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Posts Tagged ‘target market’

Marketing Personas: When Having Multiple Personalities Is a Good Thing

April 5th, 2010 :: Monika Jansen

In marketing, having multiple personalities is a very good thing.  It’s something we strive for, in fact.  That’s because in order to properly market your company’s products and/or services, you need to know exactly who your target client is, how to reach them, and how to sell to them.  One of the best ways to figure this out is to create personas.  After all, your ideal clients are people with likes, dislikes, needs, wants, various moods, and different personalities.  The more you know about them, the more you can define and refine your marketing plan and better leverage your outbound and inbound marketing efforts.

Group of people


There’s a lot out there on the internet about creating personas.  Google “marketing personas” and you’ll see for yourself.  (Of course, there are articles and blog posts on whether or not you even need to create personas to put together an effective marketing strategy, but that’s a different blog post.)  Putting together personas is a fun exercise, especially when you need a break from doing whatever it is you do.  After a year or two in business, you should have a fairly good idea as to who your ideal clients are.  Like many things in life, it’s better to commit those ideas to paper. 

Seven  Steps to Creating Personas

Because I like examples of things, I am going to use a bike shop owner as an example of how he can create personas.

  1. Segment your personas.  As owner of a bike shop, you have a huge variety of clients.  Serious road cyclists are different from both casual let’s-go-for-a-bike-ride-and-have-a-picnic cyclists and adrenaline-seeking mountain bikers.  The road cyclists can be broken down further: do they compete, or is this just their favorite form of exercise?  Again, they can be broken down further by gender.
  2. Demographics and lifestyle factors.  This part includes education level, white or blue collar, income level, marital status, kids or no kids, other sports they participate in, do they ride their bike to work, do they take their bike with them on vacation, do they read cycling magazines, etc.  You can get really detailed! 
  3. Emotional details.  This is more about the cyclists’ personality: likes, dislikes, goals, disposition, etc.
  4. Relationship to cycling and your shop.  Look at the relationship your personas have with your shop and with competitors’ shops.  How much do they know about your industry, bicycles, bike gear, bike racks, racing and competitions?  Are they long-term customers, or do they buy the bike and disappear?
  5. You are the solution.  Your marketing efforts should consistently focus on how you help your clients. Make a list of what problems your products and services solve for your customers.
  6. The Big Sale.  Now think about how you close a sale with your various personas. Think about the benefits and disadvantages they have to shopping with you.  How are the various products and services you offer going to affect them and, by extension, you?  Figure out the words and phrases your personas use, and use them in your pitch.
  7. Name your personas.  This makes your personas human, prevents confusion, and keeps them distinct from one another.

 Now that you know who you are marketing and selling to, time to update your marketing plan!

Your Marketing Needs to Have a Target…

December 8th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

I wanted to call this post “Does Your Audience Have a Target on Their Back”, but I didn’t want to get people concerned that I wanted you to cause pain to your intended audience. Today’s piece of Marketing Knowledge Goodness is about the pretty simple, yet often overlooked, concept when you are creating your marketing piece(s)/strategy, the Target Market (Audience).

To get a definition out of the way, Wikipedia defines Target Market as:

A ‘target market or target Audience is the market segment which a particular product is marketed to. It is often defined by age, gender and/or socio-economic grouping. Market Targeting is the process in which intended actual markets are defined, analyzed and evaluated before the final decision to enter is made.

It’s a little wordy in saying this, but basically when you create a piece or strategy you should be thinking about who you want to receive and use/buy your product or service. Unless you are buying your own products…you should be the last person you want to draw the attention of. While you may think it’s cool, interesting, pretty, or a laundry list of other things…your intended target, or audience, may not. And at the end of the day, the customer who’s listening, using, and purchasing ultimately matters more than what you think. Harsh to say it, but it’s true.

Now this can be as generic as “I want to reach plumbers in the [insert your city here] area” or as specific as “I want to reach all the housewives between the ages of 24-35 with black hair that have two children between the ages of 1-6 who like lumpy oatmeal for lunch”. Either way, you are defining who the intended target, or audience, is and going to plan your content and design around appealing to that audience. Yes you are going to miss out on a larger number of people who don’t fit that definition, but are they really the people you want? Do you really want to just be able to say, “We printed 5,000 brochures and passed them all out?” Who are you trying to impress and what are you gaining by that? Or, would you rather say, “We printed 500 brochures to [insert specific target audience] and got a greater return on our investment”.

The next thing you need to determine, after you figure out your target audience, is what return on your investment you are satisfied with and how you plan to reach that. But that, dear reader, is a post for another time.

I’ll leave you with this, I was told by a client I was consulting for that you should “ignore coming up with who your target is because if you cast the widest net you’ll catch the most fish”. While the logic in that is kind of sound, sort of, let me ask you this, do you want to catch the most fish or the best quality fish?

For me, even if that means my numbers don’t look so hot on paper, I want the best possible value for my efforts. My rule of thumb is quality over quantity.

As always, you can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

If you have been reading this far, thank you and stay wicked.