15 March 2018
A persona is a conceptual character that represents and communicates attributes that represents a distinct set of people within a target market. It’s based on both qualitative and quantitative data. They are also referred to as buyer personas, or decision makers.
This is not about identifying demographics, it is about determining why people buy and make decisions. The focus is on the drivers.
The thinking behind the persona, originated in the book by software designer and programmer Alan Cooper, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. The premise was that developers needed to design software for end users. Personas developed within organisations are a means for each department to share understanding about their user groups and develop an overall experience able to meet their particular needs.
In a marketing concept, this means of course:
- Designing an interaction or experience with an end user in mind
- Tailoring marketing and social engagement campaigns and strategies to specific groups or personas
How does developing personas help business?
A number of benefits stem from researching, developing and targeting persona groups, including:
- Seamless experiences – data about identified groups can be remembered in different stories across the organisation from product development to communication and follow-up
- Campaigns shaped to a particular persona are more likely to be successful
- Communications can connect to the real pain-points of your audience so your product/service is viewed as a real solution
- Helps you to stand out in the inbox, post and in social media
By understanding your market you can personalise messages to get better results.
What are you looking for?
The level of detail that you can go into when developing your persona groups is immense. It can be as simple as segmenting by industry, role and salary, or it can expand even further into median income, marital status, academic levels, personality types, goals and frustrations.
Again, you are looking for psychological, material and behavioural drivers that impact the way they think and make decisions.
Time to get inside the mind of your customer.
Steps to discover key personas
Try to limit the types of personas you work with to 2 to 3 and determine whether you wanted to focus on personas for particular products, services or for your brand as a whole. Focusing on those key groups that are higher yield is likely to achieve higher profits.
This is about determining the nuances and drivers for key target groups. It’s meaningful data that you are looking for and qualitative often holds more weight than the quantitative.
- Accumulate all information available on clients and use it to build data
- Talk to your customers! (1:1 interviews, focus groups, surveys, market analysis)
- Utilise available data – Google analytics, CRM data, email results, social media data
- Analyse the data
- Identify patterns – consider engaging with a specialist agency or specialised digital platform and look for patterns in the data
- Ask important questions such as:
- Where does the audience group get their information? What social platforms are they using?
- How does this person search for information?
- Building the file of the persona that contains all of the information
- Developing methods and guidelines for content development
- Ensure that you are reviewing data and results to determine they are still relevant (annually at the very minimum)
- Keep talking to your customers and respond to changing market needs
It’s really not that difficult…
While the background research involved to develop the specifics of your persona groups does take time, expertise and focus, the return on investment will help you to design campaigns that are increasingly successful. Identifying and developing personas helps you to understand who your audience is, can guide you to develop content and messages that resonate with your audience and ultimately positions your product or brand as the authentic solution to their real needs.
If you’d like to discuss how a persona-oriented campaign might look like for your business, we’d love to help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 8249 1817.