Sign up for our monthly GEMology email to receive company news and industry-related content that propels you toward growth.

Mapping the Consumer Persona

Quite often, companies take aim at their potential customers in a broad approach that leads to marketing that "doesn't work."

Mapping the Consumer Persona

Posted Friday April 21st, 2017 by in Analysis + Strategy.

Quite often, companies take aim at their potential customers like an archer would take aim at a mountain. "The target is generally in that direction, so let's fire away and we'll hit something!"

Unfortunately, this broad approach leads to marketing that "doesn't work," and marketing expenses that are left unjustified at the end of an outreach campaign. I'm reminded of Mel Gibson's quote from The Patriot: "aim small; miss small." Let's talk about how to aim small in your marketing by mapping a consumer persona:

1. Watch the movie, The Patriot. While it's not necessarily a step in this exercise, it's an awesome movie. You'll thank me later.

2. Get your executive team together at a whiteboard for the sake of assembling a consumer persona. A consumer persona is a demographic, psychographic, and ethnographic characteristic chart of your target customer.

  • Demographic: age, gender, location, level of education, and all of the other easily measurable characteristics of a person.
  • Psychographic: the behavioral characteristics of a person (i.e., the likes, wants, behaviors and fears). In this category, you would place descriptors like "wants to solve operational business challenges," or "eats mainly organic foods," or "researches heavily online before making a purchase."
  • Ethnographic: the societal trends that influence the behaviors and patterns of people. In this category, you would place descriptors like "highly aware of global warming," or "likely to change behaviors based on watching Netflix documentaries."

3. Start by asking your team to picture your brand's ideal customer: the person who spends the most amount of money with your company, with the least amount of effort required to keep them happy. Wouldn't it be great to have more of these people?

4. Assign demographic, psychographic and ethnographic variables to this ideal customer. Be thorough: you want to explore every nook and cranny to ferret out a comprehensive picture of this person.

5. When you've got all of your descriptors written down, ask yourselves if this profile really fits your ideal customer. The key here is most ideal. Tip: this may not be an actual customer of yours right now, but a projection of who an ideal customer would be.

6. Once you have this ideal consumer profile written down, you have two benefits: first, you have a much smaller target for your sales team to hunt, given all of these specific criteria. Second, you have a content strategy! Now that you know who this "person" is and what is important to her or him, you can develop a content marketing strategy that addresses all of these specific traits, through a wide variety of targeted content.

Of course, this is just a rough overview of this process, so enlist help from the pros to make sure your consumer profile is accurate. Luckily, you only have to run through this process once a year or whenever there are significant changes to your product or service mix. Mapping the consumer persona is critical to creating highly-targeted (read: cost effective) marketing strategies.

So, grab your colleagues and some whiteboard pens, and get mapping!


Scroll, or tap/click a list item to filter posts by that tag.

« Clever Creative: The Truth Behind Reporting ​Clever Creative: Painting a Vivid Picture »

This website uses cookies to collect user data and analytics to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. Click "Accept" to proceed, or review our Privacy Policy.