A buyer persona is a composite representation of a specific subdivision of a market segment. Whereas a market segment represents a collection of customers who share a common need, a buyer persona represents a collection of customers within a particular market segment who place similar value on how those needs are addressed.
Typically, a company's customer base needs to be represented by several personas, each of which is crafted to address a specific group of customers. For example, one persona might represent customers who prefer to shop online, while another persona would represent customers who prefer to shop in a physical store.
Buyer personas are created mathematically, using data gained from market segment analysis and recent customer behavior. Once a company builds a strong set of composite personas, machine learning algorithms can be used to predict future behaviors.
An important goal of creating personas is to gain insight into how a company should deliver marketing messages to a specific segment of their customer base. Buyer personas are an important tool for building customer journey maps.
As companies use their buyer personas to create their customer journey maps, they should consider factors such as shopping habits for related goods and services, as well as payment and delivery preferences.