If your business doesn’t have consumer personas yet, you may want to get started on creating some. The benefits of understanding your consumer are endless and can help in marketing, design, and product development.
What are consumer personas?
The consumer persona is a basic profile of your usual buyer, based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative consumer research. A persona can include demographic, geographic, and psychographic details that help you get to know them better.
Developing personas will give you a perspective similar to that of your potential buyers and helps take personal taste out of your decision process. Instead, you use the persona to ensure you’re making strategic decisions that will connect with your target audience, not just you.
Some businesses have only one persona and others may have as many as 20 – it will depend on how varied your business offerings are. If the idea of making 20 personas is daunting, don’t worry; even just having one will be a step towards making more informed business, UX, and marketing decisions.
Let’s take a look at the kind of information you might include:
- Education Level
- Relationship Status
- Income Level
- Pain Points/Frustrations
- People/Brands that Influence them
- Values (Environment, Living Wages, Cruelty Free, etc)
- Preferred Communication Methods/Channels
You may not need all of these details, depending on your business, but this is a guide to some of the details you might need when building a persona.
Today, people are largely moving away from demographic information and putting more emphasis on psychographic information. Some people feel that by removing demographic data, there is less scope for including pre-conceived bias about those demographics into your decision process and even write their personas in the first person to avoid the need for any demographic details such as pronouns.
Why do I need to create personas?
While it may be tempting to say “my product is for everyone and anyone” that won’t help you build a strategy. For example, a paid ad campaign targeted at *everyone* will probably blow through your budget in a matter of days with little impact. By building personas, you’ll have a much better idea of who to target, what they’re looking for, and where to reach them.
You may also want to build a “negative” persona to better understand the type of person you don’t want to target as a customer. This will further guide your segmentation strategy as you build campaigns.
Aside from audience segmentation, personas can guide your content and key messaging strategy, which social platforms you choose to use, and new product development. According to HubSpot, using marketing personas made websites 2 – 5 times more effective for the targeted user – proving the use of personas for UX and design as well.
How are personas created?
Personas should always be based on facts and not on assumptions, so you should start with some form of market research. This can often be done with existing company resources:
- Insights from your social media platforms, Google Analytics, Email Marketing System, and Contacts Database will be an important port of call
- Update any lead generation forms to ask for relevant data that the above insights don’t cover
- Although not very scientific, polls on Instagram stories can help you gather customer opinions quickly
You can also conduct short interviews with customers or ask them to fill out a brief questionnaire. Hotjar gives a great example of a questionnaire from Smallpdf that includes just five questions but hits a variety of demographic and psychographic information.
Overall, it’s important that your personas be based on research and not guesswork. If you’re a new business and don’t have data yet – create personas based on who you think your consumers will be and then revise your personas as you gain more insights.
Even for established companies that feel they have a clear idea of their consumer, it can be helpful to review your personas at regular intervals to see if anything has changed and if any new possible target personas have emerged.
If you need help understanding your customers better, we’re here to help. fatBuzz offers a range of marketing services from content creation, to social media management, and graphic design.
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0141 427 0727 to enquire today about our services.