balleywasl Blog Personas 3

Who are they and if so, how many?

Sure, the client is king. And thanks to big data they are abundantly transparent – basically naked. So, it should be easy to sell new clothes to them, right? Just like under the keyword Customer Centricity everything should revolve around their wishes. But how can needs be understood and incorporated? Personas provide the answer.

Henry Ford, one of the great marketing geniuses, has already brought up how ambivalent the relationship between companies and customers is. For one – if he would ask them for their wishes, he would have to get faster horses. It would not help the breakthrough of his T-Mobil or car. On the other side he also knew: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own”. So, what´s the right way? The golden middle? Not at all. Both are right. Because what clients say, is not necessarily what they want and buy. It´s all about an exact understanding of their needs and wants.

balleywasl Blog Personas 2

Two princes

Classic descriptions of your customers through socio-economic information can only provide this understanding to a limited extent. Why? Even though they give you data about their age, education, place of residence, consumer behavior and marital status, they do not provide you with their motives, beliefs, experience and character traits – the characteristics that would reveal their needs. A look at two elderly men shows what scattering losses can occur. Statistically, they belong in the same group: both are already 70, married and famous Englishmen. They are successful in their career, very wealthy and even share a preference for holidays in the Alps. They both share the title “Prince of” – Charles Prince of Wales and Ozzy Osbourne Prince of Darkness.

Same, same but different

It is not hard to assume that Charles and Ozzy behave differently in their day-to-day life, have different motives and interests. Even though they fit into some statistical categories together, they belong to two separate groups when it comes to goals, beliefs, and wishes. Despite the considerable age difference, Charles has more in common with the Prince Frederik of Denmark than with Ozzy. Not only because they are both second in line to the throne of their countries. At the same time, Ozzy Osbourne seems to have more in common with Marilyn Manson. But despite Marilyn Manson and Prince Frederik being almost the same age, few similarities can be found between them.

 

All you need

In the end needs, preferences and convictions determine the buying behavior of your customers more than factors such as income, age, and gender. And an understanding of these inner traits is what will lead you to success! Using the Personas Method, you can work out the motives, goals, and wishes of your target group. You develop fictional characters that represent your different client groups. Based on these, you can learn about the habits, likes, and dislikes of your customers and understand when, how and why they are interested in your arguments and goods.

 

Bring me to life

But how? In principle quite simple: the basic information you can find in your company. There you can find not only statistical information, but also employees that work with the clients and observe the market development on a daily basis. With the help of professionals, you can create individual personas that will give your customers a face, a voice, and a will. Just like writers, you develop protagonists who are authentic and act in a comprehensible manner. You give them not only names, an age, and a gender, but you breathe life into them. What do you think are their character traits, what are their beliefs, what motivates them and what are their demands? 

 

A perfect day

As authors you will then write your success story together: follow your personas like characters in a novel. Consider their day-to-day life, take care of their routines and alternations of the routines. Who are they interacting with, which paths do they follow and what would they never do? Move the story forward bit by bit and accompany your persona through the day. This way you will learn where the touchpoints for your company arise and what your customers expect. By using this you will approach them correctly – with suitable information, messages, and formats. Your personas are not only a valuable resource for your communication, but they also create starting points for your product development, manufacturing, service, and sales. Thus, you create a core for a true customer focus.