Customer Personas: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

How do you get a deeper understanding of your who your customers are? This lesson will explain what customer personas are, provide examples, and how to use them.

What Is a Customer Persona?

How does your company communicate information about your customers to your teams or how does your marketing team know who they are marketing to? You cannot take actual pictures of your customers and present them to your team like cops do during an investigation. Instead, many companies use customer personas to help identify and present information about their customers internally. A customer persona is a generalized representation of your typical customer.

For example, Al's Grocery uses the following customer personas to help their team relate to and understand their customers:

  • Grandma Betty: This persona represents older customers who are shopping and are more price conscious.
  • Soccer Mom Molly: This persona represents a younger customer who is feeding a full house. She is looking for more bang for her buck and buys in bulk.
  • Single Sally: This persona represent a single businesswoman who needs to buy less groceries and is more about health food than price.

Usefulness of Customer Personas

So, why do companies create customer personas? First, customer personas help the company get to know their customers better. This helps to improve training and customer service. For example, if Joe the cashier at Al's Grocery understands that Grandma Betty is price conscious, he will anticipate her having coupons and may even suggest specials for her.

Customer personas also help with marketing and sales. It is difficult to put together a marketing campaign if you do not understand your customers' needs. For example, if the marketing team understands that one of their main customers is Soccer Mom Molly then they can put together an advertisement that would appeal to her sense of savings and buying in bulk. Overall, understanding more about the customers will help the company as a whole.

Creating Customer Personas

Now that we have looked into what a customer persona is, we will look at how companies develop these personas. First, companies will look at the buying history of customers to develop personas. This will provide information about the products they buy, how often they buy, and other related information. Next, companies can look at demographic information to distinguish customers in the personas. For example, Single Sally was created based off a representation of a certain age group that shops at Al's Grocery that are not married.

Personas can also contain customers' occupations if the company has access to that information. Personas are not about profiling your individual customers but about putting together general personas that your customers can fall into.

Tips for Creating Customer Personas

Companies use personas more often to educate their teams and build stronger marketing campaigns. We will now look at some tips for creating personas.

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