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How to create personas using ChatGPT: Template prompts, tools and examples

Create personas with ChatGPT

Generative AI is all that people are talking about these days. Whether it is ChatGPT, DALL-E, or Midjourney, AI can do amazing things in a relatively short amount of time.

You can use artificial intelligence to generate aesthetic images, text, and make fun videos. You can even create a website without knowing a bunch of coding languages.

The only thing you have to do is Google up some stuff online.

That being said, nobody really knows how to use AI to create personas. Good news for you if you are one of them, because this article covers all you need to know about generative AI and how to create buyer personas easily using ChatGPT.

What is generative AI?

There is AI and then there is Generative AI. While AI lets machines work out and process information in ways that human beings (or their brains) can, Gen AI actually does the things we do, like creating music, writing poems, or designing logos.

We asked ChatGPT to describe the difference between the two, and here’s what we got:

“AI is the super-smart but socially awkward robot, trying to imitate people. Generative AI is that hilarious guy who creates crazy memes and art, but struggles to catch on to a good knock-knock joke!”

Because why not.

It is the ‘THE’ word in the tech industry today. And not only tech, AI is gaining momentum in the automotive, advertising, design, entertainment, gaming, and healthcare industries as well.

In fact, look at the Google Trends report for the search term “generative ai” over the past few years.

Generative AI trends report

Clearly, everybody wants a piece of it.

With the recent breakthroughs and applications, the way we approach content creation and marketing as a whole has also changed.

Market research has become easier, especially when it comes to knowing your target audience and building buyer personas. You just have to enter a prompt and conversational AI tools like ChatGPT will create a complete customer profile for you in minutes.

How can generative AI be used for persona creation?

Personas represent your ideal customers. They tell you everything you need to know about your target market, such as their goals, interests, challenges, motivations, purchase behavior, buying triggers, preferences, etc.

Of course, they are only fictional representations and not real.

Now there are two ways to develop personas: either you build one manually or use automatic persona generator tools. No matter which method you follow, you generally have to stick to this pattern:

  • Collect data
  • Create personas
  • Test personas

Online persona generators will collect user data and create audience segments for you. If you are going with the manual process, however, you will have to gather data from reliable sources and then analyze it in order to build buyer personas.

Gen AI can help you out with the manual method.

But here’s the catch. It will only generate the personas. The customer data used will be completely random (not specifically for your business) and entirely depend on the prompts you use.

Accurate and original data is necessary to build functional personas that can be used in your sales, marketing, and product development efforts.

So, who should be using it?

Gen AI is for people who are starting out their business and have little to no idea about who their buyers are. Or for those who don’t have the resources to carry out the whole persona creation process.

Chatbots also make for great test subjects if you want to try out some use cases like new messaging campaigns, content, and design before testing it on your users.

But more on that later.

Always remember that Generative AI is a starting point and can only act as a temporary advisor. It cannot and should not replace professional authorities on the subject.

Even when you think that it has generated all the insights you need about your buyers and their behavior, feedback from industry experts is necessary to validate them.

Free tools to create AI personas

There are many Generative AI tools and services out there. Here are the three most efficient and (almost) free ones that you can use to generate personas:

  • ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and DALL-E

The former two will help with data collection, analysis, and text generation, while the latter can be used to develop realistic profile pictures.

How to create buyer personas with ChatGPT?

It’s easy to create buyer personas with ChatGPT, but only if you have the right prompts and tools at your disposal.

After searching the internet and going through all the articles available on ChatGPT and customer personas, including YouTube videos and shorts, we have found that these are the top five ways to create them:

  • ChatGPT prompts
  • Keywords Everywhere extension
  • Buyer Persona Legend by RonGPT
  • Feedback and reviews

#1 ChatGPT prompts

ChatGPT is an AI powered chatbot developed by OpenAI. It is based on large language models (LLMs) and is capable of churning out content on an endless number of topics.

Ask a question and you’ll get a very humanlike response. It can be something simple like “When did Napoleon die?” or a complex question discussing the meaning of human existence.

You can further refine ChatGPT’s responses and steer the conversation in any direction depending on the function you want it to perform.

Start with a generic task and then get more specific.

You will need to know how to craft prompts using the right vocabulary and verbs. Maybe read up a little on prompt engineering. It will give you the ability to influence ChatGPT’s responses by customizing the prompts fed into the AI system.

In case of personas, this is the simplest prompt you can start with:

  • Create a buyer persona for a [business] located in [city, state, country]

For example, we prompted ChatGPT to build a customer persona for a real estate company in London. It generated a customer profile called Emma, dubbing it as the London Property Enthusiast.

London property enthusiast

As you can see, the persona generated is good although a little generic. It lists down all the attributes one would expect, with the chatbot offering ways in which a real estate company can engage buyers like Emma.

You can continue this conversation by prompting ChatGPT to take on the role of this persona and ask questions that get some useful answers.

#2 Keywords Everywhere extension

Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome. A keyword research tool that can also be used to create user personas in ChatGPT.

It basically gives you a persona template, which is great if you don’t know how to give out the right ChatGPT prompts or design one from scratch. In order to get started, follow these steps:

  1. Find the Keywords Everywhere extension on Chrome Web Store
  2. Click Add to Chrome
  3. Open ChatGPT and click on Templates (present in the side panel)
  4. Select the Category > Marketing, Sub-category > Miscellaneous, and Templates > Create Buyer Persona

Don’t forget to pin the extension and refresh your page before you get started. Once you’re done, this is what your screens should look like.

Keywords Everywhere chatGPT extension

You can generate personas in over thirty different languages, in different voice types and writing styles. As highlighted in red, you further get the option to expand, rewrite, and exemplify your personas.

This template is completely free and needs no upgrades.

We will use the same example here as we did previously: a customer persona for a real estate company in London.

Real estate user persona

The output is somewhat similar, although the information is much more digestible. The tool has additionally summarized the user persona in the end.

You’ll notice that some of the data is repetitive. It can be ignored when you look at the other details one gets, like budget, shopping frequency, triggers, barriers, and search terms without having to ask for it.

#3 Buyer Persona Legend by RonGPT

Another ChatGPT persona template that can be found on AIPRM is the Buyer Persona Legend, which is kind of like the Keywords Everywhere extension.

For those who aren't familiar with it, AIPRM is an online community of prompt engineers that build easy to use prompts for “marketing, sales, operations, productivity, and customer support.”

You’ll have to install the AIPRM extension to use the Buyer Persona Legend. This is the easiest way to do it:

  • Get the AIPRM for ChatGPT from Chrome Web Store
  • Select Add to Chrome
  • Sign in to your OpenAI account once redirected
  • Open a new chat on the ChatGPT dashboard

Your screen will display a bunch of prompt templates and all you need to do is type Buyer Persona Legend in the search tab and hit Enter.

Buyer Persona Legend

This template is mostly free but you have to upgrade if you want to get more options in terms of the tone and writing style. Currently, you get one of each besides the default setting; emotional (tone) and poetic (writing style).

None of them are useful though.

Anyway, the structure of the prompt is the same as before: you need to fill in keywords that describe what your business sells as well as the location you are targeting.

This time we changed the use case a little, with the brand being one that sells women’s skincare products in New York.

Skincare persona

We got the final results after asking the bot to continue since the initial response was too short.

Here’s a little hack to get more options without having to upgrade: Use the Keywords Everywhere extension along with the Buyer Persona Legend. All the options available under Continue (clarify, exemplify, tweetify) should be available to you.

#4 Feedback and reviews

Feedback and reviews are the best way to ensure that your persona is based on actual customer data and only represents your buyers.

It leaves less space for errors since ChatGPT is constantly in the habit of assuming things. Having said that, you can gather customer reviews and feedback from sites like LinkedIn, G2, and Yelp.

Ensure that you gather data only from platforms that have most of your customers and reviews. It increases the sample size and gives more accurate results.

There will be some manual effort required on your part, but the output generated will be far better than all the methods we have discussed so far.

Just follow these simple steps:

  • Collect reviews from any of the platforms mentioned above
  • Copy this data into Excel or Google Sheets
  • Format and clean (so that it only contains the feedback you want)

Your last step will be to feed these reviews into ChatGPT and generate customer personas. Here is the prompt you can use:

  • Create a buyer persona with these customer testimonials in [language] for [product, service]. [Enter the customer reviews]

Remember that ChatGPT comes with a word limit of some 3000 words. If you have a lot of reviews, you will probably have to analyze them in sections.

How to create an AI marketing persona with Bing Chat

ChatGPT is good but Bing Chat is much better. It is powered by GPT-4, has the ability to browse the internet, and lists out the sources it has pulled data from.

This makes it a good option when it comes to creating AI personas.

For demonstration purposes, we will take the example of a marketing agency that is tasked with creating a campaign for a new line of noise-canceling headphones, targeted mainly at Gen Z in New York.

There are five questions the agency needs to answer in order to create a successful marketing strategy:

  1. Who is the target audience?
  2. What problems are they facing?
  3. What are the jobs they want to get done?
  4. Who are their main competitors?
  5. How do they get the product to the customer?

Let’s see how AI marketing personas can answer all of these questions.

Prompt 1: Know your customers

Personas let you understand your target audience like no other. However, you need a detailed prompt if you want to build them in one shot.

A detailed prompt includes the right commands and variables. Since we are creating a B2C persona, our prompt will include the following attributes:

Demographics: Age, gender, occupation, income, family status, location, and communication preferences.

Psychographics: Goals, challenges, values, hobbies, and places likely to visit.

Behavior: Devices, marketing channels, search engines, social networks, and keywords.

Preferences: Content type, news, music, television/radio, and brands.

Buying Insights: Budget, factors influencing purchase decisions, jobs to be done, and perceived barriers.

Once you have your prompt ready, feed it into Bing. Although there are three conversation styles to choose from, we recommend using Precise because it is more consistent.

This is the output the chatbot generated after processing our prompt, which was complex and ridiculously long (around 400 words).

Prompt 1

It barely took a few seconds for the AI to build this buyer persona. The data looks good. Nonetheless, it still needs to be validated before it can be used.

Prompt 2: List down pains and challenges

Bing Chat has listed out some pain points and challenges for us, yet it's not enough. We need more details to understand this audience segment and develop a good marketing plan.

Two ways to go about doing it: Either command Bing to take on the role of the persona or directly ask questions related to Sarah (the buyer).

The second option is better.

Prompt: What are the pain points or needs that Sarah has which are related to headphones and audio experiences?

Prompt 2

The output offers good points to work with and create customized content that guides buyers like Sarah through their issues and pushes them down the marketing funnel.

Prompt 3: Identify the jobs to be done

People don’t buy a product but a solution to their problems. They have certain jobs that they need the product to perform in order to meet their objectives.

It’s important to know what these jobs are.

Prompt: Why does Sarah want to buy noise canceling headphones? List down the jobs she wants to get done.

Prompt 3

Again, not a bad response. It covers all the basics that could most definitely be addressed in ad copies.

Prompt 4: Pick out your competitors

Identifying your competitors is essential for strategic planning and success. It helps you position your products effectively against theirs and stand out in your industry.

Prompt: What are some headphone brands that people like Sarah use? Give me a list of them in bullet points along with the reasons why.

Prompt 4

Prompt 5: Spot marketing opportunities

We now have the brands, the products, as well as the reasons why they are popular with Gen Z.

Next up is using Bing Chat to answer the all important question: Where does your audience want to see your brand? And how?

Prompt: What type of content do people like Sarah expect from a company that sells headphones? What are the platforms they would like to see this content on?

Prompt 5

You can ask Bing to describe a day in the life of your buyers using this information. This is not all. You can also change perspectives, depending on who will be using the persona. Say, a copywriter or a social media marketer.

Create more accurate, data-driven personas

Building customer personas with generative AI tools like ChatGPT is all fun and games until you get into the serious aspects of your business.

The generic solution that AI tools provide is not enough to build a full-fledged marketing strategy as it does not have access to real data about your customers and their journeys. You need buyer personas based on real customer data in order to do that.

Persona by Delve AI combines first-party and public data sources to generate AI personas for your business, competitors, and social media handles.

The entire process is automatic and does not require any human intervention (or prompts). All you need to do is connect your data sources such as your business’ Google Analytics account and then wait until your personas are generated.

Once done, you will be able to see data-driven personas that only represent your target audience.

Live persona sample

Multiple segments are created based on behavior, psychographics, demographics, geographies, and transactions. Buyers are further grouped into transacting and non-transacting segments.

This is not all. Personas are updated automatically when changes occur, keeping you informed in an era of rapidly changing consumer behavior.

Wrapping up

Generative AI is constantly evolving, so much so that it is now possible to create autonomous marketing systems capable of planning and executing marketing campaigns without human intervention.

These systems take data crunching to another level and offer customer details that you sometimes don’t notice.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Bing or ChatGPT, using Gen AI to create buyer personas is a game-changer. You get smarter strategies, better connections, and a whole new way of understanding your audience!

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