Personas - Definition and Benefits

Persona Definition

A persona is a tool or method where a "virtual" person is created as "the" typical representative of a target group.

Many marketers have an implicit understanding of their customers and base their strategies and campaigns on this understanding as well as their experience in the particular industry. This can be very helpful already, especially if one or several persons on the team have direct contact to customers. 

And here most marketers stop.

Working with personas goes further. Personas help to put oneself into the mind of the customer and think about necessary product features and campaign elements, when and where users will expect information, how that information needs to be structured and offered, what should be avoided and so on. Building a persona not only helps one person on a team to do this but builds a very focused team with an underlying understanding of the needs and likes of target groups. Personas are used a lot in #usability.

Persona Benefits

Using personas has many benefits. This method helps to
  • Focus the team on a common goal
  • Tap the unconscious understanding of functions and personalities
  • Increase the awareness of customers' needs and behaviors
  • Align all participating departments
  • Ease prioritization of tasks
  • Help to find the right tools and messages specific for a target group.
  • Increase internal efficiency
  • Reduce necessity of later campaign adjustments
  • Increase conversion rates
Target group descriptions focus on socio-economic data. Personas are based on this but also add "personality":
  • Describe likes and personal tastes instead of transactions
  • Allow to predict future behavior to some extent instead of simply describing past numbers.