Persona is one of the most important concepts in business planning and marketing initiatives, and most companies today have adopted this concept. In this article, we will revisit the basic concept of persona.
What is a Persona?
A persona is defined by Wikipedia as:
A persona (also user persona, customer persona, buyer 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
Persona is a concept that is considered important because it helps companies better understand their customers by creating a specific person of the customer, whose profile in the services and strategies that the company provides.
A common persona set up within the organization makes it possible to have a common understanding of what kind of message to appeal to. It is common for companies to reduce unnecessary communication costs between departments. In addition, this will lead to the implementation of consistent measures, which will make it possible to implement more effective measures.
Set Personas and consider measures.
If you do not have personas, it will be difficult to determine your strategy and implement the most appropriate measures.
Let's take a look at a simple example of a persona setting.
- Persona A Working in venture companies, looking for partner companies, actively gathering information.
- Persona B Working in a large company with a long history of multiple relationships with partner companies and is not actively gathering information.
When the above settings are made, it is clear that customer behavior differs depending on the size of the persona's company.
Persona A is actively gathering information, so inbound measures utilizing the Web, such as SNS, are expected to be effective. Persona B, on the other hand, is conservative in its behavior, so outbound measures that actively approach customers offline, such as at exhibitions, are likely to be effective.
Although the settings, in this case, were simple, more details will help us deepen our understanding of our customers and develop more specific, effective measures.
Persona is not perfect?
Persona is often established through the use of data or by conducting interviews. However, it is important to note that sometimes it is not always possible to discover what customers are looking for from this type of data.
For example, a company conducted a consumer survey at a certain fast food chain restaurant whose main specialty was hamburgers. The survey revealed that many customers wanted to eat something healthier. As a result, the restaurant offered a product with more vegetables, but the sales numbers did not increase.
Why did they fail despite listening to their customer?
What customers wanted was not healthy food, but guilty food. In other words, while consumers thought they wanted healthy food, instinctively, they came to the restaurant expecting a meat-filled hamburger.
(This example is difficult to imagine as a B2B business, but I have presented it to make the concept of personas easier to understand.)
In the case of B2B, it is also common for multiple people to be involved in purchasing decisions, and it may be necessary to set up multiple personas for people at various levels and positions, rather than just one persona that assumes only the person in charge.
Trying to create a perfect persona by considering all possibilities may end in failure, as in the example above, so it is recommended to start by creating a simple persona rather than spending a lot of time on it. However, as a business, you should use data and logic to make decisions about things, but you will need to make some split decisions about how much to spend the cost.
The important thing is to think about the customer's needs from the customer's point of view, so that your business can improve to meet those needs.
It is also important to emphasize the importance of speed in setting up a hypothetical persona, quickly implementing measures, and verifying their effectiveness.
I hope this article is helpful.