How To Create a Buyer Persona: A Helpful Guide

Beyond being a marketer or business owner, you’re a consumer. What makes you buy certain products or choose some brands over others? 

Let’s take a guess—they address specific pain points or meet a unique need, right? Odds are, the companies you buy from understand their buyer persona and curate their offerings to improve the customer experience

This is what you need to do, too, for effective targeting and messaging—this can help you secure prospective customers and retain the loyalty of existing ones. 

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer, built from the data you collect about them. You can use this persona to align your business goals or strategy across all departments, from sales to marketing and beyond.

What is a buyer persona?

No marketer or business owner can know all their clients individually. Still, they must ensure their products and services meet the needs of their target audiences. That’s where a buyer persona comes into play. 

As mentioned above, a buyer persona is a fictionalized character representing your target audience. They’re also referred to as user personas, marketing personas, customer personas, and audience personas. Typically, you create a buyer persona after studying your market, identifying what makes your audience tick, and determining customer pain points and interests. 

QR Codes can help with this—use QR Codes for e-commerce to provide easy access to content and collect feedback so you have a better understanding of your market. 

From your market research, you might create personas like Bargain Becky or Stylish Scarlett to represent different categories of ideal customers and develop backstories for each one. For example, maybe Bargain Becky is focused on saving money, while Stylish Scarlett cares more about looking good. 

Creating well-defined buyer personas can have significant impacts on your marketing efforts. It allows you to understand what your customers need, presenting benefits like:

  • Improved product development  

  • Targeted messaging and marketing 

  • Enhanced communication between your brand and customers

  • Stronger relationships with current customers.  

How to create and use buyer personas for your ideal customer demographics

A buyer persona is a close relative of, but not the same as, your target market. It’s actually a more detailed snapshot of your ideal customer and is more specific than just categorizing your customers by segmentation. When creating buyer persona examples for your business, you’ll need to flesh out more than just a general overview of your different target markets—you’ll need details.

If this is your first time forming a persona, consider looking at buyer persona templates as a starting point. When you get an idea of what you’re about to create, implement the following tips:

Research and segment your audience

Who are your customers? You can only create an effective marketing campaign if you find the answer to this question. 

Use surveys, interviews, and data analysis to collect information about your customer base. Research their ages, locations, goals, pain points, interests, needs, and anything else that makes them tick. 

Then, create audience segments based on the collected data to have an easier time understanding them. You can segment them by demographic factors like age or gender, behavioral patterns like purchasing habits, geographical locations, or whichever other apparent factor to help create accurate representations of your target customers and their patterns or characteristics.

Draft your buyer persona

Once you segment your audience, you can draft your persona. Creating buyer personas means more than writing a cute name. It means developing a well-rounded picture of your customers: their prospective ages, jobs, where they’re likely to hang out, how much they like to spend, their preferences, and more. It’s also possible to have more than one for your business, with each persona centered around a specific part of your target audience.

You can base your persona on a wide range of factors, including behaviors, media channels, places they encounter your product, goals, and challenges, as long as there are commonalities. Use actual customer data and feedback to make the persona as accurate as possible. Once you get the info and draft the persona, give it a name and a backstory to humanize it and make it relatable for your marketing team. 

Integrate QR Codes for enhanced persona insights

You can do more than just reinforce your branding with QR Codes—you can also use these versatile innovations to improve your persona. 

To refine your buyer persona and create your ideal customer, you’ll need data and information to back it up. And what better way is there to collect data and information than through QR Codes? You can run QR Code marketing campaigns and monitor what resonates the most with your audience by evaluating the number of scans different campaigns receive. 

For example, you can compare the scans of QR Codes that offer discounts against those that provide informative product content to understand what your audience is most interested in. 

Alternatively, you can use QR Codes to collect customer feedback by linking them to surveys—audiences are more likely to be receptive to feedback collection as QR Codes make it easy for them to access forms. 

If you decide to integrate QR Codes, place them at prominent customer touchpoints, such as packaging, in-store displays, or event materials. Ensure they’re easily accessible to boost the number of scans and, consequently, responses. 

Implement targeted campaigns

When integrated with both print and digital marketing, you can use QR Codes to test how, where, and when customers reacted to a particular piece of your marketing strategy, and use this information to build up buyer persona profiles, characteristics, and preferences.

When you polish up your persona, use the insights you gain to tailor marketing messages and campaigns. Ensure your campaign highlights your target customers’ problems and how you can solve them. For example, suppose your persona is a busy corporate executive (let’s call him Mike) who needs a website up and running quickly. In that case, you can highlight how your company saves time and delivers hassle-free services in your campaign. Also, ensure your tone and language are appropriate for Mike—in this case, you’d want to go for something formal and authoritative to get his interest. 

For optimal results, use buyer personas throughout various marketing channels, from email to social media to content marketing. This way, you can maintain a consistent image and capture different types of customers’ attention wherever they are. 

Validate and refine the personas over time

You may not get your buyer persona right the first time around, especially if you’ve never created one before. Not to worry, though—many business owners refine their customer personas over time, and so can you!

You can validate the accuracy of your personas by conducting interviews with some of your clients, issuing surveys, or talking to your customer support and sales teams to understand your audience and what they value. When you do, refine your persona based on the new data. 

Also, assess factors like industry and business operation changes when polishing up your persona, as they can cause shifts in customer needs, pain points, preferences, and behaviors. 

5 examples of QR Codes and buyer personas in action

No matter your industry, you should have an idea of who you’re selling to. Luckily, QR Codes—and the multitudes of QR Code types at your disposal to help with your buyer persona definition—can help you get to know your customers better. 

The tracking data you have the potential to collect from each QR Code, along with the information Rating and Feedback QR Codes allow you to ask from your customers, can help you create a customer persona that will take your business up a notch.

To inspire you in how to create a buyer persona and how QR Codes can help you every step of the way, we’ve detailed how five different industries could use different QR Codes to reach out to their customers and collect information they can then use to build their ideal buyer personas:

1. Restaurant industry

Buyer personas aren’t limited to product-focused industries—services undoubtedly benefit from knowing their target audiences, too. If you’re running a coffee shop, for example, do you want to target Meg freelancing from her laptop while sipping cold brew coffee? Or Ken, who’ll take clients to lunch? Or both? With nearly 80% of restaurants closing shop before they hit the fifth-year mark, you can’t be too careful when creating your buyer persona, as it’ll impact your marketing campaigns and their results. 

In the restaurant industry, getting to know your customers better and using this information when building customer personas can be as simple as asking them yourself! 

If you’re developing a new direction with your menu and want to know if it clicks with a particular segment of the customers who walk through your restaurant or bar’s doors and how this can be used to paint a picture of your ideal customer, including a Rating QR Code on menus or receipts is the simplest, most straightforward way to ask.

You can link the code to a form asking easy-to-answer questions like what customers think of your service, how likely they are to repurchase certain menu items, and some key questions to get an idea of demographics, such as if they are students who live in the area, and their age range, for example. 

2. Retail

In the retail industry, knowing your audience is crucial to delivering the experience your customers will appreciate most. Whether you run a fashion boutique with a style-savvy set of shoppers or a grocery store catering to nutrition-conscious consumers, creating buyer persona examples that are rich in detail will help your sales, buying, and marketing teams source and sell products that your customers will truly love.

Sometimes, however, your customers might need a little nudge to get them to tell a little more about themselves than they might typically be willing to. 

To learn more about its customers and to create more holistic buyer persona examples that will help its brand align across all its different departments, a boutique can incentivize its customers to scan their Feedback QR Code by coupling it with a QR Code giveaway.

The premise is simple: By scanning the code, customers can enter themselves into a competition for shopping vouchers. In return, they answer a few straightforward questions that the store can use to build up a picture of who they are: their ages, where they come from, their preferences, their style, their background, and what they think of the store.

3. Software and game developers

Did you know gamers make up a whopping 37% of internet users? This makes gaming a goldmine for savvy developers who understand their audiences. 

Even in the gaming industry, customer persona marketing has its place. There’s a world of difference between a casual gamer tapping at a puzzle game on a commute and a die-hard Fortnite enthusiast on a marathon session—so where does your game lie in this spectrum?

QR Codes can help you learn more about the kind of gamer—and buyer—personas you can build for your software and games. 

For example, you can create a Social Media QR Code and position it in an app store to direct gamers to specific social media channels. You can then use the tracking data to build a better picture of who plays your games, where they are, and what kinds of devices they use, and correlate this with the data of your followers on social media.

4. Consumer products

Who wants to buy your product? And how do you create a cohesive marketing strategy that speaks to your brand and ideal customers?

If you have a niche product, you’ll want to know your ideal customers so you can sell to them. Building a buyer persona is the solution, of course—but how do you collect the information you need to create one? Leverage QR Codes. 

For example, if you run a distillery, you can embed an Image QR Code on your bottles to get scans from buyers. When drink enthusiasts scan the code, they can view luscious images of your gin’s ingredients and production. This can help you collect scan data like where and when the QR Code was scanned and on what device.

Alternatively, you can link the QR Code to a landing page where visitors are asked a series of short questions—their age, preferences, and profession, among others—and then use the information to build a brand buyer persona.

5. Electronic products

Apple launched its “Think Different” campaign in 1997 under the leadership of Steve Jobs—and completely pivoted how people viewed its products. What made this campaign special was how it transformed Apple from a niche company on the verge of collapse into one of tech’s biggest companies and leaned into the emergent lifestyle aspirations of consumers at the time.

Of course, most companies can only dream of Apple’s trillion-dollar success story. It does, however, demonstrate the importance of understanding buyer personas in every industry—electronics included.

If you’re in the tech industry, you can use QR Codes to better understand your market and create accurate personas. For example, you can link your QR Code to a website that asks customer-centric questions like: 

  • Who are they? 

  • How much are they likely to spend? 

  • How do they view technology in their lives?

Incorporating a QR Code into your strategy allows you to collect double the information. On one hand, you can use QR Code tracking data to see where, when, and on what device potential customers scan the code. On the other hand, you get answers to the survey questions on your website, allowing you to refine your persona. 

Improve customer experience and address pain points with buyer personas

Wondering why your products don’t resonate with your audience or why your marketing campaigns aren’t effective? Maybe there’s a problem with your buyer persona profile. Leverage innovations like QR Codes to collect customer data and create accurate audience personas. 

With QR Code Generator PRO, you don’t have to guess your audience’s specific needs, preferences, challenges, or demographic information. The platform provides a wide range of QR Codes that can aid with data collection and also offers analytics like scan locations, which can help you refine your marketing persona. 

Sign up for QR Code Generator PRO today and leverage audience insights to improve client experiences and create effective, targeted marketing campaigns.

Trupti Desai

Trupti Desai is Bitly’s Senior Director of Growth Marketing. She has over 10 years of experience working in B2B and B2C marketing roles spanning the UK and the US. A key part of the marketing strategy at Bitly, Trupti elevates global teams with her expertise and insights and was notably a speaker at the Digital Marketing World Forum. You can connect with Trupti on LinkedIn.

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