How do you identify target personas?


Identifying target personas involves understanding and defining your potential customers through detailed characterization. Here’s how experts suggest approaching this:

  1. Understanding Your Audience: Start by identifying the broadest group of potential customers or users (1).
  2. Narrow it Down: From the broader audience, narrow down to a specific target audience that you plan to actively acquire over a period, like the next 18 months (1).
  3. Develop a Model Persona: This involves creating a detailed profile of a hypothetical, ideal user within your target audience. This profile should include demographic details, lifestyle, interests, and needs. For example, a tech startup might focus on a "tech-savvy dad" with characteristics like age, occupation, family status, and specific habits or challenges (1).
  4. Use the Concentric Circles Model: Visualize your target audience in concentric circles, where the outermost circle is your broadest total addressable market (TAM), and each smaller circle represents more specific segments, culminating in your model persona at the center, who epitomizes your ideal customer (1).
  5. Be Specific: The more detailed you are about your model persona, the better. This detail can guide product development, marketing, and sales efforts to ensure they are targeted and effective (1).

This method helps ensure focus in the early stages of a company. By narrowing down a potential audience to a core, actionable persona, businesses can avoid the common pitfall of trying to appeal to everyone, which is often not feasible with limited resources.

Finding Your Target Audience

Arielle and Lenny discuss the importance of identifying your target audience and how to narrow down your focus to acquire the right customers for your business. They explain the concept of concentric circles and the model persona, emphasizing the need to be specific and niche in order to achieve success as an early stage company.

Lenny's Podcast

The art of building legendary brands | Arielle Jackson (Google, Square, Marketer in Residence at First Round Capital)