Every business starts with the goal of being successful but many small businesses fail to understand that their success is dependent on fulfilling the needs of their customers.
Millions of dollars spent in marketing and advertising would be pointless if you are targeting the wrong people. Marketers often use User Personas as a tool to identify a business's ideal customers.
What is a User Persona?
A User Persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. User Personas are one of the most important and commonly used tools for customer segmentation and identifying customer values.
What does it do and why is it important?
A good user persona helps you identify with your customer on a deeper level and narrow down your area of focus. It helps your business to direct its marketing and advertising efforts to the right people for the right reasons. Once you have a clear idea of your primary audience, you can start budgeting smarter and save time while achieving better results.
How to build a user persona?
Before we jump into creating a user persona, there are a few steps that we recommend you take to identify your customer base thoroughly.
First, start by looking at your customer data. The purpose of this step is for you to identify your user base and what attributes they have in common and create at least four customer segments. Depending on your business goals, you can pick your segments based on categories like:
- Your loyal customers
- Customers that generate most of your revenue
- Repeat customers
- Inactive customers
Once you pick your primary segments, take notes of information such as location, gender, age, average income, occupation, etc. If you need some extra help with it, we have put together an Audience segmentation quicksheet that you can use to get started.
Once you have completed your analysis of your main customer segments, it's time to dive deeper and understand them on a more profound level beyond all the numbers and sales data. You can pick a few of your current customers from each segment and get in touch with them. It is crucial to identify what their initial goals were when they chose your business. Use your resources (surveys, interviews, social media, etc.) to get in touch with people who fit into your customer segmentation to learn more about them as individuals. Here are some questions that you should be able to answer about each segment by the end of your research process
- What are their personality traits?
- What is their lifestyle?
- Are they introverted or extroverted?
- What social media platforms do they use the most?
- What are their goals?
- What are their frustrations?
- What are some social causes they care about?
Finally, it's time to use the data you have collected in the first two steps to design your user personas. The goal is to draft three personas. However, if you are running a small business or just starting off, you might need only one or two. If you haven't already downloaded the User Persona template, you can find it here.
- Name: Refer back to customer segments that you have drafted and pick three segments that are most important to your business. Think about each segment as if it was a real person. Pick a fictional name for your persona.
- Descriptor: As you are shaping your persona, how would you describe them in one sentence? How would you introduce this person to other people?
- Quote: Write a quote or mantra that your persona is likely to use based on their personality and behaviour.
- Who is it: Similar to the first step, take note of your persona's personal information such as their age, gender, location, occupation, etc.
- Portrait: Try to envision this person. How do they look like? Sketch or attach an image that represents your persona the best.
- Goals: Outline your persona's goals and intentions. What are their initial motives that drive them to your business?
- Attitude: Acknowledge how your persona perceives their goals and problems. What are some of their expectations in their customer journey?
- Behaviour: Explore your persona's common behaviours. Reflect on their personality traits and their motives. Outline your persona's communication style and decision-making habits.
With a solid understanding of your main customer base, you can use your user personas to boost other customer-related aspects of your business such as your digital marketing strategy or customer journey model.
For any future campaigns or product launches, you can always design a new user persona or update the ones you just created based on your new business needs and goals.