What is a Buyer Persona? How to Use and Create Personas

Every organization appeals to different types of customers, even though they might fall within the same market segment. While certain customer groups may share common traits, the characteristics that differentiate them enable businesses to tailor their strategies.

Through extensive market research, companies can develop a buyer persona that profiles their shoppers to improve marketing, product development, and customer service techniques.

What is a Buyer Persona?

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A buyer persona is a profile that outlines the target customer's critical characteristics. This profile is not of an actual customer, but rather a fictional entity that represents a company's average shopper. However, the persona is given

  • A name
  • Interests
  • Demographic details

These traits enable companies to develop scenarios and define consumers'

Businesses that market to various types of customers need to create multiple buyer personas, each having its own criteria.

By creating a buyer persona, organizations can get better acquainted with their shoppers to improve their shopping experience. This way, businesses understand how to make a personal connection with their real customers.

How are Buyer Personas Used?

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Studies show that 93% of businesses that use buyer personas met or surpassed their annual targets. However, a buyer persona can be used to gain insight into any operation that a company wants to improve, from customer service to marketing campaigns.

Every buyer profile is centered around branding, strategy, content, and metrics.


Understanding the buyer personas enables each department throughout the company to collaborate and reach peak performance. Among the sectors that must be familiar with customer profiles, customer relationship management (CRM), marketing, and social media coordinators are the most important as they handle direct communication with shoppers.

By understanding the importance of buyer personas, departments can better understand their own role when it comes to attracting customers. It also ensures all employees are working towards the same goals, streamlining processes and maintaining workflow.


Developing a buyer persona is very strategic and determines the outcome of future events, as managers reference these profiles when making decisions. Therefore, if the personas aren't finetuned to eliminate inaccuracies and inefficiencies, companies may generate less than ideal yields.

When customer profiles are created in collaboration with relevant departments, there is no question about how or why decisions are made.


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Content marketing is also based on buyer personas, as it depends on the customers' interests. When developing the personas, management needs to determine what type of content consumers like to read by defining

  • Where they find content
  • How long they read content
  • How they prefer to interact with content
  • What content they are most likely to share
  • How often they access content

With this information, content coordinators can create and market impactful campaigns, blogs, and articles.


Buyer personas provide insight into how customers should react to content, allowing businesses to implement key performance indicators (KPIs) as targets. By setting KPIs, companies can monitor and improve

  • Content engagement length
  • Email open rate
  • Headline impact
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate

5 Steps for Creating a Buyer Persona

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Creating a buyer persona involves gathering as much customer information as possible to develop a well-rounded profile.

1. Research the Target Market

Buyer personas can't be based on guesswork, they need extensive market research that outlines the average customer's

  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Interests
  • Buying behaviors
  • Family situation
  • Education

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers must also determine the size of their company clients. This information can be collected from social media, surveys, and website analytics.

Once the demographic data is outlined, management needs to define which social and sales channels customers prefer to use, as well as potential competition.

2. Identify Pain Points

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Next, managers need to discover the common pain points that customers have throughout their shopping journey, including

  • What problems do shoppers run into?
  • Do customers have any reservations when making a purchase?
  • What obstacles do customers encounter when trying to reach their goals?

Many businesses use social media analytics to gather this data and even implement search streams that alert them whenever someone mentions their brand or products. This allows managers to gauge the customer perception in real-time and discover how they can improve products.

Companies should also consider consulting their customer service department to determine frequently asked questions (FAQ). These inquiries will pinpoint exactly what pain points customers frequently run into.

3. Define Customer Goals

Identifying pain points allows businesses to trace the customers' path to their end goal. By tracing this route, managers can define and resolve other obstacles along the way.

Depending on the average shopper and the type of inventory the company offers, goals may be professional or personal. The objectives inform businesses of customers' motivations and needs. However, if the products do not align with these needs, organizations may need to adjust some features and functionalities.

4. Determine How the Business Can Help

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Sometimes businesses must simply shift the focus of their marketing campaigns to highlight the key benefits of their products to show consumers how they can satisfy their needs.

A feature refers to the functionality of products, whereas a benefit is how the product can provide convenience to the customer.

It is often hard for marketers to look beyond product features and think solely in terms of the customer's benefit. Fortunately, buyer personas give insight into the consumer's mindset and allow marketers to view products from their perspective.

5. Create Buyer Personas

Now it's time to gather all of the information and find recurring patterns. Common characteristics are collaborated to build a customer profile of the average shopper.

For example, a retailer may find that their average customer is

  • 35 years old
  • Female
  • Family-oriented
  • Career-focused

This could help marketers create promotions, develop new products, and implement new services targeted towards this demographic.