Your key to success: define personas

February 14th 2023
6 min

Personas help you to understand the needs, wishes, fears and goals of your real target group. With this knowledge you can target your product development, your communication and your marketing activities.

Used correctly, customers feel understood by you and trust that you can solve their 'problem'. This increases the likelihood that your potential customers will buy your product or use your service.

In this blog post you will learn:

  • What are personas and why do you need them?

  • What happens if you don't address your target group correctly?

  • How can you create personas?

  • A sample persona

What are personas and why do you need them?

Personas are fictional characters that reflect your different target groups with their needs, desires, fears and goals, as well as their behaviour and motivation.

In addition, personas usually contain information about their age, profession, income, interests, goals and challenges, as well as a name and a brief description of their personality.

This does not mean that you have to describe a person down to the smallest detail. If you don't need the income, for example, just leave it out.

You have two goals:

  1. Understand your target audience, especially why they buy or don't buy a product or service.

  2. Create a tool that all departments can use to guide their actions, including developing products, writing copy and creating campaigns that are relevant to your target audience, thus increasing the likelihood that potential customers will buy from you.

What happens if you don't have personas and don't address your target group correctly?

Imagine you are 35 years old, live by the sea and want to buy a new stand-up paddleboard. You just start researching and land on an online shop where men and women aged 50 and over are in a good mood riding their stand-up paddleboard through the countryside on a river.

What do you do? In all likelihood, you leave the online shop again, thinking that the stand-up paddleboards shown in this shop are specially designed for people aged 50 and over on calm water.

You can't identify with the people shown in the pictures and don't believe that the online shop can solve your need for a suitable stand-up paddleboard.

Admittedly, the example is a bit exaggerated. Nevertheless, we have already worked with customers who show models between 30-40 years old in their fashion pictures, although their customers themselves are mostly 55+ years old.

In the end, you increase your customer experience by preparing the content so well that your target group feels addressed by it.

How can you create personas?

Personas are at the beginning of every marketing strategy for us. They are so relevant to us that we don't start working until we have created them. Without understanding the needs and behaviours of our customers' target group, we cannot define relevant marketing measures.

That's why we present our proven process to you here.

1. Competitive and market analysis

In the first step, we research what is already available on the market for your service or product:

  • What studies already exist on the topic?

  • Who are the main competitors and which points are specifically addressed by them?

  • What questions do users ask in forums?

  • Which points do users address, e.g. in their own test reports?

  • How and what do users search for when they are looking for the product?

At the same time, we always write down our own questions that arise during our research. This helps us to ask you or your team the right questions in the next step.

2. Company analysis

In this phase we talk to different people in your team or company who have direct customer contact.

Our goal is to find out,

  • Who buys your products or services?

  • Who contacts you?

  • What questions do your potential customers have?

  • According to you, what is the reason why customers buy from you or what stops them from doing so?

3. Interviews with potential customers

For us, it is essential to talk to the customers who (would) buy your products. This is the only way we can really find out who your customers are, what their needs, wishes, fears and goals are, how they behave and how you can help them.

For this purpose, we develop a questionnaire that addresses all relevant questions in order to answer these points in depth and to find out the 'why'.

So you have a guideline: The interviews usually last one and a half to two hours.

4. Create a persona

In this phase, we use the collected information and learnings to define your personas. Usually you create different personas for different needs.

For example, one persona, let's call him Matthias, wants a photovoltaic system on his roof because he would like to be self-sufficient. Hannes would like to save costs in the future and Maximilian would like to charge his electric car as green as possible with electricity from his own roof.

In the next point, we will look at what can belong to a persona using an example.

What a persona consists of: Example

Personas can look very different. What is important is that all the questions you, your team and other departments have are answered by the persona you are developing and that no new assumptions have to be made.

It is also important that there are no irrelevant details that distract from the essential points, e.g. role in the household is relevant for certain purchasing decisions, but not for others.

We work with these points:

  • Name

  • Age

  • Marital status

  • Occupation

  • Hobbies

  • Role in the household

  • Behaviour: what is important to him/her, how does he/she react to certain

    needs, wishes and fears

  • We also take on board possible solutions

Beispiel-Persona - Peel & Pulp Digital.

Are you interested in developing personas and would like support? Feel free to write or call us and we will arrange an initial free consultation.