Creating Marketing Personas

Marketing personas are fictional characters that represent your ideal customers. They incorporate the various needs, goals, and behavioral patterns among your real and potential customers and help you understand your customers better. But how do you go about creating them?

What makes a good persona?

A good marketing persona includes everything you need to effectively market your products or services to that person. Note that we’re focusing on individuals here – not companies. Although the person you’re marketing to may be employed by a company, it’s not the company that makes the decision to buy – it’s a person.

Companies don’t buy from you – people buy from you

Creating a persona isn’t a five-minute job. It’s a process that yields different, custom, results for everyone that goes through it. Although you’re a Microsoft partner, it doesn’t mean that your customers are the same as another partner.

Define your company’s marketing personas

To help you create marketing personas for your company, use the following checklist to put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer. If this is your first time creating personas for your company, you may find it helpful to have someone in sales or your service-delivery team role-play the part of the customer.

Involve the sales team in the persona creation process


  • What is your job role? Your job title?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What is a typical day?
  • What skills are required?
  • What knowledge and tools do you use?
  • Who do you report to? Who reports to you?


  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?


  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • How do you overcome these challenges?


  • What industry or industries does your company work in?
  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees?)

Watering Holes:

  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • What publications or blogs do you read?
  • What associations and social networks do you belong to?

Personal Background:

  • Age
  • Family (single, married, children)
  • Education

Shopping Preferences:

  • How to you prefer to interact with vendors (email, phone, in person?)
  • Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information? What types of websites do you use?

Once you have everything together, give your persona a name, and find a stock image or photo that represents them. Keep all your personas together in one place (we use a OneNote Notebook), and print them out and keep them handy.

An example

I’d like to introduce you to Emma. Emma is a marketing persona for an ideal customer for Office 365 E3 or E5.


  • Senior Partner at a law firm
  • Responsible for corporate technology use
  • Day consists of overseeing high-level cases that her firm takes. Often works outside the office – in court or at client’s premises
  • Attention to detail and precision are vital to her success
  • Uses Office, Outlook and specific legal industry tools
  • Manages the firm’s junior partners and paralegals

Goals: Go here


  • Needs to be able to access documents anywhere at any time
  • Needs to collaborate with her colleagues when she’s out of the office
  • Documents need to be secure as well as accessible

Solution: Office 365 E3 or E5 will give Emma what she needs:

  • Advanced email with archiving and legal hold
  • Unified eDiscovery center
  • Rights management, data loss prevention, and encryption
  • Hosted voicemail support
  • Intranet sites with customizable security for her teams
  • Corporate social network for collaboration


  • Legal firm, specializing in corporate matters
  •  $1,350,000 revenue
  • 2 Senior partners, 5 junior partners, 4 paralegals, 2 administrative staff

Watering Holes:

  • Gets information and recommendations from legal blogs, articles
  • Member of the California Bar Association

Personal Details:

  • 30-something
  • Single or married with no children
  • Masters degree

Shopping Preferences:

  • Very busy so prefers to deal with vendors via email
  • Carefully researches products and solutions before buying
  • Gives strong weight to recommendations from peers

Our top tips for marketing to Emma

  • Don’t call – email her.
  • Show her how Office 365 E3 (or E5) can meet her needs and include case studies from the legal industry.
  • Include relevant information from the Office 365 Trust Center and make use of the Microsoft marketing aimed at the legal vertical.

Wrapping it up

Creating marketing personas isn’t quick – but it is worthwhile. Personas help you focus your messaging and make it relevant to the person you’re targeting. And relevant marketing is far more effective.

If you need help creating personas for your company, we’d be happy to lend a hand.

Get in touch

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