Guides and Templates

Customer persona guide and template

Insights and examples to help you create better marketing personas and customer journey maps

How will the customer persona guide and template help me and my business?

We've been big fans of using customer personas since we first saw them in use over 20 years ago. For us, customer personas are an essential online branding and conversion tool that helps businesses create more customer-centric, less product or company-centric web experiences.

As we talk to marketers when training and consulting, we’re surprised how many companies and their agencies are still not applying this technique. It tends to be a "big business" approach, but we think the approach can and should be used on a more DIY approach in smaller businesses too.

We've created this comprehensive guide to inspire more use of the techniques by showing good practices, examples, what to watch for and where to find out more. The guide has also been bundled with a template so creating your own personas as is easy as filling out each box with the relevant information. Together, they can help you improve your use of design personas, and also specify business requirements from personas when using internal or external resources.

Who is the guide and template for?

This template will be useful for both agency and client-side marketers to help them create compelling customer personas for their marketing plans. The template has been designed to be particularly useful for:

  • Digital marketing managers, who can use the personas generated by the template to help create a marketing plan.
  • E-commerce marketers, who want to structure their attempts to boost conversion rate by more effectively targeting given segments.
  • Small business owners or startup marketers, who needs to define the customer personas for their business.
  • Agencies or consultants, who need to create or review the customer personas of their clients.
  • Brand marketers.

Sector examples covered by this guide include:

  • B2B Buyer personas and careers personas
  • B2C including brands, retail, financial services

What does the persona guide include?

The persona guide uses the following structure:

  • Introduction to personas and Smart Insights’ editable persona template
  • Examples of personas for different types of company including consumer, business-to-business and not-for-profit/public service
  • Customer journey and touchpoint mapping examples
  • Making the business case for personas
  • Detailed examples of these key customer persona analysis and experience development techniques:
    • Technique A: Customer journey mapping
    • Technique B: XY characteristic mapping
    • Technique C: Assessing buying behaviours and motivations
    • Technique D: Quantified persona values assessment
    • Technique E: Content mapping against lifecycle and content needs
  • Continuous improvement and recommended resources

What does the persona template include?

Our persona template is structured into the following Excel tabs:

  • An introductory ‘Read Me’ tab
  • The persona template
  • An example B2C persona
  • An example B2B persona
  • The buyer persona template
  • An example B2B buyer persona

Latest updates

  • Formerly two separate resources, our persona template has now been bundled with the customer persona guide so our members have everything they need in one resource. When you click ‘download’, you will get a zip file containing both resources.
  • We’ve improved cross-referencing with our other resources, including a new slide on our RACE customer journey mapping template. We’ve also updated some of the examples and techniques included throughout the guide.

Resource Details

  • Authors: Dave Chaffey and Dan Bosomworth
  • Editor: Amelia Mayes
  • Format: (Guide) PowerPoint document packed with inspiring examples of personas and persona creation techniques and guidance plus customer journey mapping examples. (Template) Excel file containing examples for both regular and buyer personas to guide your own persona creation.
  • Companion guide: Customer persona research guide – explains research techniques and data sources to help build personas.

About the authors

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-founder of Smart Insights and creator of the Smart Insights RACE planning framework. For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

Danyl Bosomworth

Danyl BosomworthDan helped to co-found Smart Insights in 2010 and acted as Marketing Director until leaving in November 2014 to focus on his other role as Managing Director of First 10 Digital.

His experience spans brand development and digital marketing, with roles both agency and client side for nearly 20 years. Creative, passionate and focussed, his goal is on commercial success whilst increasing brand equity through effective integration and remembering that marketing is about real people. Dan’s interests and recent experience span digital strategy, social media, and eCRM. You can learn more about Dan’s background here on LinkedIn.

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