If you’ve been researching marketing for your business, the term “persona” has likely come up. What exactly is a persona? It’s a generic, fictional customer that you develop that encompasses all of the qualities of your ideal customer pool.

Why should you develop your personas? You can reach a more ideal audience, more quickly by knowing who you are trying to reach.

By knowing your customer base, you can direct your marketing toward that demographic rather than wasting time and money on marketing that may not be reaching your target audience.

There are a couple of different ways to begin developing personas, depending on your current operations. If you already have some customers, you can:

  1. Fill out a persona worksheet (add link to our worksheet) to gather common information and help you form a persona
  2. Enter your customer’s information into a CRM platform and use its tools to help you sort and create personas

If you don’t have a large enough customer base, or you are just getting started, or maybe you want to start from scratch, you will first want to collect some data!

Utilizing a CRM platform, marketing automation, social media, surveys, and the like can help you gather information on what type of customers are looking for you. You might have a survey on your website that asks for just a few pieces of information, from different categories, such as:

  • Work information-job title, type of work or industry, size of company
  • Personal information-family, where do they live
  • Hobbies-what do they for fun, what are they locally involved in

We completed internal worksheets as well as collected data, and this is one persona we created for our marketing firm based on that data:

Name : Startup Sam

Job title: CEO

Company: Plumbing for You, LLC

Annual revenue: <$1 million

Size of company: 10 employees

Family: Married with two kids

Where they live: suburbia, homeowners

Organizations and Social Media: Rotary International, Social Register, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Google +

Hobbies: spending time with his family, hiking, exploring the city, sporting events

What we can tell from Startup Sam is that a good portion of our customer base are CEOs of their own startups in the industrial field. They have small companies with 10 or less employees with annual revenue of less than $1 million. They are middle aged men with families, mostly living in suburbia.

Knowing this information is vital to successful marketing campaigns! Now we know to market our content toward other small, industrial startups, as well as small local businesses, rather than big fish.

The bottom line is, the more you know about your customer base, the better you can sell to them and close those deals!