Customer Personas for Facebook Ads

In the world of digital marketing it’s easy to overlook ‘old masters’ of marketing and their techniques. One thing I constantly see is ignorance towards customer personas. Facebook is the daddy when it comes to targeting your ideal audience so it’s just common sense to create Customer Personas for Facebook Ads right? Not from what we hear…

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, when I first started in marketing I had an ad budget of £1,000 a month. Surely I was going to find some customers with that level of spending!?

Smiling with naivety I created and published the ads. I remember thinking ‘This marketing gig is easy’.

Cue massive face-palm.

2 weeks in and one very unhappy Dale later, I had learned from my mistake.

For the uninitiated, digital marketing (Facebook especially) can seem like an easy business. All the information is at your fingertips and you can have your ads running online within minutes.

This can easily create a false sense of security when you first start creating marketing campaigns and ads.

The old boys didn’t have that luxury. Stepping back to the pre-internet age, it took weeks/months from an advertisment’s concept to the finished product being seen by the consumer.

So you can bet your ass that their campaigns were thoroughly thought through before they were published in magazines or pasted on to billboards across the country.

For anyone new in marketing, I really recommend reading some of the marketing classics from the masters of the past. Two that I always recommend and are given to all new team members at Rogue Digital are;

Ogilvy on Advertising — David Ogilvy

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing — Al Ries and Jack Trout

Both are incredible books which really show the importance of fully understanding your business’s brand and your customers.

Advertising without customer personas is dangerous game so let’s be clear what a customer persona actually is, here’s my own business’s process to building thorough customer personas.

We need to understand the customer, we want to be inside their heads. We want to be able to imagine them on the train. In fact, I want to be able to spot them on the train on my daily commute!

Typically we build at least four personas for every campaign we run but this number can be as many as we need. It really depends on the product/service being sold and the campaign’s objectives

So how do you build a customer persona?

If you’re an established business, start with your current customers and build avatars out of them.

Don’t worry if you’re a start-up, you can still build you avatar. Go out and chat to potential customers, see what the product/market fit is and work from there.

List everything about the customer;

So start with the fun bit because this can really help flesh out the rest of the persona. Think of your ideal customer’s name and then Google it.

Choose an image of the kind of person you have in your head. Now your persona has a name and a face!

Then work through the following list of personal attributes;

  • Job Title
  • Size of company
  • Industry
  • Income
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Education
  • Location
  • Type of house they live in
  • Relationship status
  • Number of children

And then their goals and challenges;

  • Primary goal
  • Secondary goal
  • How can you help them achieve these goals?
  • Primary challenge
  • Secondary challenge
  • How can you help them overcome these challenges?

Messaging and Values

  • What marketing messaging are they most likely to respond to?
  • What marketing messaging are they most likely to object to?
  • Do you expect any objections from them during your marketing?


  • What are their interests?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • What kind of car do they drive?
  • What newspaper/website do they read daily?
  • Where do they spend their time online?
  • Where do they shop?

Every business is unique so ask as many questions as you need until you have a solid image of the persona.

Work through this list until you have a number of personas that fit your company. Don’t worry if you can’t answer every point, as long as it gives you a better understanding of your ideal customer, the exercise is doing it’s job.

Negative Personas

Now you’ve got your ideal customer, it’s time to work on the kind of customer/client that you want to avoid.

This is more important for service based businesses but can also be a huge benefit to product-based companies too.

It’s a fruitful exercise because it can really reinforce how important it is to stick to your customer personas. Sometimes there’s just a small difference between a dream client and a nightmare client.

Here’s an example; here at Rogue Digital we love work with new eCommerce stores. It’s an incredibly exciting journey being a part of a team that is growing at a breathtaking pace.

So one of our ideal customer personas would be a new company with a minimum ad budget of $400 per month.

BUT, a negative persona here would be that the same customer persona is a control freak and won’t allow optimisation without each and every decision being passed by them. When optimising ads are breakneck speed this can be a disaster waiting to happen.

By keeping in mind our personas when we are initial talks with a potential client, we can avoid working with clients who wouldn’t be a fit for our company culture and processes.

This saves time on a daily basis and helps our relationships with clients flourish from the start of our relationship because we know exactly who they and what they want from Rogue Digital.

Remember, as your company grows and scales, your customer personas might change. Reviewing them every six months with your team can really help.

So here’s my challenge to you, create your customer personas before you make another sale. Trust me, it’ll be the most cost effective few hours you spend this quarter.

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