8 February 2020

Importance of Buyer Personas

A persona (also user persona, customer persona, buyer personal) is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. For example, if you are designing a growth driven design website your data would be largely based on your buyer personas as well as web analytics. In most cases, personas are synthesized from data collected from interviews with users. They are captured in 1–2-page descriptions that include behavioral patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character.
The more detailed you are, the better.

Data collection
Concerning data, personas have typically been developed from surveys, focus groups, and other ethnographic data collection techniques. Most persona designers believe that personas should be based on ethnographic or other data collection approaches concerning customers and should not be based purely on the creator’s imagination. The use of ethnographic research helps the creation of a number of archetype users that can be used to develop products that deliver positive user experiences. With the availability of large amounts of actual customer data, user data, social media data, and other web analytics data, this provides you with enough information to develop and design an Ideal Buyer Persona for your organization.

A persona, in user-centered design and marketing is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. Marketers may use personas together with market segmentation, where the qualitative personas are constructed to be representative of specific segments.

The term persona is used widely in online and technology applications as well as in advertising. The reason that it is so important to know your persona (user persona, customer persona, buyer personal) is that when tracking your data analytics you have to know what you are looking for in terms of demographics and persona make up in order to properly design marketing campaigns, content, products and services for your specific target audience. It is only through knowing your buyer persona that you can tailor a focussed clear concise and effective marketing strategy in order to gain more users and clients.

Personas may also be used as part of a user-centered design process for designing software and are also considered a part of interaction design (IxD), having been used in industrial design and more recently for online marketing purposes and growth driven design websites.

Personas are said to be cognitively compelling because they put a personal human face on otherwise abstract data about customers. By thinking about the needs of a fictional persona, designers may be better able to infer what a real person might need. Such inference may assist with brainstorming, use case specification, and features definition. Pruitt and Adlin argue that personas are easy to communicate to engineering teams and thus allow engineers, developers, and others to absorb customer data in a palatable format. They present several examples of personas used for purposes of communication in various development projects.

Personas also help prevent some common design pitfalls which may otherwise be easy to fall into. The first is designing for what Cooper calls “The Elastic User”, by which he means that while making product decisions different stakeholders may define the ‘user’ according to their convenience. Defining personas helps the team have a shared understanding of the real users in terms of their goals, capabilities, and contexts. Personas also help prevent “self-referential design” when the designer or developer may unconsciously project their own mental models on the product design which may be very different from that of the target user population.

Personas also provide a reality check by helping designers keep the focus of the design on cases that are most likely to be encountered for the target users and not on edge cases which usually will not happen for the target population.

The persona benefits are summarized as follows:
• Help team members share a specific, consistent understanding of various audience groups. Data about the groups can be put in a proper context and can be understood and remembered in coherent stories.
• Proposed solutions can be guided by how well they meet the needs of individual user personas. Features can be prioritized based on how well they address the needs of one or more personas.
• Provide a human “face” so as to create empathy for the persons represented by the demographics.

Today we live in a data filled world, moving at 5G speeds. The more data that we are able to harvest the better we can focus our product or services to attract our Ideal customer this is why it is so essential to not only create buyer personas but to also update them on a regular basis because things change fast today and so do customer preferences.