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The Difference Between In-Persona Buyer Personas and Internet Personas

One of the most interesting things about the internet is the creation of online and offline personalities. People tend to have internet personas that they keep on Facebook or other social media and different personas that they share with those closest to them in private.

Marketers need to understand this because people will take a different attitude toward a brand when they’re online vs. offline. Mastercard found in its research that there are internet personas that influence the buying process. 

As a marketer, you also have to be aware of the buying process in person and how you can effectively market to both personas.

Read on to learn more about the differences between these personas and how you can create your own buyer personas.

The Evolution of Offline and Internet Personas

It used to be that we would have a work persona and a private persona. They’d be separate personalities that we’d share in our workplace to keep things professionals and things we’d share at home in private.

When social media came about, these worlds didn’t just collide, but they merged. Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, noted that he didn’t believe in two different personalities for work or private life. He considered them to be one and the same. 

While the line between public and private identities merged thanks to Facebook, how people present themselves online evolved.

It’s more likely that you’ll find people who are actively sharing appearing to be happy or people who are just looking at what others are posting. Either way, they’re less happy when they’re using social media often. 

These personas can impact how people buy. You can then create an entire digital marketing strategy around these personas. If you want to know more about this, check out this website!

How People Shop Online and Offline

When people shop online, they start with product research. They’ll look up the product first. Let’s say that someone is searching for a stick vacuum. They may look up “the best vacuum for small spaces,” or “the best stick vacuum.”

They’ll also search for stick vacuums on Amazon as more people are looking there first instead of Google.

No matter where they start their product research, they want to find a few good options to research further. They’ll look up product reviews, and bestsellers.

Once the narrow down some options, they’ll visit manufacturer websites, and they’ll revisit Amazon. They’ll continue to evaluate stick vacuums for 25 days and then make a buying decision.

Shopping offline is a different experience. What will happen is that people will turn to online search, but they’ll look for “vacuum stores near me” and then shop at that vacuum store in person.

When making a buying decision, they may look at a few models and ask the staff of the vacuum store what the best model for them is.

They tend to value the personal connection, privacy and feeling the product in their hands before they buy.

Why is this important? A retailer with a brick and mortar store and an ecommerce store will need to create buyer personas for each instance. The intent behind the search is different.

An ecommerce only business will create internet personas based on how people shop online. In this case, target each step of the buying process.

A Buyer Persona Example

When you create a buyer persona for the internet or offline purchases, the end result is the same. You’re creating a fictional character who you are targeting. Here’s an example of a buyer persona.

Julia is a 37-year-old small business owner with an infant daughter. She owns an upscale consignment shop, which has been open for about a year. Julia is up on the latest trends and styles. She’s married and she and her husband just celebrated her third wedding anniversary.

They live in a small house just outside of an urban area. Their THI is about $75,000. Outside of her business and family, she spends time writing fiction and painting, which satisfy her creative urges. She’s involved in her community as well  – she’s an active member of the local business community.

She’s always on the go and doesn’t always have the time to do deep cleaning around the house. She’d rather spot clean throughout the week because it’s easier She wants a lightweight vacuum that she can take out when she has a few minutes to clean up around the house.

You can see that you’re getting deep into the motivations as to why someone would want your product or service. 

How to Create Your Own Internet Personas

Creating a buyer persona for the internet is easy when you ask yourself the right questions.

  • What is your product or service?
  • What does it do?
  • How does this solve your target market’s problem?
  • What’s your customer’s name?
  • Where do they live?
  • Are they married?
  • How old are they?
  • Where do they go for information?

Now, pretend they’re standing in front of you. What are they wearing? Where are they going? What is their demeanor? What are their values?

Put it all together like you’re putting together their life story. Congratulations, you now have a buyer persona.          

After You Create Your Personas

When you create your offline and internet personas, you then want to create marketing messages around them.

To effectively create messaging for each persona, you can put yourself in the shoes of the customer at each step of the buying process.

You can determine how they research products online and position your company to be front and center when they’re searching online.

Going back to the stick vacuum example, you can reach your prospective buyers by creating blog posts around certain search terms, like “The Ultimate Stick Vacuum Review.”

Creating Buyer Personas for Every Type of Purchase

There’s no doubt that the internet changed how people buy products, whether they buy in person or online.

Creating internet personas can help you reach potential customers when they’re researching products and when they’re ready to buy.

Want more great marketing tips? Check out these articles about hiring a digital marketing firm. Or, check out some ecommerce marketing tips to help you boost sales.