What Is a Buyer Persona?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Delve into your target audience using buyer personas—representations of your customers—to enhance your business’s marketing strategies with actionable insights.

[Featured image] A person sitting in a cafe makes a purchase on a smartphone.

A buyer persona represents members of your business’s target audience. It’ll help you understand your target audience better and tailor marketing campaigns that are more likely to reach potential customers. 

When creating a buyer persona, you’ll identify characteristics of your typical customer like:

  • Age

  • Location

  • Occupation

  • Education level

  • Family status

  • Goals

  • Pain points 

  • Purchasing patterns 

  • Hobbies and interests

  • Like and dislikes 

  • Values 

  • Income and education level

Why use a buyer persona?

Buyer personas can help you make important decisions about your marketing strategies, such as what channels to use, what tone to use for content, and how to encourage engagement with your brand. It also helps get every member of your team on the same page regarding your marketing and sales strategies. 

While buyer personas are important for marketing purposes, they can also guide your work in sales, customer service, and product development. Ultimately, a buyer persona can help you save time and money by marketing your products or services to the people who will most likely use them rather than trying to reach unresponsive audiences.   

How do you create a buyer persona?

To get started, gather data from your current customers and target audience. You can do this through site analytics, customer surveys, your social media pages, focus groups, and your competitors' marketing activities, for example.

Once you've gathered your data, you can analyze it for trends, patterns, and insights. Create a template with the information you want to know about your buyer persona, and fill it in as you discover various facts—it may take some time to develop your ideal buyer persona. Keep in mind that the characters you create may change and evolve over time.

Consider creating an anti-buyer persona or a negative buyer persona, which will tell you who isn’t part of your target audience. For example, if you sell lawn care products, you probably won't target people who live in apartments.

Related terms

Get started in digital marketing and e-commerce with Google. 

Learn more about buyer personas and other important digital marketing and e-commerce concepts with the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate on Coursera. This beginner-level certificate focuses on important concepts like measuring market performance through analytics, attracting customers through various digital marketing channels, and building e-commerce stores.

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