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, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.