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Buyer Personas: What Are They and How Can They Improve Your Marketing?

You’ve probably heard that you need a target audience to help focus your marketing efforts. But buyer personas take it a step further by really pinpointing exactly who your buyers are and where they hang out. Buyer personas will help you stop wasting time and money on ads that don’t appeal to or aren’t even seen by the people who want your products.

What is a Buyer Persona?

You know those cop shows where they’re trying to catch a serial killer and some FBI agent shows up with this full profile of the killer’s age, education level, interests, favorite breakfast cereal, etc.? It’s like that, but hopefully your buyers aren’t serial killers.

Buyer personas help you conceptualize your ideal buyer by identifying basic demographics like age, education level and income, as well as psychographic info such as interests, values and lifestyle.

Why You Need a Buyer Persona

You don’t want to waste money advertising your angora toothbrushes to people without teeth. You also don’t want to waste money running ads for your angora toothbrushes to die-hard vegans. Figuring out exactly who your buyer is will help you laser target your ads and appeal to the buyer’s specific interests.

Start Broad, Then Drill Down

Let’s say your business sells organic, cruelty-free calculator watches. Here’s a wide-angle view at two potential buyers:

+ Wholesale Customers – This could be businesses that sell other watches or organic products.
+ End Consumers – These are people who want to buy your watches for themselves or as gifts for their friends or family.

We can drill down into each one and create different buyer personas from there. For now, let’s focus on end consumers. What kind of person would buy your watches?

+ Men buying them for themselves
+ Women buying them as gifts for their significant other

Super broad, right? Time to do some research to narrow things down.

Fill in the Gaps

If you already have a business setup, check your Google Analytics Audience Report and Facebook Insights (if you have a Facebook page) for details about your customers. You can also survey your existing customers using Survey Monkey or simply having a conversation with them.

If you don’t have a business setup yet, check out the people who are buying from your competitors. You can use a tool like SimilarWeb to get insights into their customers and online strategy. You can also check out their websites and social media pages to see who is commenting on their posts and reviewing their products. This is especially helpful on Facebook, where you can view their customer’s profiles and learn all kinds of info about them.

These are the details you should focus on initially:

+ Age
+ Gender
+ Location
+ Education Level
+ Income Level
+ Relationship Status
+ Job Title
+ Interests
+ Favorite Websites
+ Buying Concerns
+ Motivations for Buying

You may need to fill in some gaps with educated guesses, especially once you start filling in your buyer persona’s concerns and motivations. But it shouldn’t be too difficult if you’ve already got 90% of their profile completed. If you’re having trouble getting a complete picture, check out Claritas PRIZM to see the 68 basic marketing segments they’ve identified.

Example Buyer Persona

So let’s setup a buyer persona for a male end consumer who would buy our organic, cruelty-free calculator watches for himself. To really make our buyer come to life, we’ve also named him and given him a photo.

How to Use Your Buyer Persona

It’s super easy to match up your buyer’s profile with the targeting options in Facebook Ads. Or, since this buyer uses Reddit, you can target related subreddits and run ads on them. Use the psychographic info to help you create ads with copy and images that will appeal to your buyer.

For example, ads featuring high-tech images and copy that focuses on the organic, cruelty-free features of the watch will be most likely to appeal to Thomas.


Creating one or multiple buyer personas will help you target your ideal customers much more easily. That means greater ROI from your ads and increased sales.

Keep in mind that buyer personas can change over time and can include a lot more details than what we’ve covered here. Make sure to review your profiles periodically in order to keep your marketing efforts effective.