Marketing has all kinds of aspects to it like the 4P’s (product, price, place, & promotion). Sometimes as a small business owner you might be faced with tactics of marketing like promotion without a foundation of why you are promoting the way you are. One example is that you see everyone else do it. I knew a carpet cleaner who spent 60k on an phone book ad spend only to see a fraction of the advertising dollars come back. His estimation was a waste of time and money. That is where targeting your customers with personas can help you define your marketing message and promotion. We will take a strategic look at your reason for some tactics by viewing personas.

What is a persona? Google persona and you will find that one definition is: “The aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others.” Taking that definition you may want to start defining your customers with attributes to your brand. Since I have my internet marketing company I might begin by defining these particular attributes by answering some questions.

Defining Your Personas by Personality. Defining who this person is individually is a great step to helping target the customers you are looking for. Often times ad agencies gather some photos give these people a name and begin to dissect the actual personality of each persona.

1) Who are they?
2) What are their habits/interests/hobbies?
3) What are their specific desires, wants, needs?
4) How do they perceive themselves?

Demographics of Personas. This often can help define a person and how to market to them. If you live in Portland as I do there are things that you find normal that others may find strange. If you are trying to target some (not all) you might define a Portlander persona as a hiking tree hugger, organic local consumer, bike everywhere, keep Portland weird touting individual. At least that is how we might be perceived through the lens of Portlandia. Maybe there is some truth to it but that would a persona. Here are some demographic questions that you could answer.
1) Married, children?
2) Where do they live, work?
3) What is the temperature of their location?
4) What do they eat?
5) What is their income?

Product/service specific. On one side this is defining attributes of your product or service that relate to the personas that you have created. Figuring out the specific need that your consumers have can help you better sell to them. In some ways this can help you come up with new features, services, or products. One of my friends likes to do new product usage in part because he gets stuff for his time spent. The researchers though watch his use of it to figure out the pros and cons of the product. In some way they defined a persona and then get them in to test the product. Some questions relating to personas and your product or service.
1) Have they encountered the product?
2) What needs or pain points might this fulfill/satisfy?
3) Are there other options out there that help fulfill this need?
4) How will they buy this?
5) How will they use it?

Using personas can then help you define your method of online marketing such as social media. For instance, if your demographic is male, with no wife or children, enjoys football and outdoor sports and isn’t to interested in fashion than it is a safe bet that your social media marketing wouldn’t be on Pinterest. Or maybe if they are a busy entrepreneur in a busy B2B company then social media on Linkedin might be a little more of an interest.

Personas can help you better market your product or service to your client. It takes time and energy but the practice is worth performing to help identify how to better market to your customers. How have you used personas? What might be some questions you found needing answering that we haven’t included?