Buyer Personas vs. Buyer Profiles: What Makes Them Different

by Growth Marketing Firm, on Oct 5, 2021

At Growth, we’re often asked to create buyer personas for clients, and we’re happy to do so because they're absolutely essential in order for businesses to know how to craft a message for their potential buyers. 

After all, the right people for your business can’t hear you if you’re not speaking directly to them, in the right way, at the right time. You absolutely must be able to read the room. 

However, we sometimes discover that what clients are asking for is not always a buyer persona but a buyer profile (or vice versa). And there’s a big difference. So, how do you tell your marketing team what you need?

Let’s take a look. 

The Buyer Persona

What It Is

A buyer persona is a culmination of a potential buyer’s qualities, for instance:

  • personal goals
  • likes/dislikes
  • concerns
  • where they shop
  • what technology they use
  • hobbies
  • interests, etc. 

For B2B clients, a buyer persona would show the same kind of attributes, but for decision-makers in their ideal companies or organizations. For a more detailed look at how to use personas in different ways for B2B & B2C businesses, check out our blog article

How It’s Made

A buyer persona is created by analyzing information gathered from: 

  • focus groups
  • workshops
  • existing customer feedback 

How It’s Used

The buyer persona determines HOW to appeal to potential buyers through marketing & advertising messaging. It can also be used to educate your team and stakeholders about the motivations of your ideal customers in order to serve them better. 

Once the buyer persona is known, a marketing team can then make an informed decision about what styles, tones, ideas, images, types of media, etc. should be used to grab their attention and win their business. 

For example, a buyer persona for a clothing company might show that people who are tech-savvy are more likely to buy their particular product, so they can then focus their marketing efforts exclusively on digital advertising instead of print media. 

The Buyer Profile

What It Is

A buyer profile is a culmination of specific facts about potential buyers, and are often more quantitative,  like: 

  • gender
  • age
  • location
  • income
  • family size
  • vocation, etc. 

For B2B clients, a buyer profile would reflect information like: 

  • company size
  • annual revenue
  • industry
  • number of employees
  • location, etc.

How It’s Made

A buyer profile is created through the analysis of hard data and known facts. It is often represented in numbers and percentages.

How It’s Used

The buyer profile is used to determine where to send the marketing and advertising messaging and to whom.

For example, a buyer profile for that same clothing company might indicate that people who live in a specific city in the United States are their biggest buyers. Knowing this, digital marketing efforts can focus on cities with similar demographics. 

A woman using a credit card to shop online at home

Even though they can seem like two terms for the same thing, a buyer persona and a buyer profile are derived from two distinctly different sources and observations regarding your ideal customer. 

They are both important tools that help you focus your marketing and sales efforts. Understanding what they are, what they do, and how they’re created can give you the insight you need to make great use of them to grow your business.

Intrigued? We'd love to help you get to know your ideal customers by creating buyer personas, buyer profiles, or BOTH for your business. Contact our team for details about how to get started. 

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Topics:Inbound MarketingSales EnablementDiscovery + StrategyMarketing StrategyB2B