Ask the Audience: Figuring Out (and Targeting) Your Audience Persona


You know your online store better than anyone else, which means you have a decent idea of what your average customer likes. Your makeup brand’s skin-safe “unicorn” glitter targets teenagers. Your artisan candle company appeals to homeowners aged 30-35 who want to infuse a little freshness into their living space. Selling adorable designer baby onesies? You’re trying to entice hip, affluent, city-dwelling parents.

But audience persona goes deeper than just an overview of your primary customer base; there’s a method to figuring out and targeting this audience persona for maximum effectiveness in marketing materials and beyond. Just ask the audience.

A More Robust Audience Persona

To take full advantage of the insights of audience personas, you need to know more than just who’s shopping at your store; you need to understand their underlying behavior. Econsultancy breaks it down into three core elements:

  • Location: Where do your users spend their time online? (Think social media platforms and devices, not physical geography.)
  • Motivation: What do your customer value? (Examples include competitive pricing, product quality, responsive customer service, etc.)
  • Participation: How do shoppers interact with your content and your store? Do they respond better to certain formats than others?

Buyers Know Best

While buyer persona can seem like a mystery from afar, sometimes the easiest way to get up close and personal with your customers is to just… ask them. After all, they hold key insights into what works. Sending out a short survey can help you notice patterns to build a more accurate buyer persona. You can ask customers about everything from how they first heard about your brand to their favorite aspect of shopping at your store. If multiple customers repeat the same types of answers, you’ll know exactly how to refine your marketing strategy.

Bonus: You may find out customers are enthusiastic about your brand, but experience usability issues with your site. If that’s the case, perform a cloud ecommerce platform comparison to improve the overall user experience. After all, every kind of shopper values a great website.

What Purpose Does Your Store Serve?

You know you’ve got a store full of great products, but do you know exactly what niche they fill for your shoppers? If you sell emergency survival kits, you do. But for everyone else, it’s important to drill down to determine the exact impact your products can make in the lives of your target audience. And of course, it provides a great angle for future marketing efforts.

Here’s an example: Many companies sell planners and other desk supplies—but your paper products include an inspirational saying at the top of each page. In other words, you’re selling more than paper… you’re helping buyers stay strong through another week of work or school. Here’s another, courtesy of HubSpot: You’re selling more than an ebook… you’re helping buyers avoid aggravating their partners by reading with a bedside light on at night.

Amplify Your Targeting Efforts

You’re aiming to meet buyers where they are based on the devices they use, the social media platforms they prefer and the products they seek. To do this, you have all the tools of content marketing at your disposal (blog posts, contests, lifestyle posts, video, etc.) But you can even amplify this effect by finding and working with key influencers who have clout with people matching your buyer persona. These influential thought leaders understand the very types of people who typically love your products. Just make sure it’s a good match before you reach out.

Targeted marketing works, but to fully employ it, you have to figure out your audience persona and go from there. A great start is actually asking your audience what they think and making sure your website is ready to accommodate their wants and needs.