Building actionable buyer personas

Building Actionable Data Driven Buyer Personas [Examples included]

After gathering valuable data-driven information from our platforms, it’s time to build actionable buyer personas that can be applied to performance marketing campaigns and help us shape an effective & relevant communication/targeting strategy. We use a template that consists of various elements, from demographical to psychographic data that help us understand our buyer personas, “who” they are and “why they are buying. Gathering psychographic data can be done via surveys and client interviews, but you can find a lot of hints in Google Analytics & FB audience insights as well. Now let’s stop talk the talk and just walk the walk.

Let’s assume that we own Google merchandise store (that we have data for) and we are allowed to create our own strategy (besides Google’s universal strategy).

Actionable Data-Driven Buyer Persona Template

  • Buyer Persona Name (and/or nickname)
    The name or nickname gives you a quick overview of this specific buyer persona.  It doesn’t have to have a real name, but it should be something common that will help everyone understand the basic info of this persona.
  • Image/Quote
    A relevant image and a representative quote would help us visually shape our buyer persona, avoiding long written description copy. Try to find an image with context and make a research in order to find a relevant quote for your persona.
  • Demographics
    Initial data for each persona should include information such as age, gender, location, marital & employment status that can be used for messaging optimization & campaign targeting. Since we have e-commerce website we should consider buyer personas tech savvy level.
  • Interests/Activities
    This section includes interests & affinities of our buyer persona. A normal buyer persona should have multiple interests that may overlap between personas. About activities, we should include not only work related topics but lifestyle topics as well (after all, we are talking to humans, not robots). What your users care about, how do their spend their day, what do they like etc. Those interests/activities can be used in Facebook & AdWords campaigns as targeting options.
  • Preferred Websites/Apps
    From advertising placements perspective, preferred websites are the best guide. If your most valuable users are using YouTube heavily then you should consider to do video marketing and promote it on YouTube or Vimeo. Combining “preferred websites” with “interests” is a good way to create highly relevant concepts to specific advertising placements, do native advertising or a nice activation initiative with a specific website/app. This section can help us adjust our copy and content as well.
  • Goals/Needs
    Here we include opinions goals & needs that are related with our buyer personas. What do they think, what are their goals, what do they want to achieve them, what are their needs/pains etc. After all, humans are emotional beings so the reasoning behind most of our decisions is emotion related. Five Factor Model is a good model that can help us understand the goals and needs of our personas. This section is valuable in terms of communication, copy & content rather than performance.
  • When/Where/How/Why Persona uses our product
    By answering the questions above we can get actionable insights that can be used in our marketing campaigns. “When” can help us do efficient time adjustments in campaigns, “where” & “how” answer can help us incorporate priming effect in our ads while “why” can help us craft unique selling proposition copy that can increase our ad relevancy.

Based on data from previous post, our main buyer persona is Californian young male technophile professionals. I will create my persona and provide all the actions that I’ll do based on existing information.


Californian Young Male Technophile Professional
  • Buyer Persona Name (and/or nickname)
    John Smith the Geek
  • Image/Quote
    Image: Image of a “nerdy” young professional with glasses
    Quote: “AI is here to stay”

    Demographics What can we do
    Apply age targeting in FB/AdWords campaigns
    (not strict one though, but “play around target ages) 
    Apply gender targeting in FB/AdWords campaigns,
    consider “unknown” gender as well
    Marital status:
    Employment status:
    Works as engineer
    Apply interests targeting in FB/AdWords campaigns,
    include specific companies in FB targeting.
    Tech savvy:
    US, California
    Apply location targeting in FB/AdWords campaigns,
    (add miles withing targeted area in FB)



    Interests/Activities What can we do
    Participates in conferences   Participate/Sponsor those conferences
    Rarely clicks on ads Invest in SEO
    Likes traveling Do surveys and give travel prizes
    Likes Sports Participate/Sponsor local sport events
    Reads blogs & forums Build blog, provide relevant content
    Likes rock music Hire a rockstar (I’m joking)

    Preferred Websites/Apps What can we do
    YouTube, Facebook Do display marketing in these specific channels
    Growthackers, Inbound, Quora, Medium  Answer questions, actively participate in forum discussions, re-post your blog posts
    SUMO Provide a compelling offer in SUMO

    Goals/Needs What can we do
    Openness to experience Provide fresh, out of the box solutions
    Has lack of focus Need to invest in remarketing in order to stay top of his mind
    Want to be up to date with his fellows/industry Provide relative testimonials, include localized/industry social proof numbers  
    Seeks self-actualization Avoid buzzwords, Use images of people that seem successful and confident
    Don’t actively looks for offers, but likes VFM deals   Use anchoring effect & provide compelling offers

    When/Where/How/Why Persona use our product  What can we do
    Use our products in daily routine Use photos of regular people that having fun, working out, relaxing at home
    Use our products at home Use photos of married couples, being happy at their home
    Use our products because they love our brand Make our logo visible and create products that are aligned with our brand’s strategy & style

This buyer personas framework help us build an efficient communication & performance strategy, especially when we target users that had no prior connection with us (new cookies) and had little or no awareness of our brand. So before you start spending budget, invest time & effort learning about your main buyer personas and talk to them like you know them.