How to create a customer archetype

Ideal customer, buyer persona, customer archetype — whatever you call them, developing a profile of your target audience is vital for your businesses.

No one wants to waste time trying to engage with people who aren’t going to spend money with their brand. Creating a customer persona helps you understand which customers are likely to do business with you, how you can reach them and how you can keep them.

It helps your sales and marketing team craft your message and direct it toward the people who want to hear it. And it will help you build your business by attracting the right customers. So, how do you create a customer archetype? We’ll show you how.

What is a customer archetype?

A customer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. It’s a fictional person you’ve created based on research, interviews and existing customer information. It includes information such as their age, marital status and job, as well as their education status, where they live and how much they earn. But, it shouldn’t just cover demographics. It should also delve into what they do each day and how they live their lives. 

Sarah Spence, Content Copywriting’s Founder and Strategic Director, says, “A customer archetype is a way to be able to really describe your ideal customer or your ideal audience but beyond traditional demographics.”

 So it’s also about understanding what motivates your customer, what keeps them up at night and what they most desire. It might be where they shop, what their lifestyle habits are or how they spend their time online. It might even be their fears, hopes and challenges.

Customer persona examples

There are many ways you can illustrate who this person is. You could create something as simple as a list of traits that you could then give to your sales and marketing teams. Or you could create a whole fictional character with a photo, a name and a backstory. Jump online and you’ll find templates to help get you started.

The best approach to take when developing a customer persona is to think about how your team will use the information. How’s it going to be helpful to them? The point is to help create an image in their minds about who this person is that they’re engaging with. That could be while they’re on sales calls or while they’re writing marketing copy and website content.

Why you need a customer persona

However you decide to market your business — whether it’s through traditional advertising, native advertising or content marketing — creating customer archetypes will form an important part of your marketing strategy. Understanding your customers’ wants, needs, fears and motivations will help you better plan the ways you interact with them.

“A customer archetype or buyer persona is there for anybody who’s talking to the customer or involved in marketing or sales in any way,” says Sarah. “It’s to help qualify in their minds who it is that they are speaking to.”

“Customer archetypes are really helpful for sales teams,” says Sarah. “They’re helpful for operational teams. They’re helpful for, obviously, customer success teams. And of course, for marketing teams.

“An organisation or brand should have a consistent customer archetype they can share with their employees. And they need to be able to say to everybody, ‘Hey, this is our ideal customer, our ideal client.’”

As a marketer, all the marketing content you produce relates back to this customer persona and they should be at the core of all your marketing efforts, including your website content strategy

Don’t waste time producing marketing content that’s hit-and-miss. By determining, developing and using a customer persona, you can produce marketing content that aligns with your ideal customer. It also better connects you with your target audience.

Other advantages of a customer persona

Clarifying your customer persona helps teams identify their customers. But personas and archetypes have other advantages too.

Sarah says, “They alleviate wasted effort because if we know, for instance, that ‘Sally Smith’ and ‘Jessica Jones’ are our ideal customers and that they don’t use Twitter, we won’t bother creating Twitter content.”

Sarah adds, “It also helps to promote a sense of confidence and maybe even camaraderie among everyone in the organisation. If you know who that buyer persona is and everybody in the organisation is aligned to that, you will create more loyalty and more engagement whenever you come across that ideal customer. They’ll also find you more easily because your activities will be more targeted towards them.”

Why you need customer archetypes:

  • They help you identify your customers’ pain points and how you can alleviate them.
  • They focus your team and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • They help provide a better experience for your customers and future customers.
  • They reduce wasted effort on those customers who will never engage with your business.

Content Copywriting can help you determine a customer persona

We often use buyer personas to help our clients. For example, we do this with our client healthylife, Woolworths Group’s online brand. They provide trusted health and wellness advice, along with products and services.

In 2021, Woolworths relaunched the brand and its website with the aim of making it the nation’s most trusted source of health-related content. Woolworths came to Content Copywriting to make that happen.

By analysing the online search behaviour of healthylife’s audience, we were able to tailor a strategy that better met their needs. In other words, we got to know their audience and what they were looking for. By creating dozens of high-quality, well-researched articles and publishing them to the healthylife website, targeted at these ideal customers, we quickly saw results. Within two months of going live, visitors to the site who saw our articles were more likely to:

  • buy products
  • spend more time looking through the site
  • come back to the site
  • engage with more of the site’s content

Knowing your customers + creating content that engages them = more time on site and sales!

How do you create a customer archetype?

“It can be as simple as sitting down with your team and brainstorming,” says Sarah. “Ask yourselves, ‘What is our ideal customer doing with themselves? What do they do every day? How are they feeling at different points during the day?’” 

Talking to your existing customers is another effective starting point. While not all of them will be ideal examples of your target audience, they’re a good place to start. And while your happy customers will have a lot to offer, those who haven’t had a great experience can also provide a wealth of information.

Prospective customers can also be helpful. If you’ve already got data on potential leads, does that help you create a picture of your ideal customer?

And don’t be afraid to hit up colleagues, co-workers and contacts from social media. Tap into your network and find out more about them.

Lastly, get interviewing. Sure, it’s sometimes hard to ask people for their time, but you can incentivise them with the offer of a gift card or put them in the draw for a prize. 

So what do you ask in these interviews? Here are some questions:

  • What’s your age? Where do you live? Are you married? Do you have children?
  • What’s your educational background? 
  • Where do you work? What’s your job title? Who do you report to?
  • What websites do you visit? What media do you consume? What about social media?
  • Let’s touch on your beliefs and values.
  • How do you make purchasing decisions, and what stops you from buying?
  • What is the biggest challenge you’re facing at the moment?
  • What’s your greatest fear?
  • What are your hopes for the future?

Don’t forget to follow up on these questions by asking ‘why’ in order to understand why they behave the way they do.

You might also see some trends in your client database that will help you. And don’t forget about the tech tools such as Google and Facebook Analytics. The team at Content Copywriting can help you out with this technical stuff, which can be a goldmine of information.

How many customer archetypes should you create?

This really depends on your business, its size and what products or services you offer. If you’re a niche business, one or two personas will be enough. Larger businesses will want more, but if you’re new to this, start out with a few and build up more over time. 

Don’t be afraid to modify and update the archetypes as you go. Buyers change, and if your business is evolving, so will you. So it makes sense to revisit your archetypes on a regular basis. 

Here at Content Copywriting we take the time to learn about you, your business, your audience and your opportunities. We find out who your ideal audience is and craft a plan to strategically engage with them. We do the research to create a profile of your target audience and create content that your audience wants to read.

How do you learn more about developing a customer persona?

At Content Copywriting we also offer digital marketing training. We show you how to:

  • create a marketing strategy that’s focused on your customer persona examples
  • do your own research to engage with your ideal customers
  • produce content that’s engaging
  • increase your visibility online
  • secure those all-important Google rankings

Where to from here?

Creating a customer persona, buyer archetype or target audience profile is a hugely important part of your marketing strategy.

You’ll find staff in all areas of your business will use these personas to engage with customers and future clients. Your marketing team will use this vital information to craft content that is targeted, relevant and engaging. And your customers will feel seen and want to keep spending with you. Plus you’ll find it easier to engage with new customers.

If you know your business could benefit from the creation of a customer archetype, contact us today.

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