Writers are a reserved lot by nature. Our minds are filled with jewel heist plots and Mars landings, dark dystopias, and enough characters to fill a major metropolitan area. It’s no surprise that developing customer personas comes easily to us. However, with a little imagination and market insight, anyone can create customer personas to help guide marketing strategies.

What is a customer persona? Simply put, it’s a profile of your ideal client or clients. Who is it that you want wearing your clothing brand? Who would become engrossed in your new app? Taking time to imagine these people – who they are, what they worry about, what they desire – is an invaluable step in creating successful marketing campaigns and even in determining if you’ve targeted the best audience for your brand.

Let’s take a look at two customer personas to see where they might lead our content planning.

What we can learn from our customer personas?

Mary and Tabitha are joined by genetics and by shared values. They’ve been drawn to the same careers, and they have some of the same concerns that we all have: money being high on the list. However, it would be a mistake to assume that the two women will be won over by identical marketing strategies. Each grew up in a unique era of American history. Each is part of a distinct generation with different perspectives on the world and current events.

Likewise, individuals within a generation are influenced by their socio-economic status, their geographies, and a myriad of other factors, and these factors impact how particular members of the cohort behave and respond to brands. Because America is a particularly diverse society, effective marketing is a constant challenge.

The question then becomes: How do you reach all those people?

The answer may be a little disappointing in its simplicity.

You don’t.

That’s where customer personas prove invaluable. By imagining particular individuals, you can extrapolate a more focused audience to target with your marketing strategy. A limited audience and a more customized marketing approach will inevitably lead to better results than blanket appeals.

This is particularly true of smaller businesses. While large corporations may be able to sink millions into campaigns, less moneyed brands need to make every penny count. Flops are unacceptable losses. Defining and understanding a focused segment of the population – specifically, the segment who will want what you’re offering – ensures that the money spent on marketing is worthwhile.