Dividing your target audience into “Personas” will bring a whole new perspective to your marketing. In the past we used to get hung up with Target Marketing, dividing our prospective audience into demographics and psychographics based on our marketing goals. The smaller the niche we were targeting, the more wasteful mass media became, annoying at least half those in the target audience that had no interest in what we had to say.

The problem is people are so different it’s hard to place them into a pre-defined cluster. And it’s not becoming any easier as today’s consumer is presented more options than ever before with a web of resources at their fingertips.

You need to focus on talking to people, not targets.

InBound marketing is based on formulating your content and messaging around Personas – a group of people with similar interests and pain points.


Start with your favorite customer.

What’s his/her name? Why do you like working with them? Is it because they trust you and empower you to deliver your very best? Typically these are the customers that are easy to work with, pay their bills on time, and understand the value of what you deliver.

If you were able to get more customers like these, surely your employees would be more excited to come to work and your business will grow! Write down everything you know about them. Their age range, gender, geographic region, education level, whether they have kids. What do they like to read? You can tell a lot about a person by the car they drive. This list is the beginning of your buyer persona sketch.


Hone in on their pain points.

Surf the web for a picture of someone just like your best customer at work and add it to your persona sketch. Think of this person’s pain points. Why do your customers come to you? Is it cost or do you provide something they cannot get anywhere else? What pressure is the boss putting on them? What are their professional goals and how do they prefer to be communicated to? Get a deep understanding for what triggers their purchase decision. If you don’t know the answer to some of these questions, ask the customers you know won’t mind sharing this information with you.


Put yourself in their shoes.

Get into character. Start with a strong emotion triggered by one of their pain points you identified earlier and think of the “whys” behind them. What do they need to hear? What education can you provide and how does your product or service address the pains and emotions they are experiencing?

Now develop Personas for your various customer groups as well as groups you’d like to prospect. Give each persona the name of the customer you associate them with and include something distinctive about that group. For example: “Tradesman Mike” or “Independent Thinker Mary”. List your insights under each persona and come up with subject lines to conversations you’d like to have with them. Use this to formulate your messaging strategy as you develop what you want to say when, and how you’re going to deliver your message.

Start a conversation.

The final step is to import your contact list into a good CRM system. Give your lists Persona names and sort your contacts into each list. It will be quite enlightening to see who you’re dealing with most by looking at the number of people you have in each list.

With well-defined Personas in place, you are now set up to have conversations about real issues, with people who want to hear what you have to say, establishing you as an opinion leader that is genuinely has their interests at heart. Now that’s a brand they can love!


Related Articles:

How to create personas, by Hubspot. Leaders in InBound marketing software.

Marketo has a great downloadable cheat sheet to help you map personas to your buyer’s journey.