Perfecting the Buyer Persona

A person at a shopping mall

Ready to build or finesse buyer personas for your business? Check out Samantha Mehra’s tips for success.

Marketing and communications instructor Samantha Mehra says modern copywriting has two goals: to convince your reader to take action, and build a relationship with them. A key element of writing effective and persuasive copy is having a deep understanding of your audience-or buyer-personas. 

Ready to build or finesse buyer personas for your business? Check out Samantha’s tips for success.

Tips for building your buyer persona

  1. Start grassroots: Ask yourself what you already know about this audience. What do you not know? What knowledge gaps do you need to fill? Avoid negative assumptions and stereotypes.
  2. Tap in-house resources: Focus groups, customer surveys, social media comments, questions asked on forms or during customer service chats, existing personas and customer profiles, and more! Talk to your sales and customer service colleagues - they are on the front lines and know a lot about audience pain points!
  3. Do the deep research: Get more information. Look at associations, blogs, articles, and other content written specifically to your audience. Also look at industry publications, online communities and groups, and surveys and studies related to your audience.

Information to provide in your buyer persona

  • Give your persona a name (fun or otherwise) that really captures them in a nutshell - and an image (i.e. "Samantha Social Media Star"; "Yoga-loving Yohan", etc.)
  • Create bullet points of their characteristics
  • Consider whether this should include personal or professional characteristics (B2B or B2C)
  • Include information on traits, work habits, company and industry, academic education, daily challenges, geography, job title, income level, age, living situation, aspirations, goals, motivators, and preferred channels (phone, email, social media, etc.)

Further Reading

Sam referenced a book by an SCS colleague Steven Slaunwhite. Steven's book The Everything Guide to Writing Copy is available for purchase on his website or on the U of T Bookstore website.

If you are interested in taking your marketing and communication skills to the next level, check out Samantha’s course Copywriting that Sells, starting February 1, 2021.