Building a User Persona for Targeted Marketing Efforts

Wednesday, December 06th
Content Manager

Mark Wilson

Quick question: Which one of these two messages feels more personal?

Hello Sir/Madam,

We hope you’re pleased with your recent purchase from our brand. Below are a selection of other products you may enjoy.


Hey there Cathy! We hope you’re loving the new style as you show off to all your friends this summer! As a busy woman, you know the value of finding ways to cut through the clutter of your wardrobe. With our curated summer collection, you can feel confident that you have the exact look you’re going for, for any occasion. Check out our deals and specials below, and keep being awesome!


Okay, so I probably don’t have to spell it out for you. Frankly, even the second one there is a little bit generic, since this is a thought experiment and not an actual product message. But it’s very clearly more specific than the first message.

It also has a specific person in mind who is receiving that message. You can start to imagine who Cathy is, and what kind of lifestyle she leads, even though in this scenario she’s entirely fictional.

This is an example of a user persona, and how it can inform your marketing strategies to customers.

We’re going to go into a lot more detail on user personas: what they are, why they’re important, and how to build an awesome one. But it helps to have an understanding from the start of why it matters, which those two messages show.

At Leadflask, we believe targeted user personas are vital to your messaging throughout your website and other marketing channels. Let’s show you how we work with you to build a great one for your brand!

What’s a User Persona?

User personas are fictional representations of the end user of your product or service.

This takes the form of an actual, text-and-graphics representation of this person. Information could include their age, gender, preferred media platforms, income level, day-to-day pain points, and more. 

The goal is to create a believable representation of a person who uses your product or service.

This fictional person is representative of your typical user, or at least one broad type of typical user. It’s not uncommon for a brand to have multiple user personas. Generally, 2-3 are recommended, but if you cater to a very specific niche of customer, one may be sufficient.

Conversely, if your company offers a wide array of products and services, and the typical users for these are equally varied, it may be beneficial to have several personas created.

As we’ll see below, this then helps to hone in on a specific marketing strategy, one that doesn’t waste time or money marketing to those who won’t want to engage with you.

User Persona vs. Buyer Persona

Buyer personas are intended to represent the purchaser of your product or service. User personas are the end user.

Often, these are identical, and occasionally you’ll see the terms used interchangeably by marketers who are crafting personas for an organization.

Occasionally, though, the type of person making the purchase decision, and those who will actually be engaging with your brand after that point, are different. 

An example of this is in B2B (business-to-business) services. The C-Suite of a company might be the ones you have to communicate with in order to close a deal. But the company’s entry-level or mid-level employees could then be the ones interacting with you on a daily basis.

In this case, you would want to craft initial messaging catered toward the C-Suite, but also design a user experience and communications platforms catered toward the actual users of your product once it’s purchased. 

Treating both buyer and user as the same person would, in this case, be a mistake.

Why Does Your Business Need User Personas?

You read the two messages at the start of this article, right?

Okay, so you’re probably thinking that even if you didn’t have a good user persona, you wouldn’t write something as boring as the first message above. That’s fair, but would you be able to craft truly personalized messages that resonate with each of your major audience segments?

The purpose of really good user personas is better targeting with your marketing efforts, and better, more curated content that will resonate better with your audience.

Why Not Market to Everyone?

If you don’t have an unlimited marketing budget (and we’re guessing you don’t), you need your time, efforts and money to consistently generate revenue

For an obvious example, a women’s clothing brand almost certainly wouldn’t want to spend a lot of effort marketing to men. Or would they?

That same brand might find through demographic research that their email list actually has a lot of men on it, and that their purchases ramp up in November. So then it would make sense to develop a persona for that typical buyer, and potentially market to them only in November, leading up to the holiday, gift-giving season. This is what the development process for user personas is intended to discover.

Not all examples will be as clear as the clothing example above. In fact, if you’ve never done research to identify your typical end user, it’s likely you have an imperfect or flawed understanding of who your users actually are. Which is why it’s important to have a clear process for discovering and catering content to your ideal and typical users.

Leadflask’s Collaborative User Persona Development

At Leadflask, we’ve helped numerous businesses develop user personas and then leverage those personas into actionable plans for growth.

But we don’t know your business. You do.

That’s why our process is a collaborative one. We can’t decide who your ideal user is, but we can work with you to refine it.

The other good news is: chances are you already have a lot of the information you need to create a great user persona.

One place to look is your database. Many companies already curate an email list, customer base, or related data. A lot of the information that makes for a great user persona can be in this data. That’s where we can come in, to analyze it (anonymized, if needed, depending on privacy restrictions) and make recommendations. Oftentimes, there are valuable insights in the data that you already have, but you may not be aware of it.

If you don’t have this data, there are alternative ways to gather similar data, such as website user data using analytical tools, polls and surveys, talking to your sales team, interviews with customers, and broader paid efforts such as brand awareness studies.

The other way you can get to a great persona is Socratically. In other words: by asking a lot of good questions.

This is another area where Leadflask can help, because your sales team and point of contact employees know your customers, and we know the types of insights about them that will allow us to craft really powerful marketing strategies catered to these users.

Questions Used to Build User Personas

What are some of those questions? A non-comprehensive list could include the following:

  1. What is the average age of one of your buyers/users?
  2. Are there other ages that are significantly represented?
  3. Does your typical user have children? Own a home?
  4. What is the user’s average income? If you’re not sure, what’s the income of someone you’d consider an ideal customer?
  5. What’s the education level of this typical user?
  6. What pain points does the user typically have at work? At home?
  7. What social media platforms are they most likely to use? What’s their general level of technological expertise?

…and many more that will be specific to your industry and brand.

Example User Persona: Chatty Cathy

Age: 25

Marital Status: Single

Education: Bachelor’s Degree

Industry: Communications

Income: $50,000 - $60,000


  • Frequent concertgoer. Loves Taylor Swift
  • Uses multiple social media apps: Instagram, TikTok, Twitter/X


  • Getting buy-in for ideas at her company, whether social or professional
  • Getting communications initiatives approved in a timely manner, to stay ahead of news cycles
  • Finding affordable rent without having a long commute

Bio: Cathy recently took a new position in financial services, working on their communications team and managing their social media accounts. She is ambitious and unafraid to speak her mind. Outside work, she’s into sports and travel, and loves researching her next destination.


Brands whose core users are Gen Z, single and have disposable income might create a persona something like this, though it would be based on demographic data, not blind guesses.

Marketing channels you’d want to consider could include numerous social media platforms, blogs that focus on pop culture, and targeted ads that appear on mobile devices.

And while a brand activation with Taylor Swift might be too expensive to consider, taking visual inspiration from her look and albums could be a savvy way to cater graphics to the user’s tastes.

Example User Persona: Techy Tom

Age: 44

Marital Status: Married, 2 children

Education: Graduate Degree

Industry: Software Engineering

Income: $90,000 - $110,000


  • Children are not yet college-age; frequent travel for their schooling and hobbies
  • Plays rec. league sports on the weekend
  • Takes online courses to maintain industry knowledge


  • Scaling organizational practices to grow his business
  • Logistics related to his children’s schedules
  • Managing home life with work responsibilities

Bio: Tom founded and owns a small software startup that caters to other businesses. He’s looking for ways to collaboratively grow his business while maintaining a modest budget.


Tom is an individual, but his pain points and bio suggest that he’d be the target user for a B2B company specializing in some type of service. This service might help Tom scale his business efforts, or remove some of the stress related to his many responsibilities.

By imagining Tom when this brand crafts its communications and marketing efforts, they’ll be able to create a more powerful presence that will attract similar users to them.

Your Brand’s Personas

It’s important to note that the examples above lack specific solutions that relate to a product or service, because they’re general examples and not created with a specific company in mind.

The best part about the personas you’ll build is that you’ll be able to use the information you gather to understand exactly how your company provides value to the consumer, and therefore how it relates to their lifestyle and pain points.

In the best cases, the resulting marketing copy or ad creation writes itself, and you have a powerful strategy that will speak directly to your core audience.

Get Personal With Your Marketing Efforts

Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever, because there’s an expectation that their experience with a brand will be catered to their specific needs. Companies have gotten very good at segmenting audiences to ensure that each of their communications is targeted at a specific user persona, and also uses personalized data such as first name and purchase history.

These strategies can be replicated and refined, and the result is a better engagement rate with users of your website, or those who engage with your brand through other marketing channels.

This translates directly into the success of your marketing efforts and the company as a whole.

A user persona isn’t the only part of this process. Far from it, in fact! But it’s one that shouldn’t be skipped, and can help to inform your company’s strategy moving forward.

To read about other steps in the process, and how we here at Leadflask incorporate them into our work, check out the rest of our “Working With Leadflask” series below:

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