So your client base is made up of faceless creeps who are the types to ring you up with inane queries and keep you back late because “this is the only free time they had.”

God how you hate them.

Sounds to me like you need to get your head straight, and invest some time in creating a snazzy new buyer (or marketing) persona.

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“What on earth are you talking about you entrancingly beautiful person?”, I hear you say. I’m talking about a way to make huge, sweeping generalisations about your target audience, and condensing them down into the sort of little fictional personality nugget that you and your business can relate to.

A buyer persona is a generalised, fictional representation of your ideal clientele. It helps you and your organisation visualise the sort of person that you’re looking to attract, and helps you get comfortable with dealing with that “specific” type of operator.

The buyer persona concept is also integral in the creation of new products and services, as well advertising and our old pal, branded content. How are you going to make a poppin’ fresh video that really hits its mark if you don’t know anything about Mark; or Greg, or Brenda, or anyone that might find your currently viewless clip interesting?

Some fairly simple ingredients need to be gathered in order for you to bake your delicious buyer persona cake. It’s as easy as finding the following from your current loyal base;

  •         What’s their average age?
  •         Where do they come from?
  •         How do they dress?
  •         How do they talk?
  •         What do they do for a crust?
  •         What are their favourite websites?
  •         What do they do on the weekends?

These basic bits of info will be enough for you to form a nice idea for a virtual character. It should have a name, an age, a job, as well as a bit of a personal background thrown in. Toss a name on he, she, or it, and you’ve got yourself your own little persona to play around with.

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It’s like a totally normal and accepted version of an adult imaginary friend! Who’s laughing now, Mum??

The tack that many a company has taken is to make their buyer persona into an animated character. Having something to ogle at and get familiar with can make the tool of a buyer persona that much more effective.

And some companies, rather than just keeping their little character as an in-house plaything, will use Jenny the Juice Freak or Kurt the Overweight-Yet-Too-Comfortable-In-His-Own-Skin Scientist in content that they release to the public.

Doing this can trigger a sense of identification and trust from your ideal clientele, because they get the feeling that your material was made specifically and lovingly for them. A well crafted piece of animated video production or a cute infographic is the perfect setting to introduce your buyer persona, and develop him as a long-term and trustworthy character.

That’s certainly not to say you can’t put a very human face to your perfect customer.

A fine example of a buyer persona making the transition to a public campaign is AAMI Insurance’s Rhonda of the Rhonda & Ketut series.

Rhonda embodies the sort of client that AAMI ideally sees themselves dealing with – cautious and reserved, yet still fun-loving and willing to dive into things. And their campaign that centred around her summer fling hit such a chord with the target audience that it transcended advertising, and became a talking point at yoga class with the girls, a Friday night pub conversation, and even the subject of radio talkback.

So what will your buyer persona look like? And how can you leverage him or her to connect more with your target audience? It’s important to remember that this fictional character is often an super idealised version of your clientele – something that they may not actually be, but certainly aspire to be.

That cool dude in GQ magazine wearing the Ray Ban sunnies. Dos Equis’ “most interesting man in the world.”

So wipe down that whiteboard and get scribbling. Your perfect customer could be just a few pen-strokes away.