Customer personas are developed by our digital marketing consultants to represent typical customer archetypes who are “brought to life” for marketing strategy development. These fictional representations provide a mental model of various customer groups: who they are, what motivates them and causes them to engage – or not engage with – your brand.
Customer persona research is rooted in customer segmentation and a variety of market research methods can be used in creating personas, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research and website analytics. Quantitative research (via online surveys) can also be used to validate hypotheses and confirm the segments.
Here are typical steps our strategic marketing consultants use in creating customer personas:
Customer persona research and development steps
Customer persona research provides a common framework for synthesizing and understanding rich customer data that can then be shared across the organization.
Sales, marketing, product development and customer service can understand and appreciate the concept of serving a particular customer archetype. Distilling data into personas can help inform and focus the organization in delivering on customer needs.
One issue to consider is the role of customer segmentation vs persona development. Persona development typically begins with collecting information about your users to identify behavioral patterns followed by qualitative research in painting a mental picture of a single user. Segmentation development usually involves quantitative survey methods and statistical modeling to profile and size larger groups.
Of course, you can combine both approaches for deeper customer insight — there’s no need to pick and choose.
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