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  • Carol Reeve

Audience Personas

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Determining your target audience is critical to your marketing success. And that determination is about a lot more than just a label of “donor” or “business owner.” Effectively reaching your target audience requires that you understand who these people are. What motivates them? What do they value? Where do they get their information? How do they make their decisions?

Start by looking at – and talking to – your existing customers. Note commonalities and try to group them based on similar qualities. From that point, develop target audience profiles that describe a typical individual in that group. An example of that is below…

Carrie, the Career Volunteer Though branded a “stay-at-home” mom, Carrie is rarely home. She volunteers in her child’s school, has a direct sales business to bring in a little extra income and clips coupons to save money. She is highly organized, energetic and creative. Prior to having children, she had a career in communications. She is a great writer, skilled at organization and is seeking an outlet where she can make a difference while using these skills. Carrie watches local news in the early morning and late afternoon, and she skims the community newspaper every week. She checks Facebook in the evenings to keep in touch with friends. She writes hand-written thank-you notes and meets periodically with friends for Girls Night Out.

Although Carrie is a fictional character, this written profile can really help you understand the segment of your audience base that she represents. If you are trying to reach someone like Carrie, a story in the Farragut Press Enterprise may generate better results than an ad in the Knoxville News-Sentinel. An appearance on WBIR’s Live at Five will likely have a greater impact than a sponsorship on NPR. Coupons are a great way to get Carrie to sample your products or service, and a money-saving loyalty program is likely to appeal to her. For a nonprofit organization seeking volunteers, a great role for Carrie would be a manager of your organization’s Facebook page. She may also enjoy serving on an event planning committee, where she can likely increase attendance numbers by inviting her friends. A hand-written thank-you note acknowledging her talents and hard work will keep Carrie content and loyal to your organization.

Understanding who your target audience is will help you reach them, motivate them and keep them engaged.

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