s your job to understand your customers. From social media strategy to paid ads, blogs, and website design, you live and breathe analytics, brand voice, and aesthetics. And while you think you know who your customers are on a deep level, have you ever really thought of them as a “person?” Do they have a persona with character traits, behavior patterns, wants, needs, and goals? Does your marketing strategy align with that consumer persona? If not, it’s time to explore customer personas for marketing.

Buyer personas are representations of who your ideal customer is based on data and market research. The persona is like a marketing baseball card with a breakdown of who your customer is. For example, a customer persona for a hypothetical footwear company may sound something like this:

Maria, Age 35
Mother of 2 
Household income of $85,000
Maria is frequently on her feet juggling her role as a wife, mother, and work from home employee. She needs footwear that is comfortable, durable, and affordable.

This semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers can help you, as a marketer, focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development, and create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience. Additionally, customer personas for marketing also enable you to target your marketing efforts to different audience segments, and eventually create a brand story.

Getting Started With Customer Personas For Marketing

Before you can start creating customer personas, you first need to do a little research. Start by looking through your CRM or automation software system to determine how specific leads or customers find and consume your content, consult with your sales team about customer types, and interview your existing customers to discover what their needs are. Qualitative market research specifically can help guide you towards laser-focused personas in no time flat. For example, conducting surveys of your customer base asking questions about behavioral drivers, obstacles to purchasing, and mindset will give you the insight you need to move forward.

After conducting research, there are several ways to create customer personas, including drafting a composite sketch and key segments. A composite sketch should be reflective of the majority of people in your target audience. Segmentation involves breaking up sections of your composite sketch. You can segment by things like age, gender, location, income, job title (B2B), industry (B2B), challenges, and goals.

Moving Forward with Research Tools for the Marketing Professional

Once your segments are locked-in, you can begin building out other parts of your brand, including your brand story. Brand storytelling is the process of using a narrative to connect your brand to its customers, complete with characters, setting, conflict, action, climax, and resolution. Once you have your customer personas or your “characters,” honing in on a brand story becomes seamless. For more in-depth commentary on developing a brand story, check our Guide to Brand Storytelling with Confidence,

At Fuel Cycle, we provide businesses with toolkits for the modern marketing team to gather insights necessary to develop customer personas and brand stories. Check us out to see if we can help lift your marketing off the ground today!

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