As like many things in the English language, they’re exactly the same thing just said in a different way to confuse you.
So, what are Personas?
Personas are semi-fictional representations of your current or target customers. By semi-fictional, we mean they are based on market research and real data taken from your existing customer profiles, but the person created is fictional.
Let’s take good ol’ Joe Bloggs as an example.
Joe Bloggs lives in Warwick, he’s age 30 with a disposable income of £500 a month and spends a few hours a day on social media. He's just started a business and whilst he knows his sector inside-out, he has no clue about Marketing.
How do we know that? By looking at the profile, trends and behaviours of our existing, qualified customers and creating a fictional but evidenced-based profile off the back of this.
Where do I get this information from?
Customer personas should include a range of demographic (age, gender, income) psychographic (a persona’s values, interests) and webographic (social media usage, online behaviours) data in order to build the most accurate representation possible of the person you’re trying to target. You can source the data from things like your CRM systems, questionnaires, even personal experience etc. Anywhere that you store or collect information from customers. No-one should know your customer better than you do, so delve deep into the insight that you have.
Ok, but what do I do with “Joe” now?
Joe is your gateway to more effective, personalised marketing. Now you know what he likes, you know how best to speak to him, when, where and how. You know the tone of voice he responds best too, his budget, what channels he's most likely to answer you on and what time of day. Using data-led personas to define your audience will result in more receptive and effective marketing solutions with an improved conversion rate. And this goes for campaigns to both existing and new customers (just ensure you’ve built separate personas for each!)
So what’s the point in the made-up person?
It helps to give clarity. It means you can put a face to the profile and get to know them. Put them on your wall. Use their name in meetings. It creates a focal point to keep coming back to.
Just remember when building personas to not release any actual customer data (GDPR and all that…) – your persona should merely be used as an internal tool to define the average profile of the people you are trying to target.
Advennture Design can assist with researching and building customer personas. For more information on this service email us at firstname.lastname@example.org