What Are Customer Personas?

Knowing who your target audience or customer segment differs a whole lot from defining your different customer personas.

segmentation allows a brand to understand different sets or groups of customers. This might tell us where a particular group lives, their age range, and maybe even some of their typical buying behavior. A customer persona, on the other hand, allows brands to better understand these homogenous groups, and to recognize key traits within them.

Why Create Customer Personas?

Customer personas are created to represent different types of end users with the aim of customizing the content we produce for each persona or even per campaign.

Creating different customer personas will have a direct positive impact on your marketing results. This approach applies to any type of business and it is recommended to generate 3-5 different personas.

Traditionally speaking most brands plan their campaigns or content based on a generic target profile.

Example:

Young 22-40

Male, Female

Digital Savvy

Spend a lot of time consuming content on mobile

Local and Expats

Residents of UAE

However, customer personas would look more like this:

How to define your customer personas?

To be able to define our customer personas it is important to have a large set of customer data and from several different touch points.

Using different platforms such as google analytics, Facebook insights, we can clearly define our different customer personas. The more data we have access to the more accurate our customer personas are.

There are several tools out there that can help us process the data we have and accurately create the personas that are aligned with our brand and customer base.

Examples of such tools which are AI based are the likes of Social Bakers, Affinio, Albert.ai.

How do we turn insights into action?

Defining our customer personas is the easier part of the task, turning these insights into action is what drives the real value.

  • What really makes a difference is understanding where our personas spend their time online so we can tap into these channels.
  • Customizing the content according to what they are interested in? What inspires them, moves them or attracts their attention?
  • Partnering with influencers or 3rd party channels/destinations that matter for your personas will also translate in much higher relevance

A checklist to validate your audience personas

Source: Alexander Cowan

 

Hypothesis Experiment
✔︎ This persona exists (in non-trivial numbers) and you can identify them. Can you think of 5-10 examples?

Can you set up discovery interviews with them?

Can you connect with them in the market at large?

✔︎ You understand this persona well What kind of shoes do they wear? Are you hearing, seeing the same things across your discovery interviews?
✔︎ Do you understand what they Think in your area of interest? What do you they mention as important? Difficult? Rewarding?

Do they see the work (or habit) as you do? What would they like to do better? To be better?

✔︎ Do you understand what they See in your area of interest? Where do they get their information? Peers? Publications?

How do they decide what’s OK? What’s aspirational?

✔︎ How do they Feel about your area of interest? What are their triggers for this area? Motivations?

What rewards do they seek? How do they view past actions?

✔︎ Do you understand what they Do in your area of interest? What do you actually observe them doing? How much time, money do they invest in your area of interest?

How can you directly or indirectly validate the above?

✔︎ You’ve identified at least one discrete problem (job, desire, etc.) you can solve. Can you describe it in a sentence?

Do others get it?

Can you identify current alternatives?

✔︎ The problem is important Do subjects mention it unprompted in discovery interviews?

Do they respond to solicitation (see also value and customer creation hypotheses)?

✔︎ You understand current alternatives Have you seen them in action?

Do you have ‘artifacts’ (spreadsheets, photos, posts, notes, whiteboard scribbles, screen shots)?

 

Summary

  1. Creating customer personas will help you define your target audience for each piece of content or campaign
  2. Creating customer personas will allow us to know which ads to direct to which personas and thus enhancing efficiency and ROI
  3. The more data we have on our customers the more accurate our customer personas are.
  4. Effective customer personas reflect their likes, dislikes, problems, frequent destinations, hobbies, frustrations, fears, goals and ambitions beyond their basic demographics.

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