persona marketing

Until 1983, when a software developer Alan Cooper pioneered the concept of customer persona, the word “persona” had been used in entertainment magazines to compare a celebrity whose public persona was bright and bubbly to one of being quiet and reclusive in private.  Its antonym was “persona non grata” which referred to someone not being welcome or acceptable at certain venues.

Persona And Content Marketing

An earlier article highlighted the importance of companies getting to really know their customers and leveraging consultative selling as a tool to help get there.  To succeed even further, the next step should be to develop customer personas.

Doing so is a lot more than stereotyping.  Conversion-based marketing expert Bryan Eisenberg discussed four general categories in his book, “Persuasive Online Copywriting.” 

Eisenberg named the first type of person “competitive.”   He defined these types of customers as those who like to act quickly and take advantage of an opportunity sooner than later to gain an upper hand.  He further described them as being commonsensical people who rely on good information to reach those fast decisions.

“Spontaneous” is how Eisenberg described the second type of persona.  As the name implies, they are impulse buyers who base their decisions on emotion.

Yet another type is “humanistic”  Eisenberg described this persona as being somewhat like “spontaneous” in acting on the fly, but also needing a bit more information.  He believed that this buyer, though slower to act, is more prone to becoming a loyal customer if stewarded properly.

The final persona Eisenberg described is “methodical.”  Like the name implies, this persona is like “humanistic” in needing more information.  They devour all they can get and don’t decide until they’ve digested it all, according to Eisenberg. 

Identifying and knowing these different personas is invaluable.  Successfully marketing to each is critical.


Motivating a competitive persona requires arming that customer with information with which to make a quick decision.  This includes data that shows how the company product matches up with competition. When appropriate, include any awards and priceless customer comments as well as why this is the best choice.


This persona doesn’t require as much data as “competitive” but is more prone to act on exciting copy and a call to action.  Here’s where a deadline like “free shipping if ordered by xxx” can help.


Like “Competitive,” this persona is also moved by emotion.  However, they require even more information, particularly the positive comments and types of folks who also use the product.  If you can make that connection, “humanistic” will respond quickly.


The key word for this persona is “how.”  Supply this persona with features over benefits.  A video on how the product works or is used is extremely beneficial. 


Yes, identifying and learning more about each of the four personas takes more time.  Yes, it involves extra work. Yes, it also means tailoring one’s marketing as well responses to each persona  And yes, it will make a content marketing campaign more successful.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.