Business people sit and stand by a blue wall as they discuss target personas.

August 5, 2021

Identifying Your Ideal Customer: Target Personas

Katie Ripa

As a marketer, you already know reaching the right people can pose a challenge, and for banks and credit unions due to the diversity of customers they serve, identifying the ideal customer can be a game changer. It’s amazing to think that in a financial organization one customer could be a teenager depositing their babysitting money into a savings account, while another is taking out a mortgage for the home of their dreams.

If you’ve read our blog on the importance of a well-defined marketing plan, you know that marketing, when done right, works well for financial organizations. It all starts with a plan that’s focused on clear objectives, like making your brand stand out – and perhaps most importantly, connecting with customers.

Now that you’ve developed your marketing plan, it’s time to tailor those efforts to specific people with target personas. Let’s break down the who, what, when, where, and why, to gain a better understanding of what a target persona is and how it can help your brand.

Who is Your Persona?

A target audience is defined by a group of people based on common characteristics such as demographics and behaviors. Target personas are fictional representations of real target audiences. In a way, they’re the characters in the story of your marketing plan. A best practice is to build anywhere from three to five. Too few and you won’t be able to drill down into specifics, too many you won’t be specific enough.

With a target persona, you get to decide who you’re marketing to based off your own data and market research. For example, let’s say you already know the majority of your current customers are women, ages 40 to 55, with a college education and two children. If that’s the case, your persona’s background would likely center around her career and family. 

What Are Their Pain Points?

Market research is the process of identifying information about the people in your “Who” category and figuring out what their needs are and how your services can help. One easy way to do this is to conduct a customer survey asking for feedback on your products and offerings. In addition to finding out more demographic information, make sure you provide questions that zero in on your audience’s pain points too – that way you’ll know how you can help solve them.

Where Are They Best Targeted?

Now that you have an idea of who your target persona will be and what their pain points are, it’s time to determine the best channel to reach them. Remember, you’ll want to think of where you could reach your actual target audience.

Looking back at the target persona example for the female in the 40 to 55 age range – creating a TikTok campaign probably isn’t the best use of marketing power because we know TikTok users skew younger. Instead, analyze any available company social media data and see where these audience members are actually most active. Then, build your campaign around that social platform.

When Should You Build Your Target Persona?

This one is pretty simple: the sooner you build your target persona, the sooner you’ll be able to reach your target audience with relevant marketing materials. That being said, make sure you do the proper research from the “Who” and “What” steps before creating anything!

Why Are You Targeting Them?

You know the saying, “Don’t cast too wide a net?” That applies here. While sometimes it is a good thing to have an objective of reaching as many people as possible, creating target personas puts your customer and their needs first. 

With 67% of consumers saying they prioritize buying from a company they trust, it’s imperative to build an impactful relationship with your target audience. Building marketing around your target audience is a fantastic way to provide content that has real value for your customers, while showing concern for their pain points too. 


If you want to dig deeper into building personas or strategizing your financial marketing plan, let’s talk! We’re experts in helping banks and credit unions connect with the right people. Visit our website, to learn more.