Personas: The Strategic Insight you Might be Missing


How well do you know your customers? Do you know what technology they’re using? How many kids they have? Their yearly salary? All of these aspects play a huge part in customers purchasing decisions and how they experience your brand.

Personas represent a major user group for a business and / or website. They are usually a one page summary of the target’s behaviours, characteristics, and overall personal profile including age, marriage status favourite brands and technology use.

A great persona is based on great research.  Having a well defined persona will help your team create relevance in their project, whether its a marketing campaign, website or any other product for that matter.

Personas are a valuable part of the UX toolkit and the gateway to making customers happy! Here are three benefits of creating a well defined persona:

1. One Word: Empathy 

The ability to put yourself in the mind of your customer is a major plus when creating any kind of experience. Lets use web design as an example; knowing your users needs, behaviours and age (to name a few) all play a huge part in what type of navigation you choose, what the call-to-actions say, and pretty much every other design decision you make. People have different needs. Know them and design accordingly. Once you step out of your head and into your customers, you’re well on your way to creating a product people will love.

Tools to help you get there: Qualitative research methods like surveys and focus groups are an excellent way to develop and insightful persona. Some quantitative research like site analytics can also be of value when understanding users behavior on an existing site or what type of technology they’re using.

2. Give the Sales Team Critical Insight

Having well defined primary and secondary personas will create consistency across all channels of your business. A Global marketplace requires a different, more insightful type of understanding. Knowing your various types of customers and how to cater to each of their needs will provide major leverage from a sales stand point.

Once you know your customers, you can begin speaking their language, relating to them fundamentally and building solid, long lasting relationships.

Tools to help you get there: Creating a concise, visual guide to primary and secondary personas, outlining their needs and values is a great way to arm a sales team with the tools they need to make an impact. Whether it’s at their desk or in their brief case, this quick and easy guide can help a sales team jump into the hearts and minds of their customers.

 3. Understand various cultural values.

The world is becoming increasingly smaller and the need to understand global markets is becoming larger. Knowing that customers aren’t in our own backyards anymore, it’s important to understand what matters to our international audience. Cultural values vary widely and creating personas built around this information will provide a leading edge for organizations. The first step in a globalization strategy is to understand global customers through well defined and heavily researched personas. A well-researched persona will provide cultural insight, information around key values and regional behaviours.

Tools to help get you there: Ethnography is an excellent way to research and understand various global cultures and communities. Building a solid persona is a great way to tell a story around this research, and visualize the data mined from this technique.

In short, personas provide priceless insight into your customers’ minds. Once you think like them, you can start to create products and services that work for them as individuals. Once their needs are met, your product or service becomes invaluable which in turn, creates success for everyone involved.