"Two Sides to Every Story"How do you grab the attention of potential customers and get them to click that “Add to Cart” button? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

Don’t overlook the power of words. Your product description might be the one thing that tips the scales in your favor. Before you start writing copy, make sure you know your target market.

We marketing geeks like to call the typical customer a “marketing persona.” Develop your brand’s marketing persona as a fictional character who represents your target market. Put a face on that person and give them a name. Marketing expert, Heidi Cohen, gives us a twelve-point checklist for creating marketing personas.

Let’s use her guide and create a marketing persona, whom we’ll call Maggie, for an upscale women’s skin care line.

  1. Demographics. Maggie is 35 years old. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Ron, and two tween children. Their combined income affords them a single-family home, and they weren’t severely affected by the economic downturn.
  2. Lifestyle. Maggie likes to take good care of herself. She exercises daily and eats organic foods. A busy woman, she frequently shops online to save time and money.
  3. Interests. Maggie is serious about her work and family. She keeps up with the news and attends continuing education classes. She keeps her kids busy with sports and art activities, and the whole family loves going to the movies.
  4. Influences. Maggie looks to friends and family for guidance when she isn’t sure about what to buy. She follows blogs that talk about healthy choices and reads lifestyle magazines on her iPad.
  5. Personal goals. Maggie hopes for continued career success. She is saving most of her salary in a college education fund for her children. She and Ron plan to retire in Arizona and raise horses on a small ranch.
  6. Emotional Traits. Maggie likes to keep a positive outlook on life. She believes that a proactive approach can head off tragedy in many circumstances.
  7. Past Behaviors. Maggie isn’t frivolous; her choice of a hybrid Lexus was very carefully planned and she doesn’t spend her money spontaneously.
  8. Brand Interaction. Maggie doesn’t interact closely with skin care brands or stores. She doesn’t “follow” or “like” brands and she doesn’t talk much at the Macy’s beauty counter.
  9. Brand and Product Needs. Maggie won’t buy from a company that she thinks has unethical practices or doesn’t work to get her attention and her dollar. She looks for valid information that is intelligently presented.
  10. Product Information Sources. When Maggie wants to learn more about a product line, she looks to the company website and does an online search for reviews.
  11. Preferred Types of Information. Maggie is very particular about ingredients in skin care products. When she investigates options, she looks for organics and chemicals that she knows are healthy.
  12. Content Consumption Habits. Often on-the-go, Maggie uses several devices to find information online: laptop, iPhone, and iPad. At home, she might use her smart TV to shop.

With a clearly-defined marketing persona, you can set about writing product descriptions that will capture attention and get that “Add to Cart” click. Armand Roggio, Site Director and Contributing Editor for Practical Ecommerce, advises us communicate, persuade, and tell a story with product descriptions. Use good examples, appeal to emotions, and be engaging and relevant.

In a future article, we’ll get down to brass tacks and use our example of Maggie to write a description for an anti-aging cream.