What is the difference between target audience and persona? – WAU

Understand the difference between target audience and persona and how these two concepts can be used in your strategy to help you relate to the audience in a more correct way.

Do you know the difference between efficient marketing and one that does not pay off? The direction.
To make campaigns with a good ROI, it is necessary to know the public that is most likely to want your product and prepare a communication that talks directly with them.

But what is the best way to get to know your potential customer?

In marketing, we have 2 ways: the target audience and the persona, and each has its ideal characteristics and applications.

In this post, we will talk about the difference between target audience and persona, the best applications, examples and how to create them for your company. Follow!

What is target audience?

The target audience is the social, economic and demographic definition of who will consume your product. It used to be the 1st step to start a marketing campaign.

Generally, the target audience brings information such as:

  • marital status;
  • formation;
  • genre;
  • shopping habits;
  • age;
  • profession; and
  • region of the country.

Despite being a good start for investigations of the public for which the product is intended, the target audience has fallen into disuse as the only driver for marketing actions.

The reason for that?

With the new consumption habits and the wealth of information and segmentation that digital marketing offers, it is necessary to have a more accurate perception of the consumer and his aspirations for the campaigns to be really efficient.

What are the benefits and when to use the target audience

Especially in the phases when it is necessary to create products and study the market, the target audience can be a good initial tool because it requires less research than the most complete options and gives an overview of the ideal customer.

This concept can also be very useful when making pricing and starting to define which campaigns and channels can be most effective at the time of disclosure.

Audience examples

To help you better visualize what your target audience looks like, we have separated these 3 examples:

  • women, 25 to 35 years old, with higher education, with monthly income between R $ 5,000 to R $ 8,000, single, residents of the Northeast region and who make recurring purchases of hair products;
  • men, 50 to 70 years old, with complete high school, monthly income between 2 to 5 minimum wages, residents of Belo Horizonte, married and who consume news through daily printed newspapers;
  • Medium-sized technology companies in the Southeast have already outsourced some sectors, with HR still small for the size of the company.

How to find my product’s target audience

To facilitate the process of finding out who your product is targeting, you can answer a few questions:

  • Is your product intended for companies or individuals?
  • in what region, city or state do the people who buy your product live?
  • is this a product for one gender or is it unisex? In the case of the latter option, is it purchased more by men or women?
  • how old are your consumers?
  • what is the income?
  • what is the training?
  • what is the marital status?
  • what is the age or generation for which the product is intended?
  • how often do you consume the product?

If you already have customers, it may be easier to do a search among them to identify these patterns.

But, if your case is a new product or audience, you can use marketing research and data collected about your sector, such as those provided by IBGE or trade associations.

What is persona?

Do you remember what we talked about up there, that the target audience has fallen out of favor due to its lack of details?

In this sense, buyer personas have proven to be a good solution for the new needs of the connected consumer.

One of the best persona definitions is as follows:

Persona or buyer persona is a semi-formal profile of a company’s ideal customer. The goal is for your company to better understand who the customer is and what he needs, enabling more accurate marketing strategies.

In other words, the persona brings more details, creating a greater connection and empathy of your marketing team with the customer – which leads to a more focused and efficient creation and segmentation.

In addition to what is already addressed by the target audience, in the persona you find:

  • a fictitious name, to facilitate the connection;
  • a brief history of the persona’s daily life;
  • profession;
  • shopping habits;
  • Lifestyle;
  • favorite social networks;
  • hobbies;
  • values;
  • pain related to your product;
  • doubts;
  • ambitions.

What are the benefits and when to use the persona

In addition to providing more accurate targeting for your marketing team, the persona provides information and insights powerful tools to improve results, such as:

  • better language;
  • which social networks to invest in ads;
  • what subjects to address;
  • ideal content formats;
  • key words;
  • which media to invest in;
  • upsell and cross sell opportunities;
  • best times to offer a product;
  • style and periodicity of email marketing.

Unlike the target audience, the persona can be used in all stages of sales and marketing and even in the prototyping of a product.

Examples of persona

Using the same examples applied to the target audience, let’s show how they would be more complete in persona format:

  • Claudia is 30 years old, already graduated and works as a quality supervisor in a small industry. She earns between R $ 3,000 and R $ 5,000, is single and well resolved professionally. She likes to buy cosmetics over the internet, she already has a separate monthly expense for this and is always attentive to the news reviewed by the bloggers. Its main difficulty is the high freights that accompany renowned products. Usually follows digital influencers fashion and beauty on Instagram and blogs. She lives in Recife and goes out every week with her friends to bars and clubs. She likes to be well dressed and feel good, inside and outside work.
  • John is 60 years old, works as a security guard at a bank in downtown Belo Horizonte, has completed high school and earns R $ 1,500 per month. He likes to buy newspapers on the way to work daily to read about the city and news about his team. He likes to spend little with this habit, spending between R $ 0.50 and R $ 1.00. He is married and has two children who are already in high school, close to leaving home. On weekends, João likes to go to bars with friends or go to the stadium to watch his team’s games.
  • Marcia is 37 years old, earns between R $ 10,000 and R $ 20,000 and works as an HR manager at a medium-sized technology company in São Paulo. In his day-to-day life, he faces the difficulties of a lot of work for a team of just 1 employee and 1 intern. She is married, has a young son who has just started school and her favorite social networks are Facebook and Instagram for social life and LinkedIn to recruit professionals and follow the news in her sector. He likes to travel with his family and go to concerts on weekends.

Note that in the last example, while the target audience focused on companies that could hire a service.

The persona focuses on the decision maker, that is, who will hire the service and who should be the focus of marketing campaigns.

How to discover my business persona

The first thing you need to know:

Personas cannot be based on guesswork. Despite being a semi-expert representation, your persona needs to be based on data from your buyers or the market.

You can do interviews or search for key figures in your industry.

This post has a great interview template to get to know your persona in depth, but, briefly, answer the following questions:

  • who is your potential customer? (physical and psychological characteristics of the person responsible for the purchase);
  • what kind of subject does he consume about your industry?
  • what are the most common activities he performs, both personally and professionally?
  • what is your level of education? What are your challenges and obstacles?
  • what kind of information does it consume and in which vehicles?
  • what are your goals, your difficulties and your challenges?
  • how can we help you?

With that data in hand, you can use the Websites Are Us Persona Generator to structure it and create the persona that will guide your marketing team!

personas generator

What is the difference between target audience and persona?

Both are important at different stages of marketing.

While the target audience gives more general information about your ideal customer, the persona brings a greater level of detail, in addition to starting with a little storytelling to help your marketing team create more empathy and visualize the best language and approach in campaigns.

Are you still in doubt and want to better understand the difference between the two concepts and what is the advantage of using personas? Check out this infographic:

As we can see, the persona is one of the most powerful marketing tools for your business, as it improves the target audience and offers a more complete analysis for your team.

Now that you know the difference between target audience and persona, do you want to start working with personas in your business right now?

Understand everything about the subject and how to build your business personas with our complete guide!