How To: Build a Target Persona (that’s actually useful)

Want your marketing activity to be successful? Stupid question. Of course you do. Then you need to ensure it points in the right direction and at the right people. But if you’ve no clear idea of who these “right people” are (hint: they’re your target customer) you’re going to have a tricky time getting anything right.

That’s why creating target personas (or personae if you like being fancy) for the people you want to get in front of is a ‘must-do’ for any marketer. But where do you start? Right here, that’s where. With the super-handy, functionally titled “Persona Template”.

You can download a blank version of Persona Template here. Which you can use until your heart’s content:

 

 

AND you can even download a pre-populated Persona Example. How kind are we? It shows you what kind of information needs to go where. Also very handy if you’re targeting senior level marketers in enterprise IT organisations.

 

Building your Target Personas

Of course, building a persona is all about determining the average of the type of person you want to target. You’re never going to nail a persona bang on for absolutely everyone you want to target. Unless you go out and interview everyone 1-2-1, that is. Best of luck.

But a persona helps to shape your thinking and give you a clearer understanding of who these people are, how they do things, and what they (might) think. Which all feeds into helping you deliver the right message at the right time.

It’s not an exact science. So, if you get stuck at all just refer to the following for a spot of guidance on how to complete the template:

 

We’ve found it always helps to name your persona. It makes things a bit more real and you start to treat them like they’re an actual person – which they are. It’s also nice to give them a name that’s a bit more inventive than “CEOs” or something like that. Steve, Karim, Melissa, Pavel, or whoever. And if you can make the name a pun that’s even better…like we have in our Persona Example.

 

It’s always nice to put a face to a name. So once you’ve named your persona it’s good to give yourself an idea of what they might look like. So why not hit LinkedIn, search for the type of role/position you’re targeting and then use a few profile pictures as a visual guide to who your target customer might be.

 

These are pretty self-explanatory. They’re all those things that help group and segment people based on what they are. Most of these things change very slowly over time (or not at all in some cases) so they’re an easy way of giving yourself a rough idea of who someone may be at a high level – which will inform how they then do and think about things.

 

Now this is a word we made up, but it does the trick. It stems from the ancient Greek work Ergon which means work. So, we’re talking about your target personas job and what that looks like in terms of their responsibilities, challenges and scope of influence.

All will have an impact on where they spend their time, what their priorities are and how they get things done. Which are powerful things to have sight off if you want to demonstrate some value and deliver some compelling marketing.

 

The hardest to pin down, but the most powerful when you do. This is all about how your target persona thinks, what they’re motivated by, and what influences their thinking.

Again, you’re never going to nail this for every individual and it’ll largely be based on assumptions but with the right information detailed for your Demographics and Ergographics you’ll be able to make an informed guess about what’s right for your personas.

 

We hope you find all this info useful and it helps you build better, more detailed personas for your marketing.

If you feel like you need some help building your personas or you’ve done them and you’re now asking, “what’s next?” then you should check out our blog “How To: Build your lead generation machine” or drop us a line to talk about demand gen and/or lead gen in more depth – where these personas will prove particularly useful.

 

 

 




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