Similarly to not seeing the forest for the trees, have you ever struggled to see the customer amidst all the customer data? Persona creation helps when you can’t visualize your customers by making your segments more tangible.
Personas are personalized representations of customer segments. As realistic representations, they should make the respective target group more tangible and represent their most important needs, expectations, and goals. In addition, they describe probable or typical behavior towards your product or service.
The degree of detail and complexity of a persona is effectively open. The spectrum ranges from simple descriptions to creative, elaborate presentations, which can even include sample media content.
Personas Assist Desicion-Making
Personas are not purely a creative exercise. They help with decision-making in many ways, for example by assisting:
- Understanding of the target group and their primary needs
- Identification of personalization possibilities
- Creation of relevant and individualized content
- Definition and optimization of user experience (UX)
- Finding relevant stakeholders and multipliers
- Prioritization or definition of new offers/features
Data Forms the Foundation for Personas
Whilst personas are fictitious, they are based on customer segments that are, in turn, based on real customer data. This includes socio-demographic data such as age and gender, behavioral data such as purchasing history, and psychographic data such as values and attitudes. Ideally, personas are based on the most significant distinguishing factors that separate the respective segment from other segments. It is sufficient to create personas only for strategic target groups. At the campaign level, it makes little sense to create a dedicated persona for each segment due to the high numbers of granular segments.
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An example of this is the empathy map, which is filled in by typical customers and provides information about their thought patterns and motivations. The following guiding questions are used: What does the customer think and feel, what do they see, what do they hear and what do they say and do? In addition, an empathy map also includes the negative and positive aspects of the client’s life. Insights gathered from an empathy map can be incorporated into a persona.
What Information Does a Persona Contain?
A persona can include:
- A photo
- A name
- A job title
- Demographic characteristics: Age, gender, marital status, location, education level, work experience, income
- Personal background: experiences, interests, leisure activities, social environment, origin, technical affinity
- A typical daily routine
- General skills
Personas can additionally include information that is relevant to the sales process or for relationship management:
- General attitude towards the company/brand/product
- Typical behavior or scenario
- Motivations and expectations
- Challenges, problems, and goals
- Decision criteria
- Information upon which customers base their decisions: product information, sample campaigns, competitors
- The customer’s sources of information: News, networks, associations, sources of inspiration
- Preferred communication channels
Personas give impersonal data sets a human face, and enable a better understanding of your customers. Customers can be addressed with more relevant and more individually targeted marketing measures, and marketers can minimize messaging that feels impersonal and irrelevant.