Why Do Marketing Personas Really Work?

If you’ve been following my posts on developing Marketing Personas and how to use them, you may be worried that personas are too narrow-focused to bring in enough customers. It’s understandable why you might believe that targeted messaging leaves money on the table. It’s important to remember that digital marketing is different than the decades of traditional advertising we knew before the internet. Digital marketing allows you to reach the most profitable customers on a consistent basis – a detailed marketing persona will help you connect with those ideal customers. Quality over quantity will improve your bottom line.Like a jigsaw puzzle almost complete, a marketing persona will help you connect with customers.

If you haven’t developed a marketing persona yet, you might be targeting general demographics. For example, a fitness brand might believe its target is women aged 25-55, living a suburban lifestyle, who like fitness. This is a list of demographics that are a starting point for a persona, but not yet an actual marketing persona. Why does this company need to know more? A good marketing persona can provide insight into what a quality lead may be thinking and feeling, which makes it easier and more affordable to provide a clear marketing message.

Let’s take those demographics and build the fitness brand’s persona. We’ll start with a name. It’s easier to envision what to say to Jennifer, who is 45 years old, works from home, has school-aged children, enjoys fitness classes that work around her schedule, and is always looking for new ways to make fast healthy dinners for her family. Are you already picturing her in your mind?

The difference between demographics and a marketing persona is the human element. It becomes almost natural to see someone with a name, lifestyle, job, hobbies, and interests and how your brand can help her, meet her needs, or enhance her daily life.


Isn’t my large social media following my target market?

In the age of online life, it is easy to think we know what our customers want when we have a large social media following. There are lots of reasons why someone chooses to follow a business on social media, but that does not always mean they are currently a prime candidate to be a good customer. Using social media data clarifies who is in your customer base, but your best customers are more than social media followers. To find your future best customers, you need to dig deeper.

A marketing persona allows you to understand your audience and their motivations. Knowing your future customer’s needs, goals, and buying habits can ensure that your social media communications better connect with the good leads among the sea of followers. When you use your marketing persona to develop a social media plan that speaks to a specific audience, you will find it to be a more effective place to increase engagement with leads and generate new sales.


I believe that everyone is my customer

While it may be true that your business has a broad customer base, for lead generation marketing purposes, it is important to get as granular as possible to learn who your BEST customer truly is.

Let’s look at an example of a business that seemingly has a wide-ranging audience. Plumbing Services are universal, correct? Practically every homeowner has had to use a plumbing service at some point. In theory, every homeowner could be a customer of a local plumber. The next conclusion is that it’s best to advertise to a population versus a persona by targeting all homeowners. The language used in ads created for this audience would be very general, so as to catch the attention of a wide group of people. This type of ad campaign is called a brand awareness campaign. Brand awareness ads take many different forms, such as a digital banner ad or a flier in the weekly mailer. The downside of this type of advertising is that the message can quickly get overlooked – it’s not designed to grab any one individual’s attention.

Brand awareness campaigns are a perfect way to build awareness in the community and create familiarity. However, if your business is looking for new customers right now, brand awareness may not the best approach. Lead generation advertising focuses on finding potential customers who are in the market – right now – for your services. And that requires focusing on a marketing persona.

Now let’s reframe this target market for a better lead. As we do the research to build a marketing persona around the plumber’s current customers, we might discover that many repeat customers are homeowners with homes that are at least 20 years old. The community is known to have hard water, and a professional plumber would know that water softeners are often replaced every 12 years. There is a higher likelihood that someone who fits those parameters will have a more direct need for plumbing services or a new water softener.

Making the Most of My Marketing Persona

Wouldn’t it be great to understand a little more about what that potential customer’s decision-making process is and how you might be able to get the right message to them at the right time? A critical part of lead generation marketing is knowing exactly who you need to connect with. That is where marketing personas shine. They help you understand who your best customers are, how they think, and where you can find others like them. The result is making effective use of your ad budget and further increasing your odds of a better sales pipeline close ratio.

Marketing Personas use existing customer data, competitor data, and personal experiences from staff to create fictional versions of your best customer. The true value of this process is getting an intimate understanding of your best customers. The resulting marketing persona document can facilitate a real connection with potential customers through clear and effective communications. How could your business benefit from having a deep understanding of your best clients? Would you like to attract more clients like them?

If you are interested in building marketing personas for your business, contact Motto Marketing. We have years of experience building small business personas to provide clarity for our clients and their marketing efforts.