Do you know what makes your customers tick? What do they like? What are they driven and incentivized by? What are their purchase habits? What are they trying to accomplish? What is the motive behind their behavior?! Hint: Think in terms of customer personas. You know, those wonderfully detailed interpretations of each segment of your target audience. These segments or customer personas are fueled by data, as well as help inform your team of everything from more effective imagery/copy, to product focus and promotions. Thus, making the most of your holiday budget.

Using your customer personas to tailor and personalize your messaging will increase your reach and return. It is key to differentiate your brand and break through the clutter of what is holiday messaging. Leveraging your personas to create targeted personalization is vital to making that happen.

Simply put, personas allow a business or brand to be more strategic. They aid in specifically catering to each audience, internalizing their target audience, and (mostly) relating to them as human beings rather than revenue generators.

Leveraging personas to execute on personalization is considerably more important during the holidays. So how do you create a persona? So glad you asked! Below are guidelines and a basic template to get you started.

Focus your personas around data, and don’t get hung up on your “ideal” customer. Trust the data and support the behaviors/personas that are currently engaged.

Places to look:

Check your analytics. Your site analytics allow you to see how the visitor interacted with your site:

  • See where your visitor came from (paid, organic, email, etc.)
  • Find out what keywords were used to find your site
  • How long they stayed on your site
  • How many pages they interacted with

The list goes on… but this type of data is key for personas because it gives you a look into how your audience is interacting with your brand, and how they got to your site.

  • Involve your internal team. I mean everyone! Marketing, client services, channel leads, and anyone else that interacts with customer/industry data that would have a good perspective on your customers’ behaviors.
  • Research on social media. Leverage your social media by listening to your engagers (potential customers). Answer their questions, help solve their problems, and always be open to criticism.
  • Ask your audience. After all, your customers know themselves best, right? Utilize surveys, interviews, and internal metrics that you have gathered directly from your customers/visitors.

Once you have delved into each of these aspects of persona building, it is time to build one! This is what it should look like/include:


  • Name of persona (a normal name will do)
  • Job title


  • Age (age range)
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Salary/household income
  • Marital status/Family

Other Metrics:

  • Interests
  • Buying motivations
  • Buying concerns

See, not that difficult. Now you are armed with the tools to build your own customer personas. So analyze, involve, research, and ask your way to your new best friend – your very own customer personas.