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The Anatomy of a Buyer Persona: With Examples from Delve AI

An effective buyer persona has several elements that need to be addressed. Let's learn these key ingredients that help paint a complete picture, with examples from personas generated by Delve AI.
12 Min Read

Table Of Contents

    We are living in the 21st century – an age where artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies can be used to complete most of your marketing activities. It doesn't matter if it's content creation or customer analysis; AI can do it all.

    However, it is still important that you understand your prospects.

    Machines are great at analyzing your target audience with data and analytics. Yet, they inherently lack the human touch needed to comprehend consumer behavior and create successful campaigns.

    It is up to you as a marketer to make this possible.

    A buyer persona helps you along by giving you a supportive framework that enhances understanding of your ideal customers and guides your marketing plans, both online and offline.

    Personas are not a pen-and-paper buyer profile. They are a strategic investment that not only offers demographic details but also delves into the psychographic and behavioral nature of your audience.

    That said, let's delve into the anatomy of a buyer persona and explore the key factors that make them a crucial component of your marketing strategies.

    What is a buyer persona?

    Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal (and sometimes not so ideal) customers that give you insights into their goals, interests, challenges, motivations, emotions, and behavioral traits.

    They are valuable tools used to solve marketing, sales, and product development problems.

    According to David Scott, “an understanding of buyer personas transforms your marketing from mere product-specific, egocentric gobbledygook into the sort of information people are thrilled to consume and eager to share.”

    They are fundamental to an effective marketing plan and allow you to tailor your content, messaging, and communication in a way that suits the needs and preferences of your customers.

    Core components of a persona profile

    A customer persona profile, such as this one from Venngage, gives you the most basic information with regards to your buyers segments.

    Venngage persona example

    It typically includes a quote, persona description, demographic details, goals, frustrations, personality traits, brands, technology, and motivations driving purchase decisions.

    Many persona templates follow a similar format and are usually made up of three core components:

    Demographic information such as age range, gender, location, lifestyle, income, education, occupation, and family status. In B2B cases, details like job title, responsibilities, company, and industry are included.

    Psychographics elements like goals (both personal and professional), motivations, challenges, hobbies, interests, values, pain points, and communication preferences.

    Behavioral patterns that tell you about the jobs to be done, product usage, purchasing habits, influencer entities, marketing channels, and mode of payment.

    When combined together, these elements offer a comprehensive overview of your users. However, you need to compile and provide reliable data in order to develop accurate buyer personas using such templates/tools.

    Sources of customer data

    Some websites outline a series of steps you need to follow to create a buyer persona. While the process is meant to be simple, you cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the number of steps involved.

    Creating personas isn't hard. In fact, it’s just a three-step process:

    • Gather customer data
    • Segment customer data
    • Build buyer personas

    As long as you have accurate customer data, which can be both qualitative or quantitative in nature, you are good to go.

    Qualitative data comes from customer surveys, reviews, focus groups, interviews, and feedback, while quantitative data is acquired through web analytics, social media, and third-party sources.

    A combination of qualitative and quantitative data will help you design full-fledged personas that are powered by analytics and driven by consumer insights.

    Data-driven personas in marketing

    Buyer personas have been used by marketing teams since time immemorial. Initially, they were created with qualitative data acquired by conducting interviews and surveys.

    Traditional personas usually came in the form of a static downloadable file that you could share with your team. Most of the information present was general and demographic, often used in content and advertising.

    However, it could not be automatically updated.

    As technology evolved and the amount of data increased, buyer personas also started to change. They are now built with extensive data, analytics, and artificial intelligence.

    data driven persona marketing

    Data-driven personas have not only streamlined the persona creation process but also made it more accurate and cost-efficient.

    You can rest assured that your personas will be free from biases, assumptions and generalizations. They will actually represent an ideal customer profile built from real data, analytics, and AI technologies.

    Such persona are already being used to fine-tune digital campaigns and audience targeting.

    Anatomy of a buyer persona

    Persona by Delve AI is an automatic persona generator that uses AI and machine learning technologies to instantaneously generate personas for your business, competitors, and social media handles.

    The platform builds dynamic personas from your web analytics (GA4 and Search Console), social media, competitor, and voice of customer (reviews, ratings, forums, online communities, and news) data.

    For both B2B and B2C businesses.

    All you need to do is sign up and connect your business accounts. Otherwise, you can simply enter a competitor domain and generate a competitor persona for free.

    Fun fact: Personas are automatically updated every month.

    The tool takes into account user demographics, psychographics, and behavior to create persona segments that represent different types of customers using your product or service.

    Each card provides an in-depth summary of your segments, displaying numerous important elements. Let’s explore some of them and understand what contributes to a well-rounded persona.

    Metrics

    Metrics are measurable data points used to analyze and understand the characteristics of your audience.

    Persona segment example

    TThe example above lists out a bunch of them, including:

    • User Percentage: Percentage of users within a particular customer segment.
    • Sessions: Average number of visits per user. A session is the time frame during which a group of user interactions take place within your website.
    • Bounce Rate: Percentage of sessions that were not engaged (less than 10 seconds, did not trigger a conversion event, or only had one page view).
    • View Rate: Number of page views per session.
    • Session Duration: Average time a user spends on a website or application during a single session.
    • Action Rate: Percentage of users who take a desired action or complete an event within the website or application, such as clicking a link or filling out a form.
    • Goals: Targets set for user actions within a website or application. It can include goals like subscribing to a newsletter, signing up for a free trial, or completing a transaction.
    • Goal Value: The assigned value of achieving a specific goal per user.
    • Add to Cart: Number of times a user adds items to their shopping cart.
    • Transactions: Number of completed transactions or purchases made by a user.
    • Revenues: Total amount of money made from user transactions or purchases.
    • Currency: The type of currency used for measuring transactions, revenues, and other monetary values.

    User percentage guides customer targeting, sessions indicate engagement, bounce rate reflects page performance, action rate measures user interaction, and transaction data helps with revenue and goal completion.

    Collectively, these metrics provide crucial insights for optimizing user experience and decision-making.

    Persona Details

    Once you click on the PERSONA DETAILS tab, you will be presented with a profile that gives you a detailed summary about a particular B2B (highlighted in green) or B2C (highlighted in blue) segment.

    Detailed persona sample

    The one displayed is a B2C buyer persona and contains the following attributes:

    • Name: A fictional name assigned to the representative person for each segment in order to humanize their profile.
    • Age: The approximate representative age of users in a segment. It is an essential demographic detail offering insights into their life and is a good indicator of the purchasing power they hold.
    • Gender: Indicates the biological sex of your users, which may or may not have an impact on their buying behavior.
    • Generation: The marketing generation your customers belong to, such as Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.
    • Quote: A short phrase that reflects the sample intent of users in the segment when they visit your website. It is extracted from the voice of the customer data (social media, reviews, blogs, communities and forums) and website activity (e.g. the pages they've visited, searches conducted, and actions performed on the site).
    • Bio: A brief narrative about your buyers, encompassing their occupation, lifestyle, interests, goals, challenges, and motivations in relation to your product.
    • Location: Represents the specific geographic area where your user is located. It is further divided into cities, regions, countries, sub-continents, and continents.

    A B2B buyer persona will include professional information with regard to your users’ job profiles, company, industry, skills, and expertise.

    The Lifestyle section further describes the way in which your users live, including their daily habits, interests, and behaviors.

    • Marital Status: The current marital status of your users, whether they are single, married, divorced/separated, or in a relationship.
    • Kids: Describes the number of children your users likely have (male or female). It is a good indicator of the gender distribution within the family.
    • Pets: Shows the presence of animals or pets within the household.
    • Home Ownership: Indicates whether your users own or rent their primary residence. It also depicts the type of property owned. For example, single-family homes, apartments, duplexes, townhouses, and more.
    • Vehicle Types: The type of vehicle owned or used, such as cars, motorcycles, bicycles, or public transportation.

    The subsequent sections outline their communication preferences, interests, emotions, and personalities.

    • Communication Preferences: Preferred channels of communication, like email, messaging, chat, phone calls, in-person meetings, or social media.
    • Business Interests: Topics of interest related to one's profession or industry.
    • Preferences: Likes, dislikes, or biases related to activity preferences like news, television, radio, music, movies, sports, and travel.
    • Brands: Brands that users in the segment associate with.
    • News Sources: Media channels or platforms that users rely on for getting industry updates and news.
    • Social Networks: Social platforms or applications where users are active.
    • Influencers: Individuals or organizations that users follow and consider influential in their industry.
    • Websites: Primary websites for conducting research, gathering information, and finding solutions.
    • Hashtags: Hashtags used in conversations or followed on social media.
    • Podcasts: Preferred podcasts or digital audio programs that can be streamed online, often covering different topics.
    • Subreddits: Most followed subreddits in Reddit. A subreddit is a community within the platform focusing on a particular topic.
    • Video Channels: Preferred video content handles or channels in YouTube.
    • Events: Types of industry events or conferences that users attend or are interested in, according to their professions.
    • Products: Specific products or services that buyers are interested in or are in the market for.
    • Services: Types of services or solutions that users are looking for actively.
    • Subjects: Educational subjects of interest or expertise.
    • Values: Core principles and beliefs that guide decision-making and behavior.
    • Hobbies: Personal interests or recreational activities.
    • Tools: Tools or software that buyers use in their personal or professional lives.
    • Interests: Areas of interest beyond the professional field.
    • Emotions: Dominant emotional states or triggers based on the 2D valence-arousal model of emotion.
    Personality and emotions
    • Personality Traits: Characteristic patterns of behavior, attitudes, and traits as defined by the five factor OCEAN model.

    Devices are the tools and gadgets used by your users to perform certain tasks and access information.

    Persona devices and tools
    • Device Types: Types of electronic devices used, like smartphones/mobiles, tablets, or desktops.
    • Device Form Factor: The physical design of the device, such as its size, shape and dimensions.
    • Device Feature Category: Richness of the device in terms of key features and functionalities, such as Super high end, High end, Mid range and Low end categories.
    • Device Make and Model: The specific brand and model of the device, like Apple iPhone 12.
    • Connection Speed: The speed at which devices connect to the internet, shown as Very fast/Fast/Moderate/Slow/Very slow connection categories.
    • Connection Type: The technology used to access the internet, such as Wi-Fi, cellular data, or broadband.

    Industry specific insights give you structured information pertaining to the industry your website belongs to. They are based on the mentions, page views and keywords used by users in each segment.

    Industry specific insights examples

    For example, in the fashion industry, keywords are grouped and presented in terms of attributes such as size, gender, occasion, color, etc.

    Distribution

    Next up is the USER DISTRIBUTION tab that answers questions beginning with who, how, where, when, and what of the users/customers in the respective segments. It offers details into buyer demographics, behaviors, locations, and topics of interest.

    Competitor persona distribution example

    This information more or less directly maps to campaign parameters and aids your marketing plans by enabling targeted campaigns, personalized content creation, optimal seasons, and timings for reaching specific audiences.

    1. WHO

    User distributions are displayed on the basis of demographic attributes like age, gender and language for consumer (B2C) segments and occupation related attributes like job titles, organizations and industries for business (B2B) segments.

    Competitor persona distribution who
    • Age-Gender: Shows the age-gender distribution of users.
    • Language: The primary language(s) of communication.
    Competitor persona distribution who b2b
    • Organization Name and Domain: The company or organization where your users are employed.
    • Industry: Industry that the organization is a part of, like technology, Hospitals and Health Care, Financial Services, Retail, and more.
    • Size: Number of employees working within the organization. This number can vary, ranging from small businesses to medium-sized enterprises or large corporations.
    • Job Title: A user’s position or role within the organization.
    • Reports To: Person or position to which one reports to in the organizational hierarchy.
    • Job Function: Describes the department where your user is employed. For example, in marketing, sales, finance, human resources, etc.
    • Seniority: Level of authority, experience, and responsibility associated with a job title within the organization. It can range from entry-level positions to executive roles.

    For B2B marketing, this section helps you identify key decision-makers, organizations and industry needs.

    2. HOW

    This section provides insights into behavioral attributes of users like browsing habits, channel preferences, brand interactions, and so on.

    Competitor persona distribution how

    • Channel: The marketing channel through which a user interacts with a brand or receives marketing messages. Some common channels are organic search, social media, email marketing, paid search (search engine marketing), referrals, display ads, etc.
    • Search Engine: Online platforms, such as Google and Bing, used by people to make queries and discover information on the World Wide Web.
    • Search Query: Keywords or phrases entered in a search engine to find relevant information.
    • Search Campaign: Name of the marketing campaign used to acquire users within the given segment. targeted towards search engine users.
    • Social Network: Platforms used by people to engage and connect with each other by sharing content. Some of the popular social media networks are Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok.
    • Email Source: The source of the emails received by users, like newsletters, promotional emails, or transactional emails.
    • Referral Domain: Other websites that refer buyers to your brand's website, content, or product.
    • Display Network: A network of websites and applications that display digital display advertisements.
    • Placement Domain: Website or platform where a brand’s ad is displayed to the audience.
    • Affiliate Source: Affiliate or partner websites that drive user traffic to a brand's website.
    • Others: Campaigns that do not fit into the categories mentioned. Gives you the ability to customize and include other marketing channels specific to your buyers.

    3. WHERE

    People are analyzed on the basis of geographic factors like locations (continent, sub-continent, country, region, city), and urbanicity/territory.

    Competitor persona distribution where
    • City: The city where your users reside. Gives you an idea about their local environment, infrastructure, and cultural background.
    • Region: A broader geographical area containing multiple cities or states, offering insights into regional characteristics and market trends.
    • Country: Indicates the nation of residence. This attribute helps in identifying country-specific factors such as language, culture, economic conditions, and regulatory frameworks that shape consumer behavior.
    • Sub-continent: A large landmass region that typically spans multiple countries, often with similarities in socio-cultural behavior, where the user resides.
    • Continent: One of the large geographical regions such as Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Australia, where the city of residence is based.
    • Urbanicity: The degree of urban development in a given geographical area. Users are categorized into metro, urban, suburban, or rural segments based on the level of urbanicity in their area.
    • Territory: Proximity of users to the physical location (headquarter location) of your business. Users are categorized into city+ (headquarter city and its vicinity), region, country, sub-continent, continent and global, helping to abstract and visualize the geographic ring of influence of your business.

    4. WHEN

    Lays out the time, weather, and seasons during which buyers make purchasing decisions. Helps to determine correlations, if any, between visits/purchases and these time based factors.

    Competitor persona distribution when
    • Day Group: Specific days of the week are categorized into groups, such as weekdays (Monday to Friday), weekends (Saturday and Sunday), holidays (regional, national and religious holidays depending on the user locations) and occasions (Father’s day, Valentine’s day, etc).
    • Hour Group: Specific hours of the day are categorized into groups, such as early morning, morning, mid day, late afternoon, evening, or night.
    • Weather: The current or typical atmospheric conditions at your users’ geographical location.
    • Season: Distinct periods of the year, such as spring, summer, fall (autumn), or winter. Each season is characterized by a particular weather pattern, temperature, and changes in the environment.

    5. WHAT

    Prospects are divided on the basis of their goals, pain points, interests, and sources of influence.

    Competitor persona distribution what
    • Goal: The desired outcomes, objectives, or goals that users are trying to accomplish.
    • Pain: Challenges, problems, or frustrations experienced by users.
    • Topic: A set of subjects, themes, or topics of interest.
    • E-commerce Product: A product that customers can purchase online.
    • E-commerce Category: The broader category or group to which an e-commerce product belongs.
    • Page: A particular webpage or online content that users consistently visit, engage, or interact with.
    • Resources: A person, publication, news channel, website, social media handle, or any other source of information that has a significant impact on the users’ opinions and decisions.

    Sample Journeys

    You can analyze SAMPLE JOURNEYS [samples of single user journeys for e-commerce/B2C websites, and single organization journeys B2B websites] of each persona segment to pinpoint drop-off locations and refine experiences.

    User journeys sample

    Labels for decision phases added by our platform for each step of the journey helps you get an idea of where users are in the decision making process.

    The decision phase is the stage in the buyer's journey where individuals make a final decision and take actions that lead to conversions and sales. It helps you understand the different stages of the customer journey.

    Examples of decision phases include:

    Research Phase

    A stage in the buyer's journey where a user is actively conducting research and gathering information about a particular product or service.

    Intent to Convert Phase

    The stage in the buyer's journey where the user has shown a clear intent to make a purchase or convert.

    Process of Conversion Phase

    User has started the process of conversion, usually online and is very likely to convert soon.

    Wrapping up

    A buyer persona is only as effective as the information it contains. The number of elements, components, or attributes it presents can range from as few as five to as many as fifty.

    By investing time in crafting a detailed persona, you equip yourself with the tools needed to formulate an impactful marketing plan. At the end of the day, it's not about pleasing everyone but resonating deeply with those who matter most – your ideal customers.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is a buyer persona?

    A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers and represents their goals, pain points, hobbies, interest, motivations, frustrations, personality traits, and more.

    They are created using different data sources, such as data from your past buyers, current customers, and competitors, offering you a holistic view of your buyers based on the commonalities they share.

    What are the elements of a buyer persona?

    Buyer personas are based on consumer demographics, firmographics, psychographics, geographics, and behavior. Each factor is in turn made up of several elements, such as:

    • Age, gender, language, location, ethnicity, family status, and educational background
    • Job role, experience level, organization size, performance, and industry
    • Personality, lifestyle, attitudes, social status, activities, interests, and opinions
    • City, region, country, climate, and weather conditions
    • Product usage, benefits, occasion, purchase patterns, and customer journey
    How do you create buyer personas?

    Here are five simple steps you can follow to create buyer personas:

    1. Gather qualitative and quantitative customer data

    2. Identify consumer pain points and challenges

    3. Set your marketing goals, objectives, and KPIs

    4. Draft buyer personas

    5. Test, update, and refine personas periodically

    Try our AI-powered persona generator
    Gain a deeper understanding of ​your digital customers

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