Personas are fictional representatives of a customer group that combines their characteristic characteristics, expectations and procedures. They replace the anonymous target group set by a human figure into which one can easily find oneself.


Why people are so useful

Why are personas so useful? Without empathy we lack creativity. For example, personas help employees who are only indirectly involved customers have to do the People behind the order number or the file number. And where only algorithms are used, data packets suddenly come to life.

For example, if you are writing a mailing: Imagine the person you want to write to! What if you do not know this personally? Then give the recipient a name and a face. Perhaps you know someone who looks and behaves like this, who has such views, attitudes and desires. Your neighbour? Your former Executive? Uncle Otto or Aunt Janni?

If Uncle Otto fits, then start writing this letter to Uncle Otto. You can almost picture him putting on his glasses, opening the envelope, delving into the contents, smiling and imperceptibly with the Head starts to nod: because your offer is attractive to him. And because he feels personally addressed.

The six elements of a persona

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The profile of a prototypical persona includes the following six elements:

  1. Name and photo: What is a typical representative from the target or customer group considered? And what is his or her name? In the photo selection, I prefer a well-made drawing. Photographs of real people, who usually come from picture banks, often pinpoint a persona too much.
  2. Background information: This is about age, gender, place of residence, occupation, family circumstances, income situation, hobbies and other interests.
  3. statements: Quote verbatim statements that may be typical of this type of customer. Or list key words that reflect his values, points of view, views and attitudesspiegeln. Assign typical brands through which he could make a statement about himself.
  4. Expectations / goals: What would this persona want to achieve with the purchase of a product or the use of a service? What problems does it want to solve? What is the benefit of this? And what feelings could accompany this? What fears could she have? And what could she particularly inspire?
  5. Buying process: How does this persona shop? What is the Customer Journey? How does it inform itself? Who has influence on them? What is the status of offline and online? What are the most important touchpoints for them?
  6. Ideal solution: What would an ideal product or service solution look like from the point of view of such a persona?

This is how the “profile” of a persona could look like (in my book Touch.Point.Sieg you will find further examples, also from the B2B area):

Persona Melanie

How people are developed

In order to develop a persona, you should consult typical representatives from this customer group. Five to ten such persons are enough to work out the characteristics of their attitudes, needs, requirements and procedures.

In addition, observations, common sense and traces in social networks can be used to create an accurate persona. Colleagues from sales, customer service or complaint management can also provide valuable information. Finally, studies can help to work out what is typical of a group of people.

But don't let the marketing department design personas alone. Rather, it is best suited Employees, the daily in Contact are with the customers. A workshop in which you create personas with a detective's instinct, like the profilers at the police department, also brings a lot beyond the benefit Fun.

Personas should be visually visible

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Their profiles, sometimes also called “buyer personas”, are ideally pinned to an office wall or on cardboard figures in order to be able to communicate with almost real people. In this way it is also supported that everyone has the same picture of a target person Eyes have when working on customer projects. And you can always ask yourself what the persona thinks of something and how they are feeling on their customer journey.

Then it becomes visible which personas belong to the Brand fit - and which do not. Furthermore, will clearwho is most likely to buy. In online marketing, personas can also be tagged, i.e. assigned keywords, so that advertising is only displayed when the relevant terms appear. Above all, however, any sticking points at the touchpoints can be resolved with the help of specifically played through customer trips.

An example: the Persona Sandra at Pixum

Sandra is one of four personas of the online photo service Pixum. she is a Boy Mother. In order to optimize the online marketing of its photo calendars, das Company In a workshop, Sandra's customer journey was scrutinized.

From the point of view of the persona, the participants played through step by step how Sandra made the plan to create a Christmas calendar for grandma and grandfather, and found in their research on the website of Pixum.

So-called heatmaps, usability tests and satisfaction surveys had already identified possible critical touchpoints in the customer journey. These were now matched during the workshop with Sandras Journey, their journey through the website. This is how Pixum found out where and how Sandra had to be retrofitted.

A weak point was, for example, that a photo calendar that was not yet completely finished could only be called up again after registration. The online photo service eliminated critical points like these and was able, as reported in Acquisa 10/2015, to significantly reduce both the bounce rate and the conversion rate when ordering photo calendars increase.

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