People at Cloudgate/The Bean in Chicago. C.W. Harris Chicago blog, Who Are You Talking To? Buyer Personas

Who Are You Talking To?

“Your brand must be able to sit down at your target audience’s table and have a conversation with them.”
~ C.W. Harris

“A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience.”
~ Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions

In a world that is so noisy, how do you connect with someone? I mean, really make a deep connection with them? You do it by listening. Honest, authentic, and real listening with the goal being to understand them and show genuine empathy for their particular situation. We all feel good, valued, and more connected to someone when we feel that, “They really ‘get’ me!”

A Smiling Snoopy leaning on Charlie Brown with the sentiment written above them, "You Get Me."

It is the same with marketing. The average consumer nowadays is bombarded with so much intrusive information that many of them tune it out. In fact, many of them use ad blockers on their electronic devices to not even hear the noise at all. In 2016, 69.8 million Americans used an ad blocker, a jump of 34.4% over 2015. In 2017, that figure will grow another 24.0% to 86.6 million people. This year in the U.S., 26.3% of internet users—more than one in five people in general—will use an ad blocker.

So, who are you talking to? The folks that you are trying to reach are increasingly shutting you out. They think you are talking AT them, not TO them. They think that you are interrupting them. They don’t want to hear it. Not in that way. BUT, they do want to hear from brands that make an effort to “get” them. After all, they are still buying products and services, right?

In the old days of marketing it was easier. It was a one-way street. You sent out your marketing messages via billboards, TV/Radio spots, advertisements in magazines, etc. You tried to reach as many people as possible in hopes that your message would reach someone that could use your product or service. The only way that consumers responded, other than the occasional letter sent to the company, was to either buy your product or not.

While those old channels of marketing are still here, digital marketing has introduced a new model. This new, and constantly changing, model is built on the fact that the consumer of today wants more of a relationship with your brand than just you talking (selling) AT them. They want to get to KNOW you. Before dialing your number, they want to visit your website and social media platforms. They want to read Google and Yelp reviews from people that have interacted with your brand. They want to know what you are about beyond just what your product or service is. They are looking for a relationship. They expect a voice in that relationship. And they expect for you to KNOW them and add value to their lives if they let you in from the noise.

What an opportunity (if you know what you are doing)!

One of the most powerful and effective things that you can do is to dial in on who your ideal clients are and TALK TO THEM. Let them know that you not only know them inside/out, but that you also emphasize with their frustrations and concerns. Show them how you can help them by solving one (or more) of their problems or pain points while making their lives better/easier.

Many marketers, including C.W. Harris Chicago, use buyer personas to help identify their target markets and build strong relationships with them. In the words of Principal marketing manager of web strategy at HubSpot, Pamela Vaughan,

“Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Personas help us all — in marketing, sales, product, and services — internalize the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”

With your personas in place you know how to tailor everything that you do to that ideal customer. You will know how to write content and/or marketing copy that speaks to them in a way that they will respond to. You will know where to put your ads so that your target audience will see and respond to them. You will know distinctly how your products and services can help your personas, and how to create new products that they need. You will know the means of which they like to communicate and you will meet them there. You will tell them your story…and listen to theirs.

In a nutshell, smart marketers know that clearly defining your ideal customer is the key to high conversions.

So, how do you get started with creating your buyer/marketing personas? Well, like the building of any good relationship, you start by asking questions and listening! There are some great templates out there that can help. I have listed a few to get you started. We use a mixture of these worksheets (and some of our own magic) to come up with our personas. Have fun coming up with the system that works for you!

Let’s Get Started!

Digital Marketer’s:

HubSpot’s Buyer Persona Template:

HubSpot’s Make My Persona:

Marketo’s Marketing Persona Cheat Sheet:

Xtensio’s User Persona Creator:

Let us help you with this! We would love to do an audit of your branding and marketing efforts to discover if there are any opportunities for optimization and increased return on investment!

Give us a call. Let’s get to work!

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Thank you!


At C.W. Harris Chicago, we optimize your brand so that you are telling your story in its most powerful, effective and differentiating way.
We tell that story to your Target Audience in a fashion that builds Brand Awareness, strengthens Customer Relationships, and increases Sales and Repeat Sales.
Contact Us today and let’s get to work!

Christopher Bridgeman
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