Audience Personas


The purpose of an Audience Persona is to communicate details about a specific segment of your target audience that are useful when designing a solution for them. An Audience Persona is a fictional representation of a segment that has similar needs, behaviours, and goals in relation to your offering. Personas should be created based on how they will be used, and only include details that are relevant to this scope. Personas differ from customer segments used in marketing departments in that they focus on common needs rather than common demographic traits. Marketers should use customer research to inform personas to avoid bias, and develop personas as a group to gain alignment.


Who are we targeting and what do we need to know about them?


  1. Determine the scope of your marketing initiative. The scope needs to be tight enough that it aligns with a single business objective and single marketing goal. Large, complex initiatives require sets of S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  2. Identify the larger business objective that your marketing initiative supports. This objective is what impacts your bottom line (e.g., increase market share) and necessitates marketing investment.
  3. Identify the marketing goal that supports your larger business objective. This is a goal that can be accomplished by marketing (e.g., acquire new customers) and is the focal point for your marketing plan.
  4. Determine the metrics that you can use to measure your progress toward your stated marketing goal. These metrics need to be as accurate, timely, and precise as possible to report on your performance.
  5. Identify the date that you need to accomplish your marketing goal to support your larger business objective. This date can be used to establish interim performance targets throughout your initiative.


  • Try to limit the number of personas that you create to 3-5, as creating more will distract your focus.
  • Try to find ways to gain research even when resource-constrained, to avoid creating personas based on assumptions.
  • Ensure you update personas over time as your offering changes and new data becomes available. ‍


Cooper, Alan. “The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity”, Sams Publishing, 2004.

Goodwin, Kim. “Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services”, Wiley, 2009.


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