Why Audience Personas Matter

Craft personas that guide brand strategy and transform your business.

Audience personas are Marketing 101: you describe a person, and how they relate to your brand. You give them a name. Yes, the person is fictional, but done correctly, audience persona work has very real benefits to your brand strategy. When approached holistically, with ruthless empathy à la BOLD LIP, the process of crafting your personas can help build internal alignment and can even have an upstream influence on your product offering. But what makes a great audience persona? And how do they come to be? Let’s dive in.

What goes into an audience persona?

Sure, demographic information has its place. Some products or services are age-specific, or relevant to specific cultural contexts, individual bodies etc. But in many cases, we have more in common than we do different, and our demographic identifiers don’t tell the whole story. That’s where psychographics come in.

Psychographics are the attitudes and aspirations that drive a person’s behaviour. People are complicated so, as you can imagine, there are lots of elements that influence somebody’s psychographic profile.

At this stage of persona development, we recommend aiming wide, answering to as many of these domains as you can before you edit down. A key insight about your audience could be hidden where you least expect it.

How psychographics guide strategy.

Product and Service Development

Understanding your audience’s pain points helps you find and thrive in your lane. You’ll be able to tailor an offering that meaningfully solves a real problem.

The questions to ask:

  • Which of their needs aren’t being met?
  • What is the emotional impact of their needs going unmet?
  • What other aspects of their life are being impacted by their pain points and challenges?
  • How are they compromising currently?

Customer Journey Mapping

Purchasing behaviour can reflect our feelings about money and ourselves. Understanding how (and why) they buy offers valuable insight on what motivates a persona to convert.

The questions to ask:

  • Are they more excited by craft or convenience?
  • Do they gravitate toward luxury?
  • How much does packaging and aesthetic influence their choice?
  • Do they research products before buying? Where?

Channel Selection

As you plan your media strategy, from figuring out relevant product integrations to launching a giveaway, it pays to know where and how a persona engages online.

The questions to ask:

  • Which platforms do they use for work? For play?
  • Do they engage with long or short form content? What format?
  • Do they share online, or mostly scroll?
  • Do they belong to specific communities or forums?

Brand Community Management

Some brands rely on lifelong audience relationships, others make repeated sales to people who will never remember their name. Understanding where the persona falls helps manage your priorities.

The questions to ask:

  • Are they an active promoter or passive consumer?
  • Do they leave reviews?
  • Are they influenced by a brand’s values?
  • What would make them a brand detractor?
  • Do they sign up for brand loyalty programs and follow brand socials?

Brand Messaging and Tone of Voice

From gurus to group chats, we all resonate with different sources of truth. These influences relevant to your audience give you clues about how to speak to them and be heard.

The questions to ask:

  • Whose perspective do they value?
  • What celebrities do they admire?
  • What sort of authority do they rely on to make decisions?
  • Will they reach out to their friends and family before making a major purchase or decision? A minor one?

Content Creation + Strategy

Content for content’s sake doesn’t typically perform very well. Considering their lifestyle and interests can help the timeliness and relevance of your content.

The questions to ask:

  • What’s their relationship to health and wellness?
  • How do they invest in play and entertainment?
  • What are their politics?
  • Do they work virtually or in-person?

Bonus: How crafting personas empower your team.  

Crafting audience personas is far from just a creative writing exercise. It’s a place where you and your team can air out and gut check your assumptions about your brand and the people you want to reach. Here are a few ways that the exercise of crafting your audience personas benefits your team (especially with the assistance of a ruthlessly empathetic collaborator like BOLD LIP).

Customer Focus

The process of creating brand personas requires putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience. When we’re all working hard to make a business work, we may lose sight of who we’re speaking to, and why. This exercise promotes empathy, deepens the understanding of your customer, and re-focuses their needs, challenges and aspirations in your operations . This mindset can permeate all aspects of your business, leading to better customer experiences and stronger relationships.

Alignment and Consistency

Meaningful, authentic personas consider the business from all angles within the organization, such as marketing, sales, product development, and customer service. This collaborative exercise fosters cross-functional alignment and helps your teams break through their silos, working toward a common goal. By having a shared vision and understanding, teams can deliver consistent brand experiences, messaging, and customer interactions.

Streamlined Decision-Making

Brand personas provide a clear framework for decision-making across the organization. When faced with choices related to marketing campaigns, product features, messaging, or customer experiences, referring back to the personas helps ensure that decisions align with the needs and preferences of the target audience. This reduces guesswork and increases the likelihood of making informed, data-driven decisions that resonate with customers.

Where BOLD LIP comes in

Through our BOLD Sessions, we facilitate alignment, clear-goal setting and innovative thinking to solve your creative problem. We invite cross-functional thinking, and offer many ways to contribute, so that the loudest person in the room isn’t the only one who gets heard. Coming out of this session, we deliver back detailed and impactful persona profiles, informed by every part of your business.

As a women-led and operated studio, we bring a fresh perspective and deep understanding of inclusivity in marketing strategies. Our approach is nuanced and considered, ensuring that your brand resonates authentically with your audience. Book a BOLD Session, and discover the insight and opportunity you can’t afford to miss.