Stop Guessing, How to Determine Your Target Audience.


#1 Start from a broad set of premises

#2 Narrow it down

#3 Use a data-driven persona development approach

#4 Create a compelling argument for your retailers


Winning marketing and sales campaigns hinge on a real understanding of how to communicate with our target audiences. We can create meaningful content based on information our audiences are actively seeking by creating personas, focused on key customer traits.

Here, we outline some of the key of considerations involved in developing actionable personas.

Start from a broad set of premises

At S2 we start by looking at a range of demographic, lifestyle and attitudinal attributes that we believe are the most relevant for your brand, based on our initial understanding of your target audience.

For example, a persona exercise we recently carried out for a new brand of fitness teas, identified, from initial thorough desk research, that:

  • Consumer taste has shifted over the past decade with green tea and exotic blends gaining popularity over traditional black tea.
  • Tea lovers are demanding better quality teas in restaurants, cafes, and coffee/tea shops.  They no longer satisfied with one or two choices of standard tea bags.
  • Many consumers now choose tea for its complex blend of chemicals and additives like turmeric, ginger, and chamomile. Components in teas can be marketed to health-conscious customers.
  • There appears to be an unmet need at the high quality, premium price end of the category.

As the first step in our persona development, a broad target audience was subsequently defined as follows:


    • Men and Women 25-60
    • Affluent professionals; high income
    • Fitness enthusiasts
    • Aware of social status
    • Heavy mobile user
    • Environmentally and socially conscious

Narrow it down

We usually recommend developing 3 to 5 personas to reflect or represent your core customer base. This provides enough diversity to allow a more personalised approach based on core groups, but tight enough to facilitate marketing communications. Trying to send communications to too many different personas would inevitably become too time consuming but also non-productive.

Each persona reflects a target customer group’s current lifestyles, life stages, typical usage occasions, aspirations, affluence and buying behaviour preferences.

They help describe the customer and are centred on a person’s needs and wants. With defined personas, you are able to target specific communications and promotions based on these key traits.

Read on to find out how we use a detailed, data-driven process to refine our personas at S2

    Use a data-driven persona development approach

    Your personas need to be usable. The more they are used across your business, the more they will become ingrained in the company.

    At S2 we develop robust, data-driven personas of consumer target audiences by modelling key brand profile characteristics using focus group insights and GWI data, and then interrogating further using Experian’s MOSAIC consumer classification.

    Relevant attributes are selected from the MOSAIC database of c.1,000 socio-economic, behavioural & psychographic variables and 66 MOSAIC types. Selected attributes are grouped into dimensions (e.g. lifestyle, attitude), with overall scores for each dimension calculated for all MOSAIC types. Top scoring types are identified and grouped into personas.

    Using this process, not only did the resulting outputs provide us with a clear picture of typical lifestyle, attitudes and demographics, but we were also able to size the marketplace for a number of key behavioural dimensions.

    Create a compelling argument for your retailers

    With your personas established, the next step is to size the brand opportunity by understanding the spread and location of each persona, identifying high concentrations of customers in residential and daytime workplace population densities that have the strongest match to the brand profile.

    Using S2’s proprietary MarketView location analysis platform, a compelling case for retailer listings can be created by heat mapping the personas across the UK by city, town, urban and rural locations.

    Potential stores and locations for each persona can be ranked to develop a geographically targeted approach; individual stores can be labelled by brand consumer persona footfall opportunity, using catchment area analysis, occasion preferences and modelled data. A roll out strategy can then be executed to the right stores, in the right locations to the right consumer persona target audience, supported by the right range and promotions for each key wholesaler and retailer.


    To conclude, marketing personas help you understand your customers, improve engagement with them through the right channel and find more prospects that look like them.

    The ability to target the right prospects and customers in the right manner with the right promotion is key in today’s marketplace and provides the platform for truly targeted personalised marketing activity.

    Overlaying these personas onto MarketView allows your brand to align retail and wholesale distribution with market potential and shopper demand.

    Read more about how MarketView can help you with territory planning in our forthcoming newsletter.


    For more information and to book and demo please complete the form below.