How to create customer personas

Before you can truly understand your customers, you have to get to know them first.

If you want to get the most out of your marketing strategy, it’s crucial that you spend some time and create your ideal customer persona.

But what do we mean when we say, “create your ideal customer persona”? 

You could take the difficult route of stealing your customers’ DNA, cloning them, and sculpting them into an army of buying machines and relentless brand advocates. Alternatively, you could spend a bit of time doing some relatively simple brainstorming activities that will help you create an image of your ideal customer. Sure, that clone army sounds pretty sweet, but it’s probably just outside of most business’ marketing budgets.   

In simple terms, customer personas are fictional representations of your perfect customers, developed through interviews, market research, and surveys.

If you really want to know who might be interested in your products and how to market to them, customer profiles are a crucial step, and one size definitely doesn’t fit all.  

Putting our cloning disappointment aside for a second, let’s take a look at how to create your ideal customer persona. 

Answer some questions about your ideal customer

Creating your ideal customer persona is all about asking yourself questions. There are no bad questions, and there are no right or wrong answers. 

Here are a few examples to get your started and your brain ticking over. 

Age 

Be specific here. Pick just one age for each profile you create. Don’t choose an age range. This activity isn’t about creating customer groups; it’s about honing in on specific customers.  

Location 

Where does this customer live? You don’t have to nail it down to a specific city here. For this question, broad strokes are fine. Think in terms of metro, city, regional, country, etc. 

Job

What does this customer do for a living? What is their job title? How long have they been in the job? Do they enjoy what they do? 

Education 

Where did this customer go to school? Are they university educated? Do they have a trade? Did they have limited access to education?

Family

Does this customer have a family? Are they single? Do they have kids? Do they even want kids? 

Interests

So far, we’ve been focussing on fairly surface-level information for your customer persona. Now, let’s delve a little deeper. What does this customer like to do? What books do they read? Do they prefer movies or TV? Do they read paperbacks or listen to audiobooks? Podcasts or music? 

Hopefully, this is all starting to make sense now. We won’t go through every question you can ask yourself. When you’re first starting out making customer profiles, try not to overwhelm yourself. Start small, be specific, and take breaks to step back and reflect as you go.

It’s even worth considering how you should approach creating customer profiles in the midst of our current global pandemic

Answer some questions about your business

Once you’ve asked important questions about your customers, it’s time to ask some questions about your business.

It’s all well and good to understand your customers, but you need to know how they fit your business, what your business can offer them, and how you’ll offer it.

Solutions

What want/need does your customer have, and how does your product/service solve it?

In some cases, this is quite simple. Maybe your customer persona is sick and tired of low-quality shoes that fall apart after a few months of use. How do the shoes that your business sells solve that issue? 

Value

When we say “value” here, we aren’t talking purely about money. Sure, cost value is important to just about everyone, but customers often value much more than simply saving a few dollars. 

What does your customer really value? Customer service? A solid returns policy? Fast shipping? Quality materials? Ethical sourcing methods? Environmental impact? 

Budget

Before you can start marketing a product or service to your customer, you need to understand how much of their hard-earned money they’re willing to part ways with. You should have a bit of an idea, based on the questions we already answered about your customer’s education and job. 

Is what you have to offer is within your customer’s budget? Does it suit their lifestyle? 

There’s nothing worse than spending all of your marketing budget advertising a product/service to someone who can’t afford/need it. 

These are all just examples of the types of questions you can ask yourself. Think of them as jumping-off points on your journey to better understanding your ideal customer persona. 

Ready to learn more and jump in the deep end?
Download our Guide to Customer Personas 👇

Guide to Customer Personas

Before you can truly understand your customers, you have to get to know them first. If you want to get the most out of your marketing strategy, it’s crucial that you spend some time and create your ideal customer profile.

Download our Guide to Building Customer Personas and you’ll be creating your ideal customer profile in no time.

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How to create customer personas